Short story and title photo by Wanda Sonnemann
He looked down the hallway and finally grasped what was happening. It had been nothing but swiftly moving shadows before.
They were fighting in the darkness. At least three of them, and he recognized Noor’s form among them, spinning in her deadly dance for both of their lives.
He could not determine who or what her opponents were. They were not human, that much was certain. Their movements were too fast, too fluid.
It was beautiful. Her graceful strife against nameless things. She swirled around, they drew back, hovering, lurking just out of reach. They pushed forward, she dived away. Struck at them.
One of them fell and became dust. The other one circled her hungrily. Lunged at her. They became an blurred shape of twisting shadows for a moment.
Ashes fell away and Noor stood in the hallway, a tall and slender silhouette, breathing heavily. Victorious.