Origins of Hunter

Hunter Leemonex... Few werewolves in Endasia have a strange past. Most werewolves grow up in their pack, survive with their pack, and die in their pack. There are also werewolves such as Hunter, who only wish they had such a simple life. Hunter Leemonex is reminded of this past every day. What event could occur that would cause such distress in his life?

This is the story of Hunter Leemonex.
The story of the werewolf that was a part of the 'event' that seemingly killed his whole family.


9. A Challenge

“He told me about my ‘other half,” Cassie says thoughtfully on our way back to camp.

“You mean your, like, husband?” Helen asks.

“I think so. I'm not very sure, it was very weird what Pierre told me. It sounded like a prophecy.”

“Weird.” Cassie nods slowly. I am hardly listening.

“Well, Pierre told me about my other half as well,” Helen adds. “Except he wasn't talking about my husband, he was talking about me. The better side of myself that is a good person or something.” She shrugs.

“It makes me wonder what Pierre tells his customers,” Cassie says, seemingly as focused as I am. “Like, he could have told me about my better half, or he could have told you about the person you’ll be married to, but why does he only talk selectively? Is it because the information he gives is the most important, or because the information he is keeping needs to be kept confidential?”

“That's a good question,” Helen asks. “And does he ever give insight to past experiences? Seems like he only gives future visions…”

“Yeah,” Cassie responds. Her eyes find me, remembering I am still there.

“What did he tell you, Hunter?”

“Huh?” I say, even though I heard what she said. What am I going to say?

“What did Pierre tell you? Was it a vision or something in the future?”

“Umm…” I take a second to think of something. Unfortunately, a second is not enough time, so I end up blubbering. “No, it wasn't in the future. I mean, yes it was…” No hope in lying now. Now I'm forced to say how I feel. “I'm really not sure…”

“How can you not be sure?” Helen asks.

“It's…” I pause again, selectively choosing what I'm about to say. When the silence gets awkward, I begin talking. “It's my parents. Supposedly, they’re alive.”

“Really!?” Cassie and Helen shriek in excitement. I have never told anyone about my parents, but I am sure they put two and two together. My parents being alive would only be significant if I thought they were dead, Helen and Cassie probably figured that out.

“Yeah,” I say, wondering why I put that together. “That's really all there is too it..”

“You said supposedly?” Cassie asks.

“Yeah. I'm not sure about that guy, I guess.” To be completely honest, It would be more accurate to say I genuinely don't like him, but I'm afraid Pierre might hear me.

“Still!!” Helen says, excited. “If your parents are alive, you have to find them!”

“Leave the pack?” I ask. I'm curious what she will say. This topic seems to be a hit or miss… I imagine she will either say “of course, it's your parents!” Or equally possible “leave the pack? Of course not.”

“Hey, if that's what ya gotta do,” Helen shrugs. “You would come back anyway, wouldn't you?”

“I sure hope so,” I say.

“Good,” Cassie responds. Silence lingers for a minute.

“Did Pierre tell you where they are?” Helen asks.

“I believe he said Elf Haven,” I say. I really hope I have the location right.

“Well, for Pete’s sake, go!” Cassie says, throwing her hands in the air. “He even gave you the location! How could you not go?!”

“I don't know though,” I say again. “It seems so far fetched…”

“Pierre wouldn't lie,” Helen says enthusiastically. Little does Hunter know Pierre advised Helen to persuade him on this trip. “Trust me. If I know anything about wizards, it's that they don't lie. I mean, they could tell half-truths, but your parents are either alive or not, there isn't anything to half-lie about. You have to go, Hunter.”

I consider this. The idea is warming up to me. An adventure… Yes, that sounds amazing… I have never really been satisfied being in such an immobile pack. An adventure on my own path must be exactly what need.

“That will have to be something I decide tonight, I guess.” That's my decision. I'll think about it tonight.

“So, soon, then?” Helen asks, looking at one of the setting suns.

I didn't notice it was getting late. Honestly, I'm not feeling very perceptive right now. Someone could tell me Helen or Cassie arent wearing pants and I would believe them because I don't know for sure.

“So it is…” We walk further without discussion. It turns out there isn't much to consider. It doesn't take me long to make my decision.

Sometime tomorrow I'm going to depart. Go to Elf Haven to look for my parents, whether or not they are alive, whether or not they are there.

It makes me wish I had some companion that could travel with me. I'm going to go on this trip alone. Something as simple as company can go a long way for such an extend trip.

Then again, I'm used to doing activities solo. As nice as company would be, going alone wouldn't be different than the usual.

I'll have to get my arrows, my bow, and my bag. I should be able to hunt for food, and my bag should be big enough to hold a blanket I can use to sleep.

I go over more preparations in my head. Currently, we are crossing very rocky terrain. Picture a rock ground, covering many miles. Now picture a crazy earthquake ripped through this area, jutting up and down new boulders. That is the terrain we cross now.

I don't remember passing this area on the way here. Maybe I took a longer route to get to my destination, and now because time is running out we are taking a faster route.

Something catches my eye. Something yellow, a good distance away. I stop in my tracks, peering out to the location I think I saw something. Helen and Cassie notice my halt and stop as well.

“What is it?” Cassie asks quietly. She knows trouble is often stirred near our camp, so she knows whatever I saw could be a possible threat.

“I'm not sure…” I whisper slowly, eyes not moving. Something catches my eyes again, far to the left. I look that direction, but it disappears again.

“Do you see it?” Helen asks.

“No… It's yellow, and quick…” I wish I could get closer, but after one bear encounter a few years ago I realized if a possible threat is seen a good distance away, there is no reason to get closer.

Cassie and Helen laugh. I want to shush them, but then I realize they must know something I don't.

“They are a mix-breed,” Helen says. “I'm kinda surprised you haven't seen them before. It's like a meerkat/caterpillar/rabbit mix, or something weird like that. They pop their heads out of the ground and then jump a good four feet into the air to fall back to ground and dig another tunnel. They are weird.”

“Hardly!!” Someone shouts in the direction of the jumping yellow thing. A figure appears, wearing an odd hat… It has a blue and red sock where each ear should be, flopping in the wind. I don't ask questions. “I'm no Matermole!” The male voice shouts laughing.

“Oh, hey Jacob!” Cassie and Helen shout in unison. He must be someone in the pack I am less familiar with.

“Howdy!” He shouts, waving his bow in the air like the bow itself was saying hello. “What are y’all doin out here at this time?”

“We just got back from Wizard Pierre’s Hut,” Helen shouts again. Jacob is obviously tired of yelling, so he runs much closer. He looks more like a classic werewolf; a lot of hair in a lot of places, on the forearms, beard, mustache, the whole deal. He looks like a lumberjack, which just make his red and blue earmuff-socks all the weirder.

“How’d that go?” He asks.

“Good, I guess,” Helen says. “What are you doing out here?”

“I'm huntin them Matermoles,” Jacob says, taking an approving scan across our terrain. “Matermoles are what we call those things you mentioned, by the way.”

“Ma-tter-moles…” Cassie repeats. “Well, they are as close to moles as you can get.”

“Hence the name, I'm sure,” I say. Jacob’s eyes find me, and he looks me up and down like a new toy.

“You Hunter?” He says.

“Sorry, my name tag must have fallen off,” I say, half joking. I'm not sure if this guy is a show off or a genuinely cool person, so I take the safe route of sarcasm, which can be viewed as humorous or rude, depending on the situation. “Yeah, I'm Hunter.”

“Shot of the year, eh?” He says. “I pictured you taller.”

“Height fortunately doesn't have anything to do with how I shoots a bow,” I shrug.

“What did you hit again?” He asks.

“Oh, for the shooting competition I shot through six obstacles to hit a two foot target,” I say. I try to sound more like I'm simply stating facts and not bragging. I can't stand people who think they are the best at everything.

“How far was the shot?”

“Seventy yards.”

“I can do that with my eyes closed,” Jacob laughs.

“I think you missed the part about the around six obstacles,” I retort. Yeah, I made a wild guess and pinpointed Jacob to be the show off type. I feel like it's my job to put him in his place.

“Obstacles that you had to shoot over?”

“With one arrow I had to shoot the arrow right then bend it left, skip it across a rock and clear clear a hurdle and peirce two sheets. And hit the target. I wish I could say I even hit it dead center, but I'm only Werewolf.” I shrug with a smile. ‘I'm only werewolf’ is a phrase us werewolves say, like the human’s saying ‘I'm only human.’ Us werewolves find it funny when we say it.

Cassie and Helen smile at my joke, and Jacob gives a wild hoot of laughter. To me, it's rather obnoxious.

“So, Mighty Hunter,” Jacob says, way to sarcasticly. “How many Matermoles can you shoot in a minute?”

“Never tried.”

“Well, by all means, let's try it out!” Jacob says. I think Cassie and Helen are beginning not to like Jacob, judging by the sideways glance they keep giving him.

“We got to get back to camp, Jacob,” Helen says.

“It's only a minute. You got arrows?”

I laugh in response.

“Good. My record is nine. Here's the rules- shoot the Matermoles. Understand?”

A game isn't something I would want to be doing right now, but when someone doubts my ability to do something, I have to prove them otherwise.

“Got it.”

“Alright. You're on the clock.”

I ready my bow and eye my surroundings. Nothing jumps out at me. Five seconds pass, and it feels like an eternity since I only have a minute. I ready my arrow, even though I see nothing. Finally, something catches my eye, and I can actually identify it now that I know what I'm looking for.

It's a flexible yellow cylinder. It acts like a spring as it jumps four-ish feet in the air and then arches downward. I measure the Matermole’s decent and fire an arrow. I aim well under it, and it strikes the Matermole with a commanding force, re-angling it's fall.

I don't feel any sorrow for shooting a Matermole. I never do with cross breeds. Cross breeds are infectious, they destroy habitats. In fact, this rocky terrain is probably do to these buggers.

I ready another arrow. I hear something behind me. I turn and find the Matermole already falling. I shoot. It skips across the stone just in from of the creature and misses by a long shot. I take a deep breath. Rarely do I miss.

If I learned anything from training, it's not to let one miss effect your next. Most misses are convective because it gets in your head, causing other unnecessary misses.

“Forty seconds,” Jacob announces behind me, annoyingly cheerful.

I hear another noise from behind. I whip around and notice the Matermole a good distance away. In a heartbeat I draw back the string farther to make up for the longer distance and fire.

It hits the Matermole. In fact, the arrow nearly penetrates the creature completely. So that is two down. If I want to beat Jacob, I need to hit seven more. And nearly 30 seconds have passed.

I wait. Two more Matermoles pop out ten feet away. Easy shots, both of them. The arrow did in fact completely go through the disgusting creatures. So that's halfway there.

“Fifteen seconds left,” Jacob says, entertained.

“Hunter!” Cassie calls, grabbing my attention for a crucial second. She throws a rock at a small mound. Nothing happens at first. Thinking she wasted my time, I turn my attention back to the field to find two Matermoles already falling. There is no chance I can hit those.

Helen gasps. A Matermole shoots from the mound Cassie just threw a rock at. Then another. It must be a Matermole tunnel enterence or something. The second one I notice, and I shoot at that one before it reaches its highest point. Another Matermole jumps out, and I shoot it almost instantly.

“Five seconds,” Jacob says. “Two more to tie with me.”

Two agonizing seconds pass. Then, three Matermoles jump at the same time. They are not that far apart from each other. It takes me only an instant to know what I have to do. Easily, I could draw and kill two Matermoles. But that would give me a tie. Who wants a tie?

Masterfully, I string three arrows. My bow is completely sideways, so I'm holding it horizontally. I take half a second to reposition the arrows, and I fire.

The closest one is a hit, nobody could argue with that.

The second one is a hit. Not a very good one, but the arrow caught the back end of the Mareemole.

The third misses. Just a few feet over, but by how much I missed doesn't matter. All that matters is whether or not I hit it, and I missed. I heave a sigh.

“Tieing with the archer champ ain't bad,” Jacob shrugs. I could have predicted his every word. That's the one bad thing about being the best- you are always expected to do great.

“Granted, it is his first time doing it,” Helen says.

“Not to mention being put on the spot,” Cassie adds.

“Plus,” I say slowly. “I matched your best score my first try, missing only a few of all of the targets..” I say this uneasily, because I never like to boast about myself. Honestly, most of my accomplishments I keep to myself. I only try to talk myself up when someone tries to talk themselves up because they think they are the best.

“Someone is always better than you, Oliver.” My dad used to tell me. “Never forget that.” Am I the only person that gets this concept?

“Still,” spits Jacob. “You don't get no handicap. Anyway, I better pack up. I'll see ya another time, y’all.” He takes off in a jog behind us.

“Would you guys mind waiting a minute while I grab my arrows?” I ask, already backing towards the mound.

“We’ll help,” Cassie offers. “Helen and I will go off this way.”

“Perfect. Thanks.” They run the opposite direction. I pick up three arrows that must have pierced the Matermoles, examining the creatures.

Their face looks like a pig’s. The hairs on its body make it all the grosser, and I won't go into detail about the green blood. In fact, the more brief I am on this creature, the better.

Picking up a fourth arrow, I see a weird looking Matermole. I take a closer look. It hasn't been shot. Oh… It's plastic…

Oh, I see. It's a decoy Jacob must have set out earlier while he was hunting. He took it down recently. They probably attract the Matermoles, or make the Matermoles jump more. Either way, with a few decoys like this up, I have little doubt there would have always been a Matermole in the air for me to shoot.

I take my four arrows and go over to Helen and Cassie, looking still.

“Hunter, I hate to break it to you, but I'm not touching those things…” Helen takes a disgusting look at the dead creature. Without thinking about it, I pull two arrows from two of the Matermoles. Helen and Cassie shriek.

“Is that enough arrows?” Cassie asks. Usually I would find a few more, but it's getting late.

“That's enough. Let's go.”

“Hey, you owe me, like, five of those points,” Cassie says, twirling her hair like she is a schoolgirl that discovered the solution to world hunger. I know she is not really bragging, though.

“We can discuss payment when we get back to camp.”

“Alright, I can do that. This way, Mr. Shot-of-the-year.”

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