HUNTERS

 

DEMON SERIES PART ONE

__________

 

BY AOIFE MARIE SHERIDAN

 

 

 

 

 


 

Hunters

Copyright © 2014 by Aoife Marie Sheridan

All rights reserved.

This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical,

photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without prior written permission of the copyright owner and/or the publisher of this book, except as provided by United States of America copyright law.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

 

Formatter: Airicka’s Mystical Creations

Cover Designer: Ultimate Fantasy Books

 

ISBN-13: 978-1495430725

ISBN-10: 1495430723

Published by Aoife Marie Sheridan

Also available in eBook and paperback publication


 

BY AOIFE MARIE SHERIDAN

OTHER WORKS BY AUTHOR AOIFE MARIE SHERIDAN:

 

 

THE SASKIA TRILOGY

EDEN FOREST #1

CITY OF SECRETS #2

THE RISE OF THE QUEEN #3 

BELLONA #1.5

 

 

DEMON SERIES

HUNTERS (PART ONE)

HUNTED (PART TWO) (COMING SOON)

 

 


 

Dedication

This Book is dedicated to my sister, Amanda.


 

Types of Demons

Level One:

Tormentors: Torment a mind, using an unresolved wrong, and making the host feel worse (mostly attacks in dreams).

Whisperers: Always telling the person to do wrong.

 

Level Two:

Leeches: They suck the life source from a person over time, leaving the body feeling numb or lost.

Disturbers: Normally, take over a house, causing havoc is their objective to terrify.

 

Level Three:

Takers: These demons take over the host’s body completely, normally killing their host eventually.

Feeders: They fester and feed on a person’s misery, usually causing the host to take one’s life and take as many people with them.


 

Introduction

Where did the idea for hunters come from?

 

Once upon a time, there was a girl who believed that magic existed, but with life’s harsh reality, she soon stopped believing and started to live in the real world; the one where we live to work. The one that is so devoid of magic that if one whispered about his believe in it, he would be laughed upon, even chucked out of his community. So soon, magic became a foreign concept and sadness crept into her heart, but she drudged through life with everyone else, putting one foot in front of the other, marching along to the same old tune.

One summer’s day, the girl bumped into an old friend, a conversation was struck bout a healer who could take the girl’s sadness away. With so much sadness, she went against everything she believed in to see what would happen, if it was possible that something she had held onto so firmly still existed. So she went…

She walked away from the healed with a lighter step and a clearer mind. She soon realized what she had forgotten; magic existed in its own forms. She didn’t just have five senses, she had six.

From this story, Hunters were born.


 

Prologue

 

I sat outside her apartment like I did every night, keeping an eye on her door.

Watching.

Waiting.

 I knew the day would come and I wanted to be ready. One thing I knew, he would never take her from me. He would have to get through me first. A small smile crept over my face. How I would love to tear him apart. I growled, feeling frustrated; he was one of the main threats now and I needed to eliminate him. I pushed off the wall, pulling my black hoodie closer to my eyes. A good few people were around, but none paying attention to me. They were too transfixed on their own wants; a syringe giving them a pass on reality, or an encounter with a female making the sounds of pleasure rise. I pushed all the noises aside and focused. She was moving around, her angry footsteps hitting the wooden floor in her bathroom. The water turned on and my body came alive. The want for her was too much at times and I growled for a second time.

“You okay, Man?” a junky asked from a few feet away from me.

I didn’t give him an answer, just threw him a look to silence his talk. I couldn’t understand why she lived here. Maybe the chaos made her feel more normal, but that was something she would never be. A hiss made my head jerk up and then her intake of breath. My hands balled into fists.  I wanted to go to her and take the razor from her hand, but I couldn’t. She would hate it if I knew.  It was her own release, I didn’t understand it fully, but it made her focus on the pain instead of the real problem. A cold breeze made me study the door that led into the apartment buildings more closely; it wasn’t just cold it was ice cold.

“Nicolas!” I whispered and moved across the thirty paces that stood between her door and me in a second. I didn’t care if anyone saw; they were too far gone to understand. They would assume it was their drugged up minds seeing things. The air in my lungs was now freezing. I could feel him coming. I felt the excitement bubble inside me. A fire raged through my veins as he materialized before me. I didn’t give him a moment, but pulled the sword from the air and swung for his neck. He was quick, ducking and coming up with his own sword. They met with a loud clang.

“Daniel, great to see you.” His hard face was set like stone, his black eyes wanting blood, not mine, but hers.

I let the anger boil and withdrew my sword, striking his with all my force. It met its target and he stumbled back, but he regained his footing quickly. Allowing him to come at me with his body weight behind his swing. I dodged to the side in a blur and arched my sword, swinging for his back, but it met the metal of his own sword.

“Have we been practicing?” I asked in a mocking tone while taking another swing.

“Maybe you have just lost your touch,” he spat back and struck my sword. Metal struck metal and small pieces of ice flew towards me. I moved but a few struck my left arm, piercing me like small pieces of glass. I ignored the pain and gave him a sneer.

“Playing dirty, are we?” I asked, letting the fire heat my blade until it grew red.

“You never play nice, Daniel.” Nicolas’s face radiated the hate he has for me, and I returned it, letting my sword burn before I took a swipe, knowing he would block it. So I did what he wouldn’t expect, I slide towards him on the partially frozen ground and passed his legs in a blur, cutting below his knee before flipping up and swinging my sword at his back. It sliced into his flesh and he roared in pain, falling to his knees. I raised my sword, aiming for his neck. It swung high into the air, the red flame lighting up the sky, but before it made contact, he disappeared. I stood there for a moment, my blood still boiling with adrenaline. However, it fizzled and the pain in my arm came alive.  Rain started to pour and I let my sword dissolve along with my anger. He wouldn’t be coming back tonight and I needed to rest and heal. My phone buzzed as I moved away from the door.

“Daniel,” Father Peter’s voice filled my ear.

“Yeah, you got a job for me?” I asked, pulling the hoodie over my face again as I walked deeper into the shadows.

“It’s a possession. I don’t want her doing it alone.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll pick her up. I’m in the area anyway.”

I could hear him sigh with relief; he cared about her more than I had believed at the start.

 I was about to hang up when he spoke again, “Thank you, Daniel. I’ll ring her now.”

“Okay, No problem,” I said before ending the call.

I hadn’t gone far before the heavy rain stopped. A freak shower.  I took off at the speed of light to change and get my bike before I picked her up. She would be pissed. I smiled. She was always pissed.


 

Chapter One – The Possession (Abigail)

 

I clicked my Nokia cell phone shut while stuffing it back into my worn, brown leather jacket pocket. Slamming the door behind me, I bounded down the hard brown tiled steps out the main door. The surface outside my door made me glide and I nearly lost my balance. Ice coated the path in front of the main door … in June? That didn’t make sense. I stepped off the icy path and walked around the corner to the side of my apartment building and into the alleyway. No street lights lit up the small and dirty path, which was wedged between the two red large brick buildings. The path was littered with beer bottles and household rubbish, and grass sprang up amongst the cracks in the pavement. It was a run-down dive.

The building on my left was home to me, number twenty-two is my own place, it wasn’t much, but like I said, it was mine and that’s all that mattered to me. The other building was full of unknown people who I had no intentions to get to know. I spent fifty percent of my time here and fifty percent of my time at the base, or the headquarters for us demon hunters. In the London area, we were the only group within it. There were five of us, including Father Peter - the man who took me in and raised me. The man who had saved us all from ourselves. We all had our reasons and stories for becoming hunters, each one as depressing as the next.

The base became home to most of us, but I spent the least amount of time there. Cathy, Zee, and Father Peter lived there permanently, but Simon stayed between the base and his brothers. He was lucky enough to still have people who cared about him. The rest of us just learned to accept each other as a family, as our own blood relatives were either dead or didn’t want anything to do with us.

I was the only one with no living family and who chose to live by themselves. For me, being around people, having to smile and interact was too hard. I pretended to be normal most of the day, but once I was home, I could let the mask slip and be myself. I wouldn’t be able to keep the pretense up twenty four hours a day and lately, it was becoming harder to pretend that everything was normal. My pride was becoming my weakness. I needed people, but I refused to give in.

The noise of my black military boots, splashing in large size puddles, pulled me back from my thoughts. My black jeans were tucked neatly inside my boots, keeping them dry. I shivered now against the wind that whipped at my face, pulling strands of my long, straight, black hair out of the bun that I had so tightly wound it in. It never stayed put, its shiny silky tendrils finding an escape route too easily. I pushed some of the strands out of my deep, brown eyes and pulled my jacket tighter around my small frame. The black top I wore under my jacket was light and the cold air raced through it, rising goose bumps in its way. I scolded myself for not dressing in warmer clothes, but Father Peter had just called and I didn’t have time to change. The job was urgent, so I would have to do as I was.

 I walked faster, keeping a look out over my left shoulder. One thing Father Peter always told me with a weary look on his face, “Always fear the living more than the dead.” Some days, I questioned his theory, but on nights like these … I had to agree. I glanced to my left as soft moans from two men caught my attention. One had a belt tightened around his upper arm as the other watched with anticipated glee. The man slapped his arm, making the veins rise before inserting the syringe full of heroin. More bruises than I could count coated his arm. His body slumped as his drug of choice fuelled his body into oblivion. His companion took the syringe and, with greedy eyes, started to prep himself but paused when he saw me pass. I dropped my eyes and he grunted before continuing. A gunshot resounded somewhere in a distant apartment building. The squeal of sirens soon followed.

 My heart skipped a beat as my phone rang loudly. My hand, now cold and blue, hurt as I reached into my pocket to retrieve it, brushing my knuckles off the steel zip that was like razor blades against my numb skin. I pushed the phone to my ear not looking at the caller ID; I already know who it was.

“Zee, I’m kind of busy so you’ll have to make it quick.” I already knew what he was calling for, but I was a sucker for the impossible.

“Me too, funny that is.” I could hear the smirk in his voice. I normally never worked alone, but after the nightmares that woke me up, I didn’t want to see Zee tonight never mind work with him, he was always centered in my nightmares.

“Hilarious, I am holding my sides,” I said as dryly as possible, hoping he would catch on quick to my bad mood.

That was one thing I loved about Zee, I could be myself around him and I didn’t have to pretend to be okay. My silence never bothered him; he never once forced me to speak about what was on my mind. Yet, I often felt that he knew exactly what I was thinking. I turned a corner out of the alleyway and my body relaxed, happy to be out of the danger zone. I had come across a bit of trouble at times and especially at nighttime when a more sinister scene developed around our complex. But what did I expect? A woman or a girl on her own, well, it all depended on what way you looked at me, I was only nineteen, but I had seen my fair share in life. I was a target for loiters, they never harmed me, just shouted abuse or made suggestive remarks. It didn’t scare me. That’s why I still walk through it and use it as a shortcut, I just hope I will never regret all the warnings that Zee has given me. However, it did save me a twenty-minute walk through the apartment complex so that was good enough for me.  

***

 The roar of a motorcycle made my body tense, but as it tore up beside me. I recognized the shiny black bike and its driver. Closing the phone roughly, I stuffed it back in my pocket and took the outstretched helmet that Zee held out to me. Putting it on, I took in his appearance as I clipped it shut. He wore the usual black pants, black high neck top, boots, and a long black trench coat that I knew hide all his tools. His sharp blue eyes studied me as I clipped the helmet firmly to my head. He didn’t wear a helmet, but let his black hair that sat below his jaw line hang down across his forehead.

“Father Peter?” I asked as I climbed on while lacing my arms around him. Once again, I already knew the answer, of course Father Peter had rang him and asked him to go with me. It wasn’t a good time for me. And Father Peter would do anything to make sure I was alright.

He gave me one of his smirks. “No, my crystal ball.” He jammed down on the accelerator and we took off at full speed.

I was getting sick of this, always needing a babysitter. The sad part was that deep down I knew I needed one as I wasn’t my usual strong self and Zee was never one to walk away from me. If he could, he would be glued to my side at all times, but as I much as I needed Zee, I always needed my space too.

We didn’t speak over the roar of the engine or the fact that Zee was dodging cars at full speed. A flash of a speed camera glinted off his helmet. He could paper a room with all the tickets he had, but in our line of work, Father Peter had the power to make them disappear. He had warned Zee that he was no longer going to sort out his mess and that he needed to slow down, but by the way he was driving, he didn’t heed one word that Father Peter had said. Typical.

We pulled up to a rundown block of houses, all identical in structure down to the overhead porch that acted as a shelter for its occupants from the harsh rain as they entered their homes. I could see the dark pavement under some of the porches, so much for the shelter, the dripping of water from the small roof suggested plenty of cracks in the old structures. The gardens were small and no flowers or bushes of any sorts colored them. They all looked grey and gloomy. This should be fun, I thought to myself. I climbed off and left the helmet on the seat.

I moved towards number forty-four, the house that Father Peter had sent me too. I stood at the little rusty gate and took it in. It was a two-story, standard house, white dash that no longer looked white and brown wooden windows and door. It was clean, but like all the rest, bland and depressing looking. I moved towards the house, up the small pavement that divided the medium size lawn on either side. Zee followed behind, his coat flapping in the wind. I could only imagine what we looked like, what people must think when they called for help and two teenagers dressed all in black, ready for action arrived on their door.

Well, Zee’s height helped his cause. He was 6ft four so he looked older and he acted far older than his years.

 At the first knock, a man opened the door, nearly making me fall into the hall with the quickness of his answer. Zee’s hand moved to my waist steadying me. I looked up at the man in annoyance, but he didn’t seem to notice. The bags under his eyes had bags. His complexion was paler than what would be considered normal, but really, what was considered normal these days? He wore simple jeans, a shirt that was stained under the arms from sweat long dried in. His stomach bulged ever so slightly against the shirt, causing strain on the three lower buttons. My eyes moved to his feet that tapped nervously on the carpet and I was greeted with his big toe poking out of a hole in his sock. I looked back up at his brown eyes as they shifted nervously from me to Zee, but then they stopped moving and he stood back to let us in, no questions asked. 

We entered into a small hallway, a brown carpet that looked like it had its day lined the floor and an off white was painted on the walls, with the happy family pictures hanging throughout.

***

“Where is she?” I asked as I laid out my roll of equipment on a hall table; it was the only piece of furniture in the hall so it had to do.

Taking a cross out of my pack, I poured holy water over it, splashing some on the hall table and the carpet. A small price to pay for us saving his daughter’s soul. Rolling the rest back up, I placed it back into my jacket and tucked the bible under my arm.

“This way,” the man said looking ready to bolt but thought otherwise.

 He stood at the third door down the hallway. Zee placed his hand on the door, and then gave me a nod, letting me know that we had the right house. I moved towards the door, but before I turned the handle, I turned back to the man.

“How long has she been like this?”

I asked as Zee got himself ready.

 Father Peter didn’t give many details, he just needed me to get there as quick as possible.

Tears filled the man’s eyes. “A week, maybe two.” At least, it didn’t have a long time to fester.

 I gave Zee a nod just as I turned the door handle and entered the darken room. Light hurts them so I switched it on and let it flood the space. It was a standard sized bedroom, nothing special about it. A wardrobe rested against one wall, it once had been white but with time, it had faded. My eyes moved to the locker that was pine. It was bare of any ornaments and sat tightly against the single bed that the girl lay on. Her body was partially naked and her long blonde hair was stuck to her neck with sweat, I couldn’t make out her features as her face was no longer human looking than the hands that rested on her swollen abdominal. I turned to the man to give him a piece of my mind for leaving such a small detail out, but he had bolted, leaving us here with his pregnant and possessed daughter.

Words of another language and another time came out of the girl’s mouth, more than likely cursing us into the ground or into hell.

Zee’s hands moved robotically, taking items out of his trench coat. He placed two small white candles on the window sill, but didn’t light them - they were a just in case. He stayed close to them, but leaned against the wall. He looked so large in the small room.

“Do you want to do it or shall I?” I asked.

I always gave him the option; he did most of the work, but I hated tiring him out.

He gave me the once over, considering if I was strong enough. “You go ahead. I’ll observe,” he finally answered.

Moving towards the girl caused the demon inside her to rev up, making the girl’s body move at all the wrong angles.

I splashed her with the holy water. It bubbled up on her skin, the vapor rising and disappearing. A hiss left her mouth and more words followed. Taking out the bible, I turned to the page where the most powerful prayer lay, holding the cross steadily in my hands I started,

We drive you from us,

Whoever you may be,

Unclean spirits,

All satanic powers,

All infernal invaders,

All wicked legions,

Assemblies and sects.

In the Name, and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

May you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God,

And from the souls made to the image and likeness of God,

And redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb.

The sound of laughter made me stop. As the demon overtook the girl’s face completely. My heart rate elevated. Zee, quick to act, lit two candles, knowing what was to come as the light bulb brightened, casting a blinding light in the room before it exploded and small shards of glass flew across the room. I covered my face, protecting it from the onslaught of the flying glass. Small cuts across my hands stung and warm blood slid slowly across my fingers. I took my hands away, ignoring the pain. The flames from the small candles that Zee had lit danced across the room but gave little light. Not being able to see fully, always made a possession more frightening, no matter how many times I did it, it never got easier.

“Aaabbbiiigggaaaiilll,” the demon hissed inside the girl, slowly stretching my name, but I heard it. My body responded, causing me to stumble back, never before had a demon or spirit spoke my name. I stood paralyzed.

 “Abigail,” this time it was Zee who called my name and I could hear the warning in his voice.

 I needed to continue. I sucked in a deep breath and wiped the blood from my hands onto my jeans. I started the prayer again, saying it faster, and louder. My voice trembled slightly. I felt shook up after hearing that thing say my name. The demon inside the girl roared to life and squirmed with a voracity that shook the bed savagely. The bed’s thin, wooden legs slammed into the carpet, the noise drowning out my words, but I didn’t stop, I couldn’t stop for fear of what might happen. I continued as a few pictures fell from the walls, their frames snapping with the impact and the glass shattering across our feet. The curtains billowed now from an unseen wind. The bed continued to move rapidly. And the large wardrobe shook violently. Its doors swinging open and closed, the sharp bang lifting my heart every time. Zee stood protecting the candles from the breeze that raced through the room, carrying the foul stench of an unwashed body. I spoke louder closing my eyes, forcing myself to stay focused, even against the activity in the room. I clung to the cross. As my grip tightened it caused my cuts to bleed, coating my hand once again. I could feel the cross slipping and soon my hand was empty. The slamming of the wardrobe doors was getting faster and louder. The bed hit the floor harder, the wood snapping against the strain, small splinters of wood breaking free, and scattering across the floor.

Then everything ceased, silence fell upon the room, my breathing moved in and out of my nostrils, sounding so loud in the dead silence. 

“Dad?” The one word was filled with fear and confusion and had come from the young girl; her voice broke through my numbness and fear.

I moved towards her slowly, looking at her face. She looked normal again, pale yet terrified, but normal. I smiled the best I could at her confused face, hoping to give her comfort. She met my eyes with big blue ones of her own, ones she must have inherited from her mother as her father had those muddy brown eyes, a ray of freckles covered her nose and cheeks making her look like she was only about sixteen. She was so young to be pregnant.

“Hi, my name is Abigail your dad called us, you were sick,” I said

She looked around the room for her father. I gave Zee a nod to go get him and he hesitated, looking at the girl for a moment.

“It’s fine, Zee. She’s okay,” I assured him.

He left hesitantly at my words.

“What’s your name?” I asked, moving closer, trying to halt all the questions that I knew must be going around in her head right now. Once someone was possessed, they could never remember the ordeal. It was for the best or lots of people would never sleep again.

“Lucy,” she said, still looking around the room that was only lit now by candle light.

“Lucy, that’s a pretty name,” I said, she was looking at me as if I was crazy.

“What are you doing in my room? And why is everything such a mess?” she asked, looking at all the frames and shattered glass on the carpet. A logical question, yet I had no logical explanation.

“How far are you gone?” I asked, looking at her stomach, trying to distract her until her dad got there and he could come up with whatever story he wanted to. She looked down at her belly after hearing my question and her cheeks lit up when she realized she was half-undressed. Fear and confusion filled her face.

“It’s okay, Lucy.” I didn’t get to finish as she started to scream while kicking her legs and pulling the remaining blankets off her, blood started to soak the sheets.

“My baby!” she screamed as Zee and her dad entered the room. I rushed forward, grabbing the blanket; I needed to stop the bleeding, her stomach rippled and I had to blink twice to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. A hand formed, pushing its way against her stomach, reaching out to me, stretching her skin almost to breaking point. I fell back off the bed, away from the hand, while pulling the blanket with me. The bed started to levitate.

Lucy’s screams and her father’s pleas to save his daughter made the room swarm around me. “Abigail, Abigail,” the voice danced around me, I covered my ears. “No. No!” Zee’s feet rushed past me and he jumped up on the bed, fighting the hysterical flailing arms that Lucy threw around as her stomach stretched and moved at abnormal angles. The demon had attached itself to the child’s soul. I snapped out of my daze. The cross lay on the ground, its gold surface now tainted with my blood. I grabbed it and jumped up while holding onto the cross for dear life as Zee placed his hand on Lucy’s stomach, a gust of air ripped through the room, throwing everything into chaos. The candles hit the carpet and distinguished almost immediately, leaving us in darkness. I couldn’t move for a moment, but could only watch as light poured from Zee’s fingertips, blinding all of us. Sound ceased to exist at that moment, while everything around us continued to shake. I could feel the ground under my feet vibrate. Through the light, I could see Lucy was still alert, her mouth open as she screamed in fear and agony. Her eyes wild, the veins bulged in her neck as she continued to scream soundlessly. It was like watching a movie with the sound on mute. A large crack raced down the wall behind the bed, just stopping at the skirting board, and then the room went dark. The world stopped shaking. 

“Lucy, sweetheart, talk to me,” her father’s frightened whispers reached my ears. I opened my eyes as Zee came to me and his strong arms pulled me into a tight embrace. His smell, his warmth calmed me. His heartbeat pounded against my ear, bringing me back. I looked up at him.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

 I nodded, but I was anything but okay.

I pulled away and stood on trembling legs, making my way to the bedroom door. Once I opened it, light flittered into the room. I looked at Lucy, her body lay still. She looked snow white against the blood soaked sheets.

The father’s face turned to us tears stricken and red with anger. “What have you done to my baby girl?”

I didn’t reply, but took out my phone, ignoring the trembling in my hands, pausing before making the call. I turned to Zee. “Did we lose the baby?” I asked, he nodded his head, and a pang twisted my heart. “The girl?”

“She’s alive,” he answered and left the room.

I pushed the button and made the dreaded call.

“Father, we need a clean-up team and an ambulance … we have a casualty.” I gave a very short version of events and hung up. Within five minutes, the room was bustling with our fall-out team. I didn’t wait around, but left with Zee out the front door, too tired to wait for the questions that I knew would follow; this was the first casualty I had ever experienced. Well, that was the first time I had dealt with a pregnant teen.

“Abigail and Daniel, what happened here?” I cringed at the sound of Mark’s voice; he was head of the clean-up team. I liked him, but I didn’t want to talk right then. Mark was, once upon a time, a funeral director, but switched jobs when his own daughter was possessed. His hair was prematurely white for his fifty year from what he had witnessed. It was a lot for the mind to take in and then to know the truth and live with it was another thing completely. His face was always tanned, no matter what time of the year it was here in London, but it didn’t erase all the wrinkles that covered his face, his eyes were green and didn’t hold much warmth for the world.

“I’m tired, Mark, but I’ll file a full report with Father Peter,” I said. He looked at me for a moment, his eyes falling on my bloody hands. The only thing saving me from a grilling was that he could see how shook up I was.  He looked me over once again before giving in.

“Fine, but first thing in the morning.”

 I nodded. “Yeah.”

I climbed onto Zee’s motorcycle numbly, the seat now soaked from the recent rain. I could feel it seep into my jeans, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to go home; days like this, I just hated my job.

Zee drove with more care on the way back. I wanted him to go faster as the wind was freezing, numbing my hands and face. I wish it could numb my mind right now, but no luck; the images of the blood soaked sheets would be etched in my mind for a long time. My hair scratched my cold face, making me close my eyes tightly as they watered, but each time, I could see the girl’s face. I opened my eyes, and everything was blurred. I buried my head in Zee’s jacket, just wishing I was home.

The sound of the engine dying down alerted me that we had stopped. I was home. Zee had parked just outside my apartment building. I climbed off handing him the helmet.

“I need some time alone, Daniel.” I never used his proper name, but I really wanted to be alone.

“Okay, but if you need me…” I shook my phone at him, my hands trembled slightly so I stuck them back into my pockets to hide them from his watchful eyes, but he had seen the shake in my hands and seen the blood, he wasn’t stupid. “Yeah, I know you’re only a phone call away.” He smiled weakly and turned to go.

“Zee, thanks for helping,” I said, knowing if he hadn’t been there I would have lost two souls and not just one.

“Do you want me to fix your hands?” he asked while looking at my jacket pockets where I had stuffed them in.

“No, it’s only scratches.” I turned and walked into the building.

Climbing the steps two at a time, I made it to my door and kicked it shut. Then I moved through my dark and small apartment, not caring for light. Well, I couldn’t exactly trip over anything since not so much as a rug was in my hallway. I officially never moved in. The only thing I had that was personal was my clothes and I wanted to keep it that way. Once I reached the small kitchen, I opened the top press, and retrieving a bottle of vodka.

 My phone started to ring just as I was unscrewing the lid. I took a large gulp, letting the vodka leave a burning path down my throat. The persistent ringing got my heart rate elevated … it was Zee, no doubt worried, but I just couldn’t. The baby, the poor innocent child, condemned to hell. I picked up the still ringing phone and throw it against the wall, watching as it shattered across my floor. Silence followed. Silence that I hated. It tormented me. I walked to the small shelving that sat above my kitchen table that only two people could sit at. On the shelf above it, sat my sanctuary for now, a stereo. I blared it. Some angry rock band screamed at me, but I didn’t mind. It filled my head with noise and I filled my mouth with vodka.

No matter how much noise entered my head, or how much vodka entered my system, I couldn’t switch off. My father’s face came to mind, I don’t know why him, but memories of his face wrinkled from stress and worry flooded me. He wasn’t around much, despite the fact that he lived with us, but he worked non-stop. His job wasn’t demanding in the mines, yet he always left me to take care of my brother, Sam. My mother suffered from depression my whole life so she couldn’t take care of us, so I did. One memory haunted me in particular;

***

“What’s wrong, Abigail?” I had jumped at my Dad’s voice, he wasn’t meant to be home yet, so I didn’t hear him come in. I was standing inside my parents’ bedroom, watching my mother sleep; she often slept the whole day away and I would check on her sometimes.

“Why is that man always with mammy?” I had asked as I looked at the man standing beside my mother’s bed while she slept. I couldn’t see his face; he always wore a hood. However, I knew he was a bad man. My dad’s huge hands pulled me around so I was face to face with him; he had to kneel down so we were at eye level.

“What man?” I could hear fear in my dad’s voice.

I pointed at the man and my dad pulled my hand down while shaking his head.

“Stop it, Abigail. Nothing is there.” He was angry now. This wasn’t the first time I had seen things and told him, but it always got me in trouble. I thought maybe my dad might see the man, but he never did.

“Yes, there is,” I insisted; I could see him, I wondered why daddy couldn’t.

“Why are you making up stories again? Do you want to upset Daddy?” My dad shook me gently but his hands tightened on my arms.

I could feel tears come to my eyes.

“I’m not making them up, Daddy,” I whispered.

He lifted me up and took me to my room. Fear and anger was visible on his face.

“When you decide to tell the truth, I’ll let you out.” My dad moved to the door and looked back at me. I could see sadness there; this wasn’t the first time I had been locked in my room.

“It’s not real,” he said before he turned off the light and turned the key in the door.

I curled up in the corner of the room, knowing that the man was here with me now. I knew he stood on the other side of the room, his face still hidden by his hood, but he used to whisper my name; it became something sinister, malicious. “Abigail.” But I soon came to understand, that no one would believe me, so I stopped.

***

 “Abigail.” I could hear him again. “Abigail.” It was becoming louder. “Abigail.” Silence.

 My body became aware. I didn’t open my eyes as I knew something hovered over me. A solid feeling filled my palm, heavy plastic, what was I doing with a knife in my hand? Did I get it last night while I was drunk? I didn’t think any more about it, I just acted. My palm tightened around the plastic and I struck out while opening my eyes, a pair of brown ones looked back at me- alarmed. The knife rested just against his throat. The guy was around my age. His skin was tanned and smooth looking. Brown hair was cut close to his head. I swallowed as panic rose inside me, my breathing heavy as I tried to take everything in. I was sitting on the ground with my back against the wall while this guy sat on his knees, leaning over me. He just stared at me with those eyes. His lips were held ridged in a line, ones I knew that if they relaxed would be oh-so-kissable. The surprise of my thoughts must have been visible on my face, as a blush rushed to my cheeks, giving color to my pale complexion. His lips rose slightly and then his smirk turned into a full smile.

“You find this amusing?” I pushed the knife deeper against his throat, wiping the smile off his face. His eyes darkened. I felt I knew him from somewhere, yet I knew I had never seen him before.

“What are you doing in my home?” I asked starting to rise, forcing him to stand up with me. I kept the knife at his throat. The reality was, this guy broke into my home and was watching me sleep.

“Father Peter sent me,” he said with anger in his words.

“For what?”

“I volunteered to check on you.” Regret soaked his words.

“Well, aren’t you my hero! Breaking and entering and watching me sleep, that’s just creepy,” I spat back.

“Your door was open and I thought you were dead, but I can clearly see I was wrong; you’re far from it.”

“You thought I was dead? What, you never saw someone sleep before?” I asked, causing a crimson color of humiliation to race up his neck.

“Are you always such a bitch?” he asked angrily. “And could you, please, take the knife away from my throat?”

I contemplated. “You have to answer one question, if you get it right, I’ll take the knife away, but if you get it wrong, I slit your throat.” His simmering eyes allowed me to ask with a smirk. “Name the six types of demons.”

My guess was if Father Peter sent him, then this guy was new and just fresh out of training and, with the clothing he wore, he was new to this. His army style green bottoms covered in pockets along with a shirt jacket that also had loads of pockets along its arms, indicated he was new. When we were trained, we had to go through a lot of physical work. I still kept my work up in the gym. Some members thought with such training we could kick demons’ butts, but it was for our mental health more than anything. Father Peter believed that working out released a lot of stress and also kept our minds focused. I looked at this guy again and the feeling that I knew him never left. But I never got my answer, I was distracted for a moment and he used this opportunity by grabbing my wrist and swiftly pulling the knife away from his throat, he threw it on the floor and it hit with a loud clang. In a blink of an eye, he was kicking out my legs from under me. My face met the floor and his weight was on my back as his breath brushed my neck.

“Get off me!” I roared.

He leaned harder on my back, making me fall silent. “Leeches, Whisperers, Feeders, Tormentors, Disturbers, and Takers. Don’t you ever pull a knife on me again,” he finished.

“Fine. Now, Get. Off. Me,” I said clearly and loudly, but not roaring this time as I was struggling to breathe. The pressure left my back and I jumped up breathing heavy.

 “Happy now?” he asked with a smirk. His smirk caused a growl to leave my throat.

“Get out … now.” I pointed at the door.

He raised both his hands, his smirk faltering. “Don’t worry, I’m going. It was nice to meet you, Abigail. And encase you were wondering about my name, it is Blake,” he said then disappeared out the door.

 I moved slowly into the hall to make sure he was gone. I got a glimpse of his retrieving form as he moved down the stairs. I shut and locked the front door after him and checked all my windows. My head pounded and I still felt woozy. I moved back into the kitchen and stood there far longer than I thought. When I looked at my plain black clock, that was the only decoration in the kitchen, the hands read three O’clock in the morning. I knocked off the kitchen lights and moved to my bedroom. I had to fight my way to the bed as the floor was covered in clothes, my bed side locker was coated with dust and three used glasses sat on top of it. When I finally reached my bed, I fell into it, consumed with exhaustion, but sleep didn’t come easily. I spent nearly the whole night with my heart racing at every sound.

 

DANIEL

 

I entered the base, needing to get some rest, my arm still hurt and only sleep would heal it.

“Did you have to save Abigail again?” My body tensed at Cathy’s words, I hated how she treated Abigail. I would have snapped her neck in a second, only Abigail would be upset. I really couldn’t understand why she even liked Cathy.

I turned around and gave Cathy a full stare that made her squirm. She was attractive, but her soul was poisoned with bitterness and she wasn’t Abigail.

“No, what are you doing here?” I made my tone sound calm, but my hands itched to reach out and hurt her.

“Great to see you too, Daniel.” She scowled at me before turning on six-inch heels and made her way to the kitchen. She hated rejection and for some unknown reason, seemed to crave my attention. Abigail said she fancied me. I think she craved my attention to piss Abigail off.

 I locked my bedroom door behind me and lay down on my unmade bed before closing my eyes and falling asleep.

I woke up feeling better and looked at the clock, it was 1:30 in the morning. I should have been watching her, not sleeping. I dressed quickly and left. It was quite at the base, anyone that was there was asleep.

I pushed my bike a bit away from the building before starting it and made the fifteen minute journey to Abigail’s. I stashed my bike under some bushes, the same place I left it every time, and walked to my usual spot not many were around tonight. I relaxed against the wall and focused. I could hear her door slam and the pounding of her heart. I raced as the main building door opened and a young guy walked out. I grabbed him before he knew it and pinned him against the wall.

“What are you doing here?” I kept one arm across his throat, letting him know I would crush his windpipe if he forced me. But I didn’t expect the bitter smirk on his face.

“At last we meet, Daniel. I needed to see what made you turn away from the rest of us” I didn’t let him go.

“So you’re one of mine? Thank God, you’re okay,” I said, but my words were laced with sarcasm.

“God doesn’t exist, but you already know that. Now, get your hands off me.”

 I did the opposite; I pushed my arm tight against his throat.

“Keep away from her, or I will kill you.” It wasn’t an idle threat and from the look on his face, he knew it.

“Fine.” The word was barely audible, but I let him go and watched as he sucked in air.

“What did you say to her?” I was worried, but hid it from him.

“I just introduced myself.” He smirked again and I took a threatening step towards him. He raised both hands. “As Blake, the new demon hunter. That’s it, okay? Relax.” I pushed him hard against the wall. His head bounced back and he winched with the force.

“Don’t ever tell me to relax.”

His face was red with anger, but I walked away and resumed watching from my spot. He left, his hands balled into fists, throwing glances my way. I needed to get rid of him or he could ruin everything. It was another hour before I heard her going to her bedroom. 


Hunters