This is from my work-in-progress Friar Tuck novella The Christmas Devil which will be available to pre-order in November. Here, an old peasant has come home to find a devil/demon is in his house. The neighbours have gathered and one has sent his faithful old dog into the peasant’s house to investigate but things have gone quiet…
“It’s your house.”
Ivor nodded bravely, squaring his shoulders and hauling himself up to full height. It was his house right enough – he should be first inside.
One of the men offered him a short club and he took it with a grim nod of thanks then stepped forward to grasp the door handle. He could hear nothing from inside and his imagination conjured the most hideous demons, picturing them tearing James’s poor dog apart with terrific yet silent violence.
He drew a deep breath, hefted the length of wood he’d been given and reached a hand forward to push the door open wide enough for him to follow the hound inside.
Before he could touch the iron latch though, a great black shape appeared, pushing its hellish body hard against him and, with a scream of terror Ivor fell backwards, arms flailing, onto the snow-covered grass, trying to use his elbows and feet to drag himself away from the satanic presence that had hauled its loathsome carcass from his home.
The near-hysterical laughter of his fellow villagers brought him backto his senses though. It was no devil that had burst forth and attacked him; it was the dog, and it was currently doing a shit in the snow right beside him much to the amusement of the gathered locals.
James came forward, peering inside the doorway, and waved a hand dismissively.
“There’s nothing there. Whatever made those hoofprints is gone; the place is empty.”