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


9. Nine

Shaun returned with a glass of water, and I tried to make any expression drop off my face like I was staring into space or something.


I jumped — well, pretended to jump — and put my hand to my heart. “Sorry. I was miles away.”

He cocked his head to the side and sat next to me. Just as I wanted. “It’s all right. You’ll feel better in a minute.”

His smile was nauseating. Maybe because I knew he was grinning at the thought of me being dead in a few minutes.

Not today.

“Thanks.” I accepted the glass, putting it straight on the coffee table.

The living room was small but cosy. On the wall to my left there was a photo of a stern-looking family. Shaun was standing behind what must’ve been his mother, and his father was next to him. Periliares only tended to have one child from what I knew. Thank God for that or there’d be a load of them running around. Maybe one day they’d cause their own extinction.

I could see into the attached dining room, which held an expensive-looking table with a vase on top. No flowers though. Beyond that, there were a set of French doors. Great. Just great. I’d just have to do my best not to go through them. I was sure I could manage that.

“So?” I cleared my throat, turning towards him a little. So I had a better shot. So my aim could be true. Corpis were dispatched by a stab to the heart. Much easier than homis. If you could get close enough of course. “Tell me about yourself, Shaun. I can’t thank you enough for your help.” I folded my hands in my lap, ready at a moment’s notice.

“You’re quite welcome.” He brushed his hand through his hair. Very human. Bravo. “I don’t have much to tell. I’m an IT technician. I work in—”

So much happened in the next second, I struggled to keep up.

My hand flew to my jacket, a movement I could do in the blink of an eye. My fingers wrapped around the handle of the Teneculum.

And then I hit the wall.

The family photo made a cracking sound as it landed on my head, and a shot of pain I can only describe as red filled me up, shooting all the way to my toes.

Shaun jumped up, his hands out like he’d just blasted me with them. He had.

My back ached from my shoulders all the way down to my butt, and I was struggling to coordinate my limbs, but I scrambled up, Teneculum bared.

Shaun’s eyebrows were together like he couldn’t work out what was going on. They always gave me a look like that. To be fair to them, I didn’t look like your average hunter. That worked to my advantage.

Eyeing him up, I knew I was too far away to jump and reach him. Plus, the second I moved, I was going to be thrown straight back into the wall.

We stared each other down for what must’ve only been a second. My left hand was by my side. Poised. My right foot was in front of my left, ready to pounce. I took a deep breath and grabbed for the photo frame, flinging it in his direction.

It didn’t have as much impact as I wanted as it was heavier than I’d been expecting. But it still had the desired effect. Shaun blasted it away from his face, and I struck, leaping forward with my Teneculum.

But he saw me coming.

He blasted me back, centimetres away from his chest. The Teneculum raked down his forearm, drawing dark-brown sludge. Much preferred to the human-like blood of the homis. He called out as I caught him, and I winced. But then I was flying through the air again.

I groaned as my insides jiggled as I smashed into the wall. My stomach lurched and my chest tightened. I wanted to curl into a ball and recover for a few minutes, but I had to drag myself up, gritting my teeth.

Shaun reached for the glass of water and hurled it at my head. I went to throw myself out of the way, but I wasn’t fast enough. It hit me in the top right of my forehead, clinking as it hit the wooden floor but not breaking. A shot of head-rush filled my brain and scorched all the way down my back. I cried out, not being able to stop my free hand jumping to my stinging head.

Before I had a chance to ready myself, Shaun skidded to the other side of the coffee table and blasted it with whatever sort of hexing power he had. I slung myself into a roll and missed it by inches.

“Give it up, hunter.”

I scampered to a lamp in the corner, ripping the plug out of the socket and using everything I had to throw it his way. Without missing a beat, I sprinted to the first dining room chair and hurled that in his direction. He dodged both, but hurting him wasn’t the point.

I dashed to the next chair, sending that with its brother, and then went for another one. The corpi could only take a few steps in between each chair, and by the time I’d got round the table, we were only a few footsteps away.

The last chair went soaring through the air, and I ducked as he sent it my way, grabbing for the thing that was going to secure my freedom. The pricey-looking vase.

As the chair went over my head, I sprung up and gave everything I had into the throw. He was ready for it, but like me with the glass, just wasn’t quick enough. It hit him in the forehead, also not breaking, but it was thick and heavy.

I bounded toward him without hesitation, and this time, my Teneculum struck him in the chest. He made this horrendous gasping sound as the black sludge bubbled up from the wound. He locked eyes with me and made this shrill giggling sound. I hated it when they did that.

The familiar sound of a periliare detaching its jaw ready to swallow Vitalem filled the room, but I twisted the Teneculum and it cut short, Shaun slumping to the ground.

I grunted with the effort of pulling my Teneculum free and stumbled back a step. Tears filled my eyes at once as I backed away, but they didn’t fall until I hit the French windows. I slid down, dropping my Teneculum and hugging my knees to my chest, letting the tears rack my body.

My chest ached like I’d been coughing. My back gave some sort of crampy spasm every time I moved. But worst of all, my head was pounding like I’d never known.

When I lifted my hand to touch my head, I noticed it was shaking.

That was close. Too damn close. How could I have been so stupid?

After ten minutes of steady breaths, I called Kay.

“Another one?”

“Yeah.” My voice cracked, and I cleared my throat. “I need your help please.”

“I gottcha. I’m hungry anyway.”

I shuddered. Kay was a corpi herself. Aeirie, the periliare who’d first approached me and given me the Teneculum, introduced us. Kay had what I could only describe as a vampire ability. She was fast, deadly, and drank the blood of human and periliare alike, whether that be corpi, ellem, homi, or human. She never needed to find someone to feed on herself because I always found her plenty of meat.

Oh yeah, she also liked to eat people. I tried not to think too hard on that.

I didn’t pull myself off the floor for over an hour. I just put my head back, shut my eyes, and tried not to move. The knock at the door was what got me up again, but all my muscles had stiffened, so it was a struggle to drag myself up.

“Oh shit.” Kay sucked in a breath as she saw me.

I didn’t need to ask what. Her bright red eyes were focused on the welt growing on my forehead.

“I know.” I opened the door wide and let her in. “He had some sort of hexing power.”

“How’d he do that?”

“Please, just get rid of him.”

She smirked. “What’d he do?”

“Threw a glass at me,” I muttered.

When she laughed, I could see her fangs.

I must’ve been pulling a face because she rubbed my arm. “Don’t worry your cute little head. Oh wait.”

I shoved her in the direction of the living room. “Please just make this all go away.”

“Sure thing, babe.”

I sat on the stairs covering my ears with my hands as she did what she did best. It was revolting how fast she was finished.

She groaned and put her hand on her stomach when she reappeared. “Can’t you hunt smaller periliares please?”


She let down her sleek black hair, which I guess she didn’t want covered in black corpi sludge. “You all right getting home, babe.”

“I’m fine.”

“You know Sylvie’s going to go ape shit when she sees your head?”

I cringed. “Is it that bad?”

She raised her eyebrows. “Erm, yeah.”

“Great. Just fantastic. You have any makeup on you?”

She put her hand to her ivory face. “Does it look like I wear makeup? You could check upstairs.”

I crossed my arms. “You know, I don’t think he was a makeup kinda guy.”

“You don’t know. A lot of guys these days wear makeup.”

“Forget it. I’ll just suffer the wrath of Sylvie Hale.”

Easier said than done.

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