Hunting Hell Fire

Reads: 395  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 2

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lana Cross is a cold blooded killer, an Immortal killer to be more precise. There are three things on a bounty hunters mind:
The target
The bounty
And eliminating whatever or whoever stands in their way

Submitted: April 16, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 16, 2011

A A A

A A A


The smell of blood stained the winter night’s air.

I looked into the portentous and savage yellow eyes of the Hellhound and smirked with ravenous glee. I could practically taste gravy coating the juicy steak I would be eating and feel the feather soft mattress on which I would be sleeping later tonight. That bounty of five hundred bucks was going to a good place, my pocket.

“Alright, what you got?” I challenged the beast, surveying him.

The hound snarled, revealing a very sharp and very bloody set of teeth. His muzzle was stained with the life blood of a middle aged man who lay broken and torn to shreds under its massive paws; it’s prey. My stomach twisted in excitement rather than fear. This Hellhound was my prey. The hound was baiting, awaiting my move. I slowly moved into a fighting stance, feet slightly apart with my left foot slid further back than the right. I balanced my weight equally, ready. My frostbitten fingers itched to hold a weapon. Wait for it. Wait for the last second. The hound growled. I had interrupted its dinner after all. Hellhounds smell fear, feed off death and roll in its foul stench. But they will not attack a human unless they are defenceless, in other words, weapon-less. Hounds are ruthless, but lazy. They preferred a quick kill rather than a struggle. More time to enjoy their prey’s innards. I could feel the weight of my 500 S&W Magnum Revolver tugging the back of my favourite pair of red jeans down. I wanted nothing more than to feel it’s cool reassuring silver in my hands.

“Come on, I’m right here.”

I leaned forward abruptly, startling the hound into letting loose a blood gargled bark and growl that rumbled in its russet coloured underbelly. A Hellhound’s black fur covered the expanse of their oversized bodies but their unnatural russet colouring started under their bottom jaw and stretched across their chest and further, their paws, three quarters upwards were also a deep russet, wether natural or stained by blood, it was impossible to tell. The hound crouched forward, preparing to spring. Its bloodshot hungry eyes locked with my light brown ones in anticipation. It was then that I noticed a chain wrapped around its neck, a choke chain that broke off before it reached the ground. Manacles were bolted tight around its four strong legs, their own chains broken off as well. Hounds were strong. Underestimating their strength cost even the most careful Bounty Hunter a torn leg. Someone might have kept this one as a pet, or experiment. I was sickened by the thought and at once began to draw conclusions on its past owners.

“Play times over you filthy mongrel now come and get me!” I snarled and threw my arms wide. That did it. The hound charged, red and white froth dripping from its mouth and powerful jaws snapping. In the two seconds it took for it to leap into the air I had drawn the gun from the back of my jeans and unloaded two silver bullets into its chest. I was used to the powerful recoil. The hound collapsed on the debris littered ground before my feet, fatally wounded but not yet dead. There were only very few ways to kill these bastards. Incineration. I took a few backward strides, stowed my pride and joy away again and pulled out a set of Sparkers; A metal fire-starting device that could be hung on a retractable key chain at the waist for quick access. It was as cold as frost as I clicked it once, then twice more so the tiny flame spurted from the exit hole and jumped to the closest demonic being in the vicinity. Within seconds the hound’s body was burning away. The heat was welcome in the cold bitten air however the smoke rising off it was putrid, singed fur and flesh. I fanned it away from myself to keep from gagging. The dead man’s body was of little concern to me. His lay face down, arms and legs sprawled at an unnatural angle. I dealt with demons. Not dead guys and he was most definitely dead. I waited patiently until the hound’s whimpers had died before turning the heels of my boots and walking out of the alleyway. I wiped the sweat from my brow once reaching the clearer air of the street. I flicked my long dark hair back once and glanced at the sign above the bar door. Fox & Hound Pub & Grille, it was ironic, since I’d just fried a hound in its alleyway. The bittersweet aroma of beer and the sweat of so many men crowded around the TVs watching sports wafted around me within an instant. I was grateful for the warmth of a dwelling and the homey chatter of people swapping tales and bartering their goods. I sauntered up to the counter and approached the barman who I had previously spoken to not ten minutes ago.

“It’s done.”

He paused in mid pour of a glass of frothy beer to look me up and down. He appraised my trademark red denim jeans, chained black boots and tight-fitting leather jacket as he had done before. I had the feeling he was wondering if the rumours were true that there was no guild distinguishing tattoo marking my skin somewhere, although he wouldn’t mind checking.

“So quickly?” he raised a brow.

“I told you I work fast.”

The barman cleared his throat and called over a serving maid. “Nina, would you be a doll and check to make sure the job is done?”

A tired looking woman with laugh lines and wavy auburn hair approached the bar. She gave me a disapproving and weary look. She must have been the barman’s wife. “That’s the one you called?”

I suppressed a smirk. I was quite used to men scoffing at my appearance in correspondence to my choice of profession. It was a man’s world after all. However, with women it was a different story. They tended to gawk and be intimidated by me at first sight. It had to do with my faintly glowing light brown eyes that were made to pop by so much dark eye shadow and liner. I knew my facial features were sharp and unsympathetic. On more than one occasion, someone had guessed I didn’t have a maternal bone in my body much less a forgiving one. It gave me a small twisted satisfaction, knowing that I scared other women.

“Yes and by all means, the smoking carcass of rotting Hellhound flesh awaits your inspection. Don’t let me get in your way.” I exaggerated a wide gesture to the door for her benefit.

Nina let a look of perplexed distaste cross her face before she ducked her head and hid in her hair.

“Get to it.” The barman knocked his head in the direction of the door.

She hurried to carry out her husband’s will. I unloaded myself onto a bar stool, taking the revolver out of my jeans and resting it on the counter, it was more a habit than a means to threaten anyone.

“Can I get a drink?”

The barman wiped a glass with a cloth and eyed the gun with distaste, muttering something under his breath that I couldn’t quite catch.

“What was that?” I put some malice into my voice, making him jump slightly.

“Sure, you’ll get your drink when I get my confirmation.”

We ignored each other after that. I pretended to be interested in a nearby game of pool that was taking off. I cocked my head to the side, analysing the angle the pool stick would make if the shooter in the oversized grey T-shirt with sweat patches knocked it to hit the orange ball just shy from the corner of the table. He missed it much to the jeering of his fellow players who hooted at his embarrassment. Not a moment later Nina arrived back inside, her face considerably paler. I assumed the rancid smell of burning fur had turned her stomach, understandably.

“Is it done?” the barman asked.

“Smouldering to the last hair, there’s also someone . . . dead.” The woman swallowed uncomfortably and cast me a thoughtful glance before picking up her tray and rushing off to a table.

“This true?”

I nodded, “Its food.”

The barman laughed, low and croaky, “Don’t mind her none. She’s never seen a dead body before or female Bounty Hunter for that matter. Doesn’t trust any of them Guild workers, not that many people do this side of town, I’ll send someone out to clear away the poor sucker.”

I found it comical how quickly his demeanour changed once he’d confirmed that he hadn’t been stiffed. I honestly couldn’t begrudge the man for being suspicious. The town of Gilbert’s crime rate had been stagnant for the past few months. Some people were comforted by the fact and others were still on their guard, refusing to be lured in a false sense of security.

“You don’t say, now, my bounty and my drink.”

“What will you take?”

“Just a Bud”

He chuckled again and pulled out a bottle from behind the counter, snapped the bottle top off it and slid it towards me. The drink sweated pleasantly with chill. “That bloody hound was losing me a lot of business, sulking around my alleyway at all times of the night and looking for leftovers. I’m mighty glad someone took the flyer down from Blue Hawk.”

Gilbert’s Bounty Hunting Guild, stamped Blue Hawk was located close to the centre of the city. While crime was down demonic activity bubbled to level out the playing field. Guilds received plenty of faxed notices from businesses with demonic problems making a scene where they weren’t wanted. Those notices usually were of the Rank 1 kind, positively easy money. Rank 1 demonic beings were primarily domestic disturbances like an Imp with a fetish for clogging up toilets or Bogart trying to coax a child into naming him so he could become attached to the kid and delight in making all their favourite possessions disappear throughout their whole life. Occasionally you got the stray Hellhound or Changeling, an encounter with one of those tended to leave a lasting chill over your skin.

I said nothing, bringing the beer to my full lips and taking a swig.

“I suppose you’ll want you’re payment.” The barman said nonchalantly, “How about a toss in a little extra. I know you people don’t class hounds as low levels much anymore. I’ll give you $525.”

“Sounds reasonable” I agreed and accepted the cash over the bar without complaint. I needed the extra money anyway to pay for gas.

The barman became occupied once more, serving other people drinks over the counter. He left me happily with my beer. My eyes rolled casually over my gun, still resting on the bar. It was polished silver. The catchment had little grooves that I liked to feel under my fingers as I spun it. The barrel was long, 10.5 In 267 mm. It was a five shot double action revolver. I never needed all five. My gun was according to the manufacture, ‘the most powerful production revolver in the world today.’ In the corner of my eye I saw the barman paying attention to me studying my gun.

“What’s its name?” he inquired, wiping a hand towel over a tap.

He wasn’t asking about the model.

“Chaos”

Bounty Hunters, although skilled in combat with various weapons always had one they particularly favoured. That weapon was considered a treasure. It wasn’t uncommon for hunters to engrave their weapon of choice with a name. His eyes slightly scrunched up at its given name. I was willing to bet the female hunters he’d encountered in the past had named their weapon of choice something more, female. Like Rose or Destiny.

“Something tells me I don’t want to know the story.” He said.

I finished my beer not too long after that. I got up to leave, stowing Chaos back in my jeans.

“I’ll let Markus know you did a great job” The Barman called as I was walking away.

It was enough to stop in my tracks. I turned my head over my shoulder, fixed him with a steady stare and said “I’m not one of his Blue Hawks.”

Then I left the Fox & Hound.

The temperature of the outside world had lowered considerably. Or maybe it was because I’d snatched a few warm minutes inside. Nevertheless, the cold was becoming a constant irritation especially when my fingers began to lose feeling. I bowed my head and continued walking for three more blocks. Somehow I couldn’t shake the memory of burning fur in my nose. I wrinkled it as I put one foot in front of the other. Lampposts lighted my way. There were few safe houses all over Arizona for people who didn’t want to be found by the Organisation. I was headed to one of those safe houses. It wasn’t my favourite one but it was the closest by far. The next one would be in Chandler and I didn’t feel like walking all that way. What I did feel like was finding myself a little motel to check into for the next few days. I chewed in inside of my cheek, digging my hands further into my jacket’s pockets. Even out from the Organisation’s headlights I still had to report to someone after I collected bounty. The refuge, just known as the ‘Fuge’ was in Sierra Vista. It was my own little home, my own little family to return to, however not just yet. Cars strolled down the roads, their drivers eager to return home to the warmth. A newspaper blew across my path. Its pages fluttering fitfully, the sound almost masked the attacker behind me. Almost. I spun and before he knew what was happening, my boot was slamming him down to the ground. He gasped as the wind was knocked out of him. I dug my boot into his chest as he wheezed.

“You know it’s not nice to sneak up on people. You might offend them if you don’t say hello.” I said sweetly. His eyes widened, watery grey eyes and blonde hair, non-descript facial features. He was medium build and dressed in a coat that was two sizes too big for him. He had the upper hand in the weight distribution. However I had the upper hand in speed and flexibility. I scanned his aura. It was a faint collection of wispy energy around his body. My eyes were unique in this way. I could pull focus and look beyond the edges of what was right in front of me. I’d been able to do this ever since I started hunting. It had become one of my valuable assets. One that people had limited knowledge of. The energy glow around him was dull and unremarkable. A human aura.

“You have some balls buddy. What do you want?”

“I know who you are.” He rasped.

“That’s great. I know who I am too.”

“You’re meant to be dead. You were supposed to be killed 9 years ago.”

Fear racked its claws up my stomach lining. That was something I wasn’t expecting.

“You’ve got the wrong lunatic.” I said through clenched teeth.

“You’re name! You’re real one, I know it! He told me.”

I leaned down so I was a hands width away from his face and let my eyes glow. He stiffened and his heart pounded under my foot, “Who told you?” I asked sweetly, letting a little malice drip off the words.

“Number 2”

I let my fist snap forward and crack his nose. The sound was satisfying. “Don’t tell lies. He doesn’t know shit and neither do you.”

“I know someone has you’re father.”

That stopped my fist colliding again with his already bloody nose. I shook my head, refusing to believe him. If one man could defy all odds and kick some ass at the same time it was James Cross.

“He’ll be free within 48 hours. You got any cash on you?” I asked.

“Why?”

I pulled the front of his coat so his face could meet my punch. I let him drop back to the cold ground, knocked out nicely. I rummaged through all the pockets he had to offer and pulled out a stiff leather black wallet. Marve Louis. You’re an unlucky guy. I pulled out various credit cards and found what I was looking for stashed behind one, the Keepers card. There were few human officers that knew about the supernatural situation all around them. They knew about Sweepers, the Organisation and the different Ranks of demons we faced. Keepers were hired by the Organisation to assist their agents and gather information for their assets. One less Keeper in the world made no difference. He’d already told me what I wanted to know. Whether or not I believed it was a different matter entirely.


© Copyright 2020 A Esha Lee. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply