's 2017 Horror Write-off:

He Shall Not Yet Know Osiris

Submitted by saint salt

I walked out of the convenience store and into a warzone. People were densely packed, circled tightly around something, each grabbing and pushing others aside to get a better view. It was a wall of smartphones and selfie sticks, each screen a slightly different vision of what I could now see for myself at the front of the crowd. A uniformed officer had a girl in a headlock. He was at least 35, and she couldn't have been older than sixteen. All around me, people were shouting; "Pig! Pig!" "She did nothing wrong!" "Someone help her!" That's right. No one was helping her. All these people, and not one thought to wrestle the cop away from the helpless kid.

I steeled myself and pushed through the mass of humans, and the second I burst into the circle to help the girl, a golden, translucent bubble sprung up around it. The cop went ragdoll through the air and flew by my face, slamming into the wall - the wall? - the bubble, solid as any wall. The girl stood up, cloaked in a radiant, viciously hot glow.

The air boiled. I felt my skin peeling and cracking, while the people outside in the crisp February looked on through the impenetrable field in horror and confusion. The heat distortion made it difficult to see, but the girl was moving appallingly slowly towards the cop, who had crumpled into a shivering wreck on the ground.The girl was small and spritely, but she walked with elegance, poise, and valor. She trailed a hazy pair of golden wings behind her. When she spoke, it was like fire.

"Let this be a lesson." The officer choked on a sob. "You know what you have done. Had you deigned to attack anyone but me, you would have been reviled. You still will be. But you have been spared a more miserable fate than a death. Tell your cohorts I have come." The bubble began to fade, and she shouted to the mass still gathered around the scene. "Tell all that we have come!" She flapped her massive wings and shot through the ceiling of the bubble like a missile, shattering it. Gold, translucent shards hit the ground and disappeared, the shining streak fading quickly from the pale sky. The road was scorched black where the bubble had been.

I read later she was guilty of jaywalking.