The Things He Carries

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Luno Callahan, a 40 year old bounty hunter. Who, despite how good he is at his profession, refuses any praise because he's doing what no one else will...the bounties he collects are more than enough.

After a week of traveling and passing through every small town and village imaginable, Luno found himself at a burlesque bar. The target had been known to linger around here as a regular, everyone he asked had told him exactly that. He’d wished it was any other place than this one, it never felt right to be here. Especially since he’d be taking away one of their patrons and cutting back their earnings, it wasn’t fair to them but maybe he shouldn’t have been such a shit bag in the first place.


Entering the establishment, he’s greeted by a man at a podium. He’s wearing, what appears to be, black lipstick and a nice mesh top. Under any other circumstances, he’d look to flirt but he’s on the job so he keeps the conversation short and to the point.


“How long you here for, doll?” The host asks, his voice smooth against Luno’s ears.


“A few minutes, but what’s the price for one show?” Luno says as his guilt tugs at him to be generous with his visit.


The man eyes him up and down before answering with a smirk, “For you? 45 bucks.”


Luno pulls out his wallet and places the cash into the host’s hand. As he’s walking in, he hears a sharp and chastising tone.


“Ah ah ah, weapon at the door,” They say pointing at the crescent-shaped blade sitting diagonally across his back. 


He shakes his head, “Unless you want this to get real ugly, I’ll need it to make this quick. I don’t wanna go causin’ trouble where there doesn’t need to be any.”


They hold eye contact briefly before the man waves Luno off to go inside. Once on the floor, he scans the tables for his target until he spots a familiar face among the dozens of others sitting and watching the performance on stage in a trance-like state.


Slowly, he approaches the man, leans down by his ear, and speaks in a low, gravelly tone so no one else can hear, “You need to come with me.”


The guy looks at him and sneers, “Like hell I will, fuck off.” He uses his forearm to shove Luno away to continue watching the performance.


It’s a public place, you would think they’d know how to fucking come quietly to make this at least a little discreet, Luno thinks as he sighs in annoyance. Removing the tonfa off his left shoulder and holding it directly in front of the man in question.


“I don’t think you quite understand the shit you’re in. Either leave with me calmly or I will make you.”

The man forcibly pushes his seat back as he stands up and walks with the curve of the weapon facing him still and Luno remains behind him to ensure there’s no potential for escape.


After they step outside the bar, Luno lowers his weapon and begins to tie up his target. Making the final wrap around to tie the knot, he feels the sudden pain of his nose being hit by the back of the man’s head. He stumbles backward a few steps then looks ahead to see where his target might be.


Now standing opposite of Luno, the shit stain frees himself, “You think I’m just gonna let you cash me in like a check?! You’re out of your damn mind!” he yells.


“Don’t know if you noticed, pal. But a lot of people wanna see you dead, bringing you in alive is the only way to give you a fighting chance even if you don’t exactly deserve it,” Luno states as he watches the man shift himself into that of a combative position. He didn’t want it to come to this, there are easier ways to solve this that won’t end up with him walking away with more blood on his hands.


“I’ve been fighting and running for years now. I’m built to survive and I’ll survive you too. You’re nothing compared to the hells I’ve faced.”


At this point there’s nothing more to say, the man isn’t going down without a fight. Luno fixes his nose and shakes his head in disappointment. None of them have ever wanted to take the easy route through all this, always having something to prove by trying to fight until the bitter end. This? This won’t be much of a battle. The guy’s unarmed but he doesn’t express any sort of fear towards Luno and his weapon, not on the surface at any rate.


With a flick of his wrist, the handle of Luno’s tonfa extends until it’s a scythe. The silvery metal gleams and reflects a beam of sunlight off of it, creating a greater contrast against the black metal of the snath. He readies himself now holding his weapon with both hands and puts weight on the balls of his feet.


He takes a slow breath and then lunges forward at the target. Slicing into the air as the other ducks and punches the exposed part of Luno’s ribcage. It causes him to recoil briefly, adrenaline pumping through his veins keeps him pushing. Blindly, he swings the scythe behind, using the momentum to himself around. The man goes to try and tackle him, Luno side-steps, and kicks him to the ground.


Only a few minutes in and the target is already breathing heavily, a light sweat working its way onto his forehead. Luno scowls at him from above and places the tip of the blade against the target’s chest over the heart. He didn’t have to feel it to know it was racing uncontrollably in this utterly helpless position. 


There is a second where Luno hesitates, thinking he might be able to bring the guy in alive. Something shines against his faded red eyes, his head follows the source –  a knife in the target's pocket. Watching as they scramble to pull it out to aim for his leg, but they’ll never get the chance, Luno forces the blade through the chest.


Already frightened eyes manage to open themselves wider, mouth agape. It doesn’t take long, it never does. Luno kicks himself for thinking that it would go any differently, but now he had a mess to clean up and that wasn’t going to get done by standing around thinking about the what-ifs.


Luno crouches down to collect the few things needed so he had proof that the target was dead. They were items that you’d have to be in close quarters to ever get and this person wasn’t one to even let his wife get close when they were still married. The paper with his information on it said he was about 28 years old. So young and already doing unspeakable things. It’s a shame because he had the potential to be something so much better than...this.


Items now in the pouch on his belt loop, he lifts the body up and carries it to the nearest ditch. He stops to feel the weight of Death, the weight of what was once a life that held value and meaning before throwing him down there. Luno grabs a handful of dirt and tosses it in with the target. Spinning on his heel, he walks away to make the trek back to the bounty office to collect his earnings

Submitted: May 05, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Blossom From Fear. All rights reserved.

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