Iris Hale: HUNTER *NaNoWriMo Draft 2016*

*NaNoWriMo 2016*/
Periliares are a crafty bunch. You might know them as 'demons'. They hate that word. The idea that all of them are evil is idiotic. The same way all humans aren't evil, not all periliares are evil. Just top of the food chain. And a lot of them have superiority complexes. That's where I come in. Most of them view themselves as gods, which is fine, whatever. But the second they think they can kill more than their fill, I have an issue.
My name is Iris Hale, and I'm a hunter.
/©Molly Looby


15. Fifteen

The next morning, I told Sylvie I was going into town with Erin for the day. Of course, she didn’t believe me, so I told her to drop me off at Erin’s. When Cait wasn’t surprised to see me — and why would she be? — Sylvie was satisfied and went home.

Cait told me to go on through to the kitchen. So I took a deep breath and did just that. Lucky for me, she called out, “Erin! Iris is here!” So it didn’t come as a complete shock.

Erin was wearing her mint-green apron with cupcakes on it, which was pretty much her pride and joy. Her hair was scraped back off her head with a head band, and she didn’t have much makeup on. In my opinion, this was when she was at her most beautiful.

She was mixing a bowl of something delicious no doubt, and when she turned to look at me, she didn’t glare like I’d expected.

“Hi.” I gave a pathetic little wave.

She turned off the electric whisk. “Hi.”

“What you making?”


“Is it not macaroons?” I asked as I sat down at the breakfast bar.

“No. Macarons are the pastel coloured French cookies you’re thinking of, right?”


“Macaroons are something totally different. They’re golden and coconutty.”

“Do you know everything?”

She smiled. “Yes.”

“Listen.” I pulled my jacket tighter around myself even though it was far from cold in her kitchen. “I’m so sorry about yesterday. I didn’t meant to be such a bitch. I was just surprised and worried, that’s all.”

“I know.” She came and leant on the other side of the counter. “I thought about it last night. You just care too much about me.”

I chuckled. “That’s pretty much it.”

“It’s nice actually. I’m sorry I jumped down your throat.”

“You’re so forgiven.” I leapt up and raced round to her side of the counter so I could squeeze her tight. She didn’t smell like her usual fruity perfume. She smelt like baking. She smelt like Erin.

“So what are you doing here?” she asked as she pulled away. “Other than to apologise of course.”

“I smelled macarons, obviously.”

She went back to the mixing bowl. “What are you really here for?”

I couldn’t tell her I was here as a decoy so I could sneak out. All I could do was cross my fingers that she didn’t want to do anything, and I could leave. Though looking at the expression on her face, I didn’t think that was possible. That smile was so genuine. How could I say no to it?

“I came to see what you were doing. I was going to go into town.” Not technically a lie.

“I’m a little busy. And I have homework.”

Excellent. “That’s all right. I’ll probably just wander in by myself.”

“Really? You sure?”

“Yeah.” I smiled. “I’ll be fine.”

“If you want you could pop in after. Depending on how long you are I might be finished by then. Do you want me to ask if you can stay for dinner?”

“That’d be great. I’ll text Sylvie now.”

“Great.” She grinned as she picked up the whisk again.

“Only if you promise to save me some macarons.”


On the walk to the train station, Kay got back to me, at last. I asked her what she thought of the homi I was going to look for and if it sounded like the boys I suspected. Her answer was as periliare as ever.

I don’t care.

Excellent. Sometimes I wondered what they did care about, other than themselves of course.

It took me about an hour to be at the front door of the address the ex-hunter had stated. It was a rather large-looking town house. There was an expensive car outside too.

My guts felt like they were knotting up in my stomach, and my heart felt like it wanted to run away, but I didn’t. Instead, I knocked.

The man who answered the door was probably the prettiest person — human or periliare — I’d ever seen in my life. This man was better looking than any of the photos the boys had used on their Chattication profiles. He had dark-brown hair pushed back in what looked like an effortless quiff, and a bright-white Hollywood smile.

“Yes?” he asked in such a smooth voice I wanted to drop onto the pavement. What the hell was wrong with me? I was a professional for God’s sake.

“I have a few questions for you.”

“Questions?” He took another step out of the door to look up and down the street. “Who are you? What do you want?”

“I’m an interested party, and I want to ask you some questions.”

His perfect eyebrows came together. “Questions about what?”

“Can I come in?”

He thought about that for a minute before opening the door wide into a magnificent entrance. I guess he decided he could take me and it wouldn’t cause him any harm to let me in. Well, I begged to differ.

The man showed me into a pristine living room that looked as though it’d never been used. There was also a dining room stretching to the back of the house. He motioned to one of the white sofas and sat on the one opposite.

“How can I help you?”

His handsomeness was throwing me off my groove. “Do you know of an app called Chattication?”

He blinked for a moment and shook his head. It didn’t look like he was making it up either.

“You have no idea?”

“Well, I’m guessing you chat on it? Are you doing market research? Because I’m really not the right person to ask about apps.”

I shook my head and my heart sank. “No. Do you know any girls from Crowshall?”

“One or two.”

“What’re their names?”

“Oh.” He waved it away. “It was a long time ago now. I couldn’t give you names.” He motioned to the house. “I don’t know if it’s obvious, but I’ve moved on from Crowshall.”

“So you don’t know any girls who are say fifteen-sixteen?”

“In Crowshall, no.”

There wasn’t any indication that he was lying. I was sure he was the periliare the ex-hunter had been talking about, but he wasn’t Ben, Owen, Sam, or Tyler. Goddamn it.

Well, nothing was that easy.

“I’ll be honest with you,” I said, looking him straight in his crystal-blue eyes. “I thought you were someone else.”

He sat back in his seat. “Oh really?”


“Who did you think I was?”

“I’m looking for a periliare, or two, or three, or four. I’m not sure. You’re definitely not the one I’m looking for though.”

His eyes went wide and he nodded. “Of course. You’re a hunter.”

“Guilty.” I shot him a grin.

He narrowed his eyes. “Why aren’t you trying to kill me?”

“I only do that if necessary.”

“How kind of you.” His sarcasm was on another level.

“Do you know any periliares who use apps to talk to young girls and draw them in?” Why not go for broke?

He laughed. “No. Is that what they’re doing these days?” He shook his head. “I don’t rely on technology to get me my meals. I’ve never had to.” He brushed his hand through his hair, and I couldn’t look away.

I swallowed. “Yes, I can see that.”

He grinned. “Well, I see no reason to waste this fast food.”

I jumped out of my seat, holding my hands up in surrender. He may have been a menace, but I wasn’t prepared for this fight. His ability was working on me, and there was nothing I could do about that. Accepting this fight would be betraying Sylvie on two counts, hunting and being stupid. “Wait. Let’s just back up a second.”

He stood. “You were stupid enough to come into my home. It’s not my problem I’m not what you’re looking for.”

“There’s no need for this.” I took a few steps backward towards the entrance. “I won’t hurt you, you won’t hurt me. We’ll just carry on with our lives.”

He shrugged. “But who’s to say you won’t hurt me in the future? You hunters have a nasty habit of popping up where you’re not wanted.”

“Now, listen—”

“No, you listen.” And something about his eyes caught me. And I was trapped.

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