Desert Demon. Scary short story

There lived one boy. He lived with his mother, father and little sister.

Dad sometimes said that his ancestors were nomads and once upon a time lived in the desert. And grandpa could even tell how to find water in the sands and take care of a camel.

"Do you remember grandpa?" asked dad, "we once went to see him".

"I don’t remember," answered the boy.

But in fact, the boy remembered very well the old man, who looked like a dangerous bird of prey and remembered his eyes - like two pieces of dark ice.

The boy was then so frightened that he would have run away, but his legs were frozen like stone, and he did not move.

And the grandfather laughed loudly and said that such a weak child could not survive in the desert. And he no longer paid attention to the boy.

But the grandmother was very kind, she took the boy to the kitchen, treated him to some sweets and gave him a talisman - a bag with a stork embroidered on it.

"Don’t show it to anyone," the grandmother warned, "not even mom and dad. Otherwise it won't work".

"What's in there?" the boy asked his grandmother, twisting the bag in his hands.

"Chalk and ash," answered the grandmother.

And then she told the boy a legend about ancient demons living in the desert, who sneaked up on sleeping people in the dark, strangled them and drank all their blood.

"When these people were found in the morning, they looked like a dried tree," said the grandmother.

The grandmother also told how the desert inhabitants used to deceive the desert demons. They took small round stones, covered them with white chalk and painted black dots with ash to make the stones look like eyes.

"Human eyes are delicious treat for the desert demons" said the grandmother, smiling, "like sweets for you. But after eating stones, the desert demons could not fly and people could catch and kill them."

"Is it possible to kill demons?" asked the boy.

"Not for long," answered the grandmother, "but during this time people will live lifetimes."

The boy didn’t really believe in fairy tales, but he liked his grandmother’s story. And the talisman was beautiful, although the boy later lost it somewhere.

The boy never saw his grandfather or grandmother again. But one day someone called dad and said that grandpa was dying. And dad went to him.

That night, the boy had a dream. He suddenly found himself in the desert and was chased by a demon. The boy, of course, could not see the demon himself, but it seemed to him that someone’s invisible eyes, cold as ice, were watching his every move.

The boy had never encountered desert demons, but this look seemed familiar to him.

He ran for a long time, but when he fell exhausted into the sand, he still felt the demon’s gaze.

The boy wanted to cry, but under the scorching sun the tears dried up before they appeared.

"Human eyes are delicious treat for the desert demons..." - suddenly, as if in reality, the boy heard his grandmother’s voice.

And as often happens in a dream, he suddenly realized that all the time he had been clutching his grandmother’s talisman in his hand - a bag with a stork embroidered on it.

The bag was sewn up, but when the boy pulled harder, the threads in the upper part of the bag immediately tore. The bag had two compartments - one contained white chalk dust, the other contained black ash.

Right there among the sand the boy found many small round stones. He covered the stones with white chalk and painted black dots with ash to make the stones look like eyes. Then he piled the stones and lay down next to them, with his eyes closed.

He was so tired that he almost fell asleep from exhaustion, but he was so afraid that he could not sleep. Having closed his eyes, the boy lay on the hot sand and heard the wind humming and the noise of crumbling sand.

The boy tried to read the prayer, but could not remember a word. He thought about his home, mom and dad, but his mind was empty, as if all his memories were covered with sand.

And then something touched him, and with a scream the boy jumped to his feet.

"Quiet," said the man standing in front of him, "it’s already over..."

He was short and covered in rags, even his face. Only the eyes were open. And now his intense gaze was carefully studying the boy.

"You acted correctly and flawlessly," the man said, and even from the hoarse voice of the stranger, the boy could not determine who was in front of him - a man or a woman, a child or an old man.

"Sometimes they become so strong that they can live in a human body," the unknown man continued, "and when one body dies, they move into another, most often into the bodies of their human descendants. They are not easy to catch, because they are vulnerable only at the moment of transition from one body to another... But we were able to find a way to defeat them..."

The man took a step forward and handed the boy a strange round object.

"This is a dry pumpkin," said the man, "in it the desert people carry the most valuable thing - water."

The boy took the pumpkin.

- You are a worthy son of the desert people... When you are going to die for real, we will meet you here and bury your bones in the sand... But your great-grandchildren will have to face this demon again... And you will be waiting for them here to help...

The man turned his back and walked away, almost immediately getting lost in the sands...

When the boy woke up, there was a dry hollow pumpkin in his hand, and the bed was full of hot yellow sand...

And only then did the boy realized where he knew this cold gaze of the invisible desert demon. Grandfather looked at him with the same icy gaze...

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