Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Christian Salabert

A jet of wind blew gently across the land. Trees stood perfectly still, their branches wavering in the wind’s presence. In the distance, the sounds of water crashing against the shore echoed across the region. Bathing the land in all its glory was the glowing essence in the sky above. Bright fabrics of light radiated off the shimmering surface of the neighboring star and revealed the land that time had forgotten.

Decades ago, the dominant species of the planet, Man, stored the mightiest creatures to ever scourge the planet on the island. In the distant shores, drones and barrier towers always watched and made sure the giant monsters could never escape the boundaries that were made for them.

In a certain sector of the island, dubbed ‘Monster Island,’ the land rattled from the coming of a giant. Trotting across the soil, staggering the land with his claws and walking on all fours, was a beast whose courage outlasted any other creatures on the planet.

Sharp horns erected out of the top of the animal’s back, gleaming in the sunlight as a testament of the natural beauty the animal showed. Eyes larger than the skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex scavenged the surrounding environment, searching for prey. Residing in the creature’s mouth, which had a shape resembling that of a crocodile’s, were jagged teeth. Long tusks bent out of the creature’s mouth, an instinctual warning to nearby predators of the price to pay if they would ever pick a fight with the armored dinosaur.

Coming to a halt, Anguirus sensed a strange presence that he was not familiar with. The dinosaur’s nostrils had already analyzed the scents of the other inhabitants of the island, aware of who was friend or foe; but this strange presence was neither. Whatever it was–whoever it was–it was intruding on his territory. Pushing his hands against the ground, the ankylosaur poised his body towards the heavens and opened his mouth, releasing a thundering roar. He wanted the intruder to know full well that if it was going to reside in these parts, it would have to deal with the savage brutality of Anguirus.

Silence greeted the armored dinosaur. Out of all the monsters on the island, Anguirus was the first to be easily challenged. The behemoth opened his massive jaws one last time, issuing another roar that shook the ground. The continued silence drove the prehistoric creature’s mind into a frenzy, his senses tingling from the unseen force. But soon the ground shook on its own accord, no longer influenced by the sounds escaping Anguirus’ throat.

The intruder was moving beneath the ground, creating seismic activity. Flames burst from the depths of the soil, reducing the surface to a state of chaos. Nearby forests had quickly fallen prey to the flames that now spread faster than one could possibly imagine. Smoke churned from the cascades of fire, blocking out the sun in only a matter of minutes!

Anguirus stumbled back, taken off guard by these surprising turn of events. Wagging his tail across the ground, the horns that stretched out of the surface of the tail slicing the ground in the process, Anguirus snarled a distressed cry. The intruder was coming closer.

From where the fiery streams of Hell erupted forth from the ground, the body of a demon ascended to the surface, in Anguirus’ line of sight. In a humanoid-like shape, the demon from the pits of Hell glared down at the armored saurian. The demon’s eyes were embedded with a bright xanthic glow, looking like a window for the hellish wasteland of the underworld itself! Its mandibles opened and closed, exhaling steam that hissed upon contact with the surrounding air. Rivers of lava, flowing in veins beneath the demon’s skin, gleamed through the armored hide. The demon took a step towards Anguirus, boiling the dirt beneath its feet soon after. Flexing its claws, the demon horrifically pointed its decrepit finger directly at Anguirus.

Anguirus’ eyes had fallen upon a demon from the underworld, known as Kumasogami.

Molten lava dripped from the pores of Kumasogami’s mouth, which fell to the ground and ate through the soil like acid. Bearing its chiseled teeth, the subterranean golem screamed an agonizing cry at Anguirus. The scream penetrated the beast’s ancient soul and caused the reptile to leap back. This immediate reaction surprised and appalled Anguirus himself, while it only amused the demon.

Gathering courage, Anguirus gaping jaws exhaled a violent bark.

A challenge.

One Kumasogami accepted willingly.

Kumasogami allowed Anguirus to make the first move. The ground trembled as the powerful dinosaur charged the demon from the underworld. Leaping through the air that had been warped by the heat generated from the hellish gateway, Anguirus brought his tusks and jaws down upon the demon’s shoulder. Anguirus’ teeth penetrated the demon’s exterior. Instead of tasting the warm feeling of animal blood, the armored dinosaur screamed in surprise as lava gushed out of the wound inflicted by the dinosaur’s teeth. Even touching the demon’s skin burnt Anguirus’ snout! But despite the painful reckoning of the overwhelming sensation, Anguirus’ jaws remained latched onto the demon.

The cauldrons of smoke reduced the area to darkness, as if the Sun had already left this side of the world. Within the brief elapsed time since its arrival, Kumasogami had already turned this place into a duplicate of its home. Amidst the burning forest, Kumasogami staggered back and forth, attempting to free its shoulder of Anguirus’ vengeful teeth.

Anguirus would not let go.

Now the demon had grown tired of this dinosaur’s insolence and held the creature at bay, stiffening its shoulder and left Anguirus’ soft underbelly exposed. Kumasogami held up its right hand, which began to transform into a scythe! The demon’s fingers had been sucked into the hand, their claws used to form the sharp essence of the scythe-blade. Using specialized volcanic magic, the demon had forged the perfect impaling weapon.

It was too late for Anguirus to counter.

Kumasogami plowed the blade into Anguirus’ underbelly, easily piercing the dinosaur’s flesh. Blood to spray out of the wound, staining the vile scythe in the process. Despite being inflicted a horrible wound that overloaded his neural senses, the persistent ankylosaur didn’t release his hold. The volcanic golem examined the blood that dripped from its scythe, turning towards the open wound. The demon lunged its mouth and chewed into the open wound, eliciting a muffled cry as Anguirus kept his jaws clamped.

Warm blood flowed down the demon’s throat, allowing the demon to quench its thirst.

The courage that urged Anguirus to fight to the very end was usurped by the inner instincts of the ancient reptile. Anguirus released its gripping hold his jaws had on Kumasogami’s shoulder. Despite the demon possessing great physical strength, it failed to hold Anguirus with just one hand. The armored behemoth fell to the ground, its underbelly slipping away from the raking fangs of the demon from Hell. Anguirus landed on all fours, attempting to touch the dry soil with his underbelly, which still gushed with blood.

Kumasogami looked down upon the hundreds of sharp spikes aligned on the shell. Kumasogami struck the spiky back with a swing of its scythe, erupting in a flurry of sparks and a staggering sound that would shatter glass. A few of Anguirus’ spikes had been fractured, but the thick carapace beneath remained unscathed.

Relentless in the pursuit of victory, the demon morphed its arms and tried to get a hold of the nape, hoping to keep the dinosaur pinned. Before it could, the demon was met with a retaliatory strike from the armored quadruped, whipped by the thorn-pricked tail that scarred its volcanic visage. This unexpected blow forced the demon to stumble back, tumbling down to the ground.

With dancing, blistering flames consuming the land behind him, the demon slowly began to rise to its feet. It noticed that Anguirus stood up in an erect posture, summoning all his inner-strength to leap backwards. The fiery orbs that represented the demon’s eyes had not expected the prehistoric foe to launch such an assault like this. Hundreds of sharp, pointy spikes drove into Kumasogami’s body, the dinosaur’s muscle and bone giving it everything to thrust the sharp spikes into the demon’s body.

Lava-like blood sprayed out of the penetrations, upon whatever the demon’s blood made contact with hissed and sizzled! Kumasogami reared its unholy head towards the dark skies above, releasing a deep, horrible cry of unnatural origins. Anguirus wriggled himself free, shredding the demon’s hide in the process.

Sprinting to put distance between them, Anguirus came to a commanding halt and raked the ground with his paws. Seconds passed and Anguirus had succeeded in submerging his entire body beneath the soil.

The pain that had wrecked the demon ended and Kumasogami scanned the area, intent on killing the creature from a prehistoric past.

Not willing to wait for the foe, Kumasogami morphed its left hand into a chiseled bow. The demon shifted its attention to the scythe that had once been its right hand, molding them into three long fingers. At the tips of these fingers, sharp ends formed into the tips of arrows. Within the central region, crimson light gleamed in an awe-inspiring manner.

Kumasogami walked across the ground, shaking it with their mass and leaving smoldering footprints behind. The ground a few hundred yards in front of him shifted. Seismic activity influenced that specific region. Not willing to take any chances, Kumasogami brought its right hand together with its left, clanging to one another as if magnetically pulled. Taking aim, Kumasogami launched three arrows that flew swiftly through the air. Upon contact with the shifting earth, three great balls of fire burned the ground, the exploding soil instantly being incinerated by the searing flames.

Kumasogami’s eyes watched with pleasure as it saw the flames rise higher and higher, the horrific scene reminding the demon of its home. Amidst the cherishing moment, Anguirus burst from the ground behind the demon and rammed his body into Kumasogami’s back. Stumbling forward against its own will, Kumasogami plummeted into the ground face first. Turning away from the demon, Anguirus crawled back down the hole it had made in the ground. As it descended into the darkness beneath the surface, Kumasogami rolled across the ground and launched three arrows directly at the fleeing dinosaur. They whizzed past the hole, avoiding contact with Anguirus a second after he had disappeared beneath the terrain. Those arrows struck an area a few miles away, sending it up in smoke.

Rising to its feet and preparing for the next assault, Kumasogami angrily anticipated the demise of the reptilian filth that defied its wrath. The ground rumbled beneath the demon’s feet and spikes ruptured the ground. They sliced through Kumasogami’s feet and heaved him upward. Blocking out the pain, Kumasogami leapt off the back of Anguirus, leaving pieces of its hardened flesh behind. The demon’s body glided through the air until it slammed into the ground.

Kumasogami swiftly turned towards Anguirus, aiming its arrows directly at the reptilian fiend and launched them. The arrows dug into the side of the prehistoric reptile, exploding on contact soon after and scalding the dinosaur’s flesh. Releasing a barrage of exploding arrows, Anguirus’ entire body was engulfed in fire, scalding flames burnt the flesh of Anguirus constantly. Kumasogami continued to release a salvo of exploding arrows, hoping to reduce the dinosaur’s body to charcoal.

But still Anguirus fought the nerve racking pain. The mammoth dinosaur turned towards Kumasogami, flames flickering from every inch of his body. Screeching cries of agony bellowed from Anguirus’ gaping jaws as he strode forward. Anguirus made it his goal to at least end its life by ripping his claws into the demon’s hide once more. When Anguirus closed the gap, Kumasogami ceased firing its arrows and looked down upon the severely burnt creature before him, tattered flesh hung from separate areas of the creature’s body.

And yet Anguirus was still coming.

Kumasogami’s hands morphed into regular hands. In the demon’s mind, dismembering Anguirus with its bare hands would be better, to savor the torturous moment. Taking a firm step forward and bending over, Kumasogami grasped Anguirus’ skull and squeezed with all its might. Anguirus cackled a thrashing cry, pulling back and forth, trying to break the demon’s hold. With its left hand still squeezing Anguirus’ head, Kumasogami took its right hand and formed a fist. Exerting its monstrous strength, Kumasogami plowed it repeatedly into Anguirus’ face.

Minutes passed and the physical blows continued, until finally, Kumasogami stopped and examined its foe.

Anguirus was unconscious.

Kumasogami now had a chance to finish the saurian off. But a strange tingling entered its demonic mind. Exactly what could bring about more agony to this abomination of the modern world? The idea had struck Kumasogami and immediately picked Anguirus’ prone body up. Kumasogami walked over to the opening that had split the ground asunder, holding Anguirus over its head. In the opening from which Kumasogami had come from, the demon looked down and could faintly see the flames that burned from the underworld.

Hell would soon greet its new arrival.

The demon prepared to launch Anguirus into Hell, but the charred monster opened his eyes and instinctively wrapped his tail around one of Kumasogami’s legs. Pulling with all his available might, Anguirus caused the demon to fall forward, on top of a ledge that kept them both from falling into the fiery sepulcher below. Anguirus crawled over Kumasogami’s back and walked forward, in the opposite direction of where the demon had tried to throw him.

Anguirus stood up on his hind legs.

Kumasogami slowly rose to its feet. The livid eyes of the demon described the emotions the demon was feeling; humiliation, anger, and a frightening revelation. But as Kumasogami turned around, Anguirus leapt back and nailed the demon in the back with his own. The collision was enough to send Kumasogami falling forward, into the hole in the ground.

The demon screamed as it fell closer and closer to its origination, disappearing in flames that burned miles below.

Anguirus gazed down upon the hellish flames from a world dedicated to carnage and misery. Raising his head to the heavens that had been shrouded by the dark clouds above, Anguirus howled a victorious cry that all of the monsters on ‘Monster Island’ could hear. His skin severely burnt and courageous attitude stretched beyond its limits, Anguirus walked away from where Kumasogami had fallen.

The hole that led to Hell closed.

Entire forests that were once bathed by the beauty of the Sun were reduced to charcoal by the flames wrought by Kumasogami. Anguirus slowly exited the region of the island that he had called home, intent on searching for a new habitat. Wherever it may be, Anguirus was determined to fight for it. As the armored behemoth walked away from a victorious battle that nearly cost him his life, helicopters soared over the sky, dropping yellow powders that quelled the flames. The humans had watched the entire battle and were shocked to learn that not only are there giant creatures in the world, but also supernatural entities from worlds unseen by the human eye.

Perhaps it is a good thing to have these ‘Forces of Nature’ on the planet, to fend off these demonic beasts who threaten all life from extinction.

Winner: Anguirus (Universal)