The First and the Last by Megan Diedericks



Halloween Challenge Winner


Adam sat alone and engulfed by darkness. The wooden cross with its sharp point lay, in anticipation, on his lap. The skin of his hands were drained of color as he gripped the armrests. His chest rose and fell in quick, spastic-like movements. There was a knock at the door – his pounding heart felt near explosion. He wiped the sweat from his lined forehead, while pushing his hair to the side in the same motion.

Deep down, he knew this day would come.

The doorframe rattled as the knocker grew impatient.

“Come on, Adam. Did you seriously think we would not find you?”

Adam rose, taking light steps toward the door. Another unrelenting fist slammed against the door.

“I can hear you moving around in there,” she said. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way.”

Adam rested his forehead against one of the planks hammered across the door, “Nothing about you is the easy way.”

“Invite me in, Adam,” her voice was low and seeped in anger.

“No, I refuse to be another casualty of the cult worshipping you as a false god – not as long as there are men like me.”

“There are no men left, Adam. Invite me in.”

The walls suddenly weighed heavily around Adam, he thought they would implode and crush him beneath the rubble. He had to think – he had to win her favor.

Adam pushed the cross between the back of his belt and his weathered jeans, then dropped his shirt over it. Inviting evil into your home is death, but her death would save the world. He stood away from the door.

“Come in, Lili, but only you.”

The door flew, and splintered into pieces when it hit the fireplace.

“Adam,” her bloody lips resembled a smile when her dark eyes saw Adam’s cowering frame. “I would say it is nice to see you, but I cannot lie.”

Adam advanced toward her, Lili hissed as she took a step back.

“Lili, please. I do not wish us to be enemies.”

“You do not mean enough to me to be my enemy.”

“Then why are you here?”

“I saved the best for last.”

Adam’s arm snaked behind him. He lunged his body forward with the cross pointed directly for Lili’s heart.

Lili snickered with Adam’s wrist caught in her forceful hand.

“I can break your neck without breaking a sweat, and you think this little stick will harm me?”

Adam’s eyes grew wide and bulbous in his skull; this truly was the end of the world. Lili’s fingers tightened around his wrist – the bones snapped, like autumn twigs, beneath the pressure. He cried out, falling to his knees as the white, hot pain made his fate a clear vision.

The wooden stake plummeted toward the tiled floor.

Lili kicked Adam across the room. He fell beside his false throne – the couch he imagined her demise from.

“Please…” he pleaded, while holding a shaking hand to his bruised ribs. “Please, do not do this.”

“It is already done.”

Two little letters were all he wanted to muster when she snapped her fingers. All he wanted to say was just one tiny exclamation of disbelief, when his boarded up windows shattered around him, and black smoke swirled around his body like a hurricane.

The last man on earth had only one word running through his mind when his vision began to blur: No.

The last thing he saw was her black leather boot rising – ready to meet his timeless skull.

The last thing he heard was the happiness in her voice as she spoke,

“When you meet God – or the Devil – and you remind them of my name, please remember: I have not been your pet for a long time now. My name is not Lili,” one soft blow painted Adam’s world red.

“My name is Lilith.”


Megan Diedericks’s debut poetry collection, “the darkest of times, the darkest of thoughts” is available on Amazon. She has poems, as well as short stories, published in multiple literary journals. She’s situated in South Africa, and when she’s not writing, she’s living in worlds of fiction with background music to match – or playing with the dogs. More information is available here:


Published 10/27/22


  1. What an amazing story, Megan!

    I’m so impressed with the vocabulary and the thorough description of the events. The writing style is elegant and detailed, giving a clear picture to visualize for the reader, which makes it incredibly enjoyable.

    Although this was a short paragraph, I am so captivated and invested by the plot, I hope a full book elaborated on this story is coming? I would love to read that!

    Winning this contest is so well deserved, big congratulations!

    • Ari!

      Thank you so much for your kind words! It always means the world to me see these kinds of reactions to my work.

      To be honest, I haven’t thought of expanding on the story – but it sounds like an amazing idea! Maybe one day.

      Once again, thank you so much for your comment – and I am so glad you enjoyed my story! 💖

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