シーン一

The sign read ‘Hunter for hire’. The faded paint was plastered on an old wooden announcement board, just outside of the local bar. This town was not much to look at from first sight. The roads were stripped down to the dirt, the buildings barely hanging on to the wind pressuring them. While lacking in size and beauty, this town was the only one Raven had encountered for weeks. Tired and hungry she stared at sign in front of her. Strands of silvers blew from underneath the hood covering her head. Her jet-black boots covered in mud began to quiver underneath her.

“Hunter wanted… Monster in need of slaying, thief needing capturing… Same old rookie acts” she whispered to herself. You could hear the exhaustion in her soft voice.

Sighing she made her way into the bar, ready to take a contract. As expected the inside was not all the lively. Only a few seats were taken by some of the locals, but the room was as silent as a wake. A burley man stood behind the counter, waxing glasses peacefully. Raven took a seat in front of man, pushing her hood back. Her face was perfect, even with all the scars tracing it. Her grey eyes were tired and her silver hair was in dire need of a good wash.

“Not from around here, are ya kid” the barter asked.

She shook her head slowly. “From some ways away, actually”

“Well, you look like hell. Smell like it too. Here I thought young girls smelled like roses all the time”

“Hmph” she raised an eyebrow. “You talk to all your customers like that? I can definitely see why this bar is empty now”

He chuckled as he sat the glass down in front of Raven. “Here, you look like you could use a drink sunshine.”

“Couldn’t afford it if I wanted to”

“No worries, on the house. Now drink up.” He said as he poured her a glass of water.

Raven swiftly grabbed the glass, chugging down every drop. The bartender began to laugh a little and poured her another glass.

“So, what brings you to this neck of the continent” he inquired.

She put the glass down, wiping her mouth of access water. “I’m here for work, saw you had ‘monster’ problem. I can take care of it for you”

“You?” he said with astonishment. “You sure you wanna take on that job, it’s a doozy. That… thing, took out most of the hunters here. Town is empty because of it”

Raven would have scoffed if she wasn’t so spent.

“You see this sword” she asked as she pointed to the blade housed on her back. “I’m a huntress, from the royal coven. I’ll be just fine man. How much does it pay?”

“I see… Job pays 900. 1000 if you bring me the head”

Raven nodded in agreement as she got up from her chair. She slightly drew the sword from its home, the silver began to shine a blue color in the bar light. She stopped at the door and turned back a bit.

“Thanks for the drinks… I’ll be back” she said as she tossed the hood over her head, her black cloak blowing in the dusk wind.

***

            The sky had long began its slumber. The light of the moon illuminated the path for Raven to navigate. Her breath was calm and her heart steady. The long cloak she wore keeping the cold night at bay. The man was right, this town was completely deprived of people. Not even a single owl or cricket sung here.

“It is entirely too quiet here” raven whispered to herself. “Now where are you hiding?”

She decided to take her search into a nearby building. Strangely it seemed to be the only one with its soul still intact. No peeling paint or broken windows. It seemed ordinary. Raven soundlessly crept inside. Unlike the outside the inside of this building was trashed.

“God, it smells like someone died in here”

Raven pulled the hood from her head and began to scan the room for any clue she could find. Nearby was a table, smashed into two. Black fluid covered the splintered edges and the floor around it. Carefully raven ran her fingers through the mess, her eyes narrowing.

“Fresh” she said. “You’re close drool boy”

Raven carefully stood back up. Carefully dripping onto her silver hair was something slimy. She turned back, lacing her fingers through her hair, her fingers revealing the same black ooze from the table. She sighed, placing her hand on her hip impatiently.

“You got your drool in my hair asshole” her voice full of annoyance.

The culprit was large as it hung from the ceiling with its large hands. The tips of its sharp fingers were laced in red, dripping onto the floor. It had no face, just scorched black skin was shown. The way it was swinging from each beam in the ceiling was almost angelic, it made no sound as Raven watched it closely. It housed its feet onto the ground in front of her, its chest falling and rising rapidly. Suddenly it swung, quickly and full of force.

“Cheater” she yelled.

Raven was quick. Avoiding the barrage of swings coming at her with little effort. The demon swung again, unaware that Raven had been reading its movement from the start. She quickly dodged left and twisted around the faceless killer. In the same motion, she pulled a small dragger from her waist and shoved it into the monsters’ head. Following up with a strong counter punch to generate space for her next move.

Unbothered, it came for her again, faster this time. It held out its hands as its claws rapidly expanded towards Raven. Quickly she began to dodge the claws coming at her. Each one missing nearly missing her, the reaction time she possessed was unnatural. But she miscalculated as she pummeled by a swift kick and sent flying outside of the building. Glass and wood tracing her through the wind and onto the dirt.

“I really need a nap” she groaned as she wiped the blood from her mouth.

©Jawan Herron

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