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

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16. Sixteen

“You be a good little girl and come back here.”

A second passed. I clenched my fists, locked my jaw, and tried to breathe, but nothing was happening.

And then my feet began to take tiny steps. I tried pressing my toes into the ground, but a stronger force was yanking me forward inch by inch.

I couldn’t look away from his sparkling eyes. I tried to wrench them away, but I couldn’t. I was stuck.

“That’s better.” His voice was like honey. His smile was heavenly. And I could do nothing but move towards it, like a moth to a flame.

Every cell in my body wanted to give up the struggle and go willingly, but I was stronger than that. I tried to scream against the capture, but no sound would leave my lips.

I was edging closer and closer, my body pulling towards him. I tried to grab the coffee table, but my hands only gave a half-hearted attempt. I tried to let out a yelp, but nothing. It was like my true self was stuck in my head, powerless to stop my body taking us both to our doom.

Stupid half-human body.

“That’s it,” he purred. “That wasn’t so difficult, was it?”

His ability was unrelenting. A force stronger than gravity was dragging me towards my death, and my survival instinct wasn’t even strong enough to stop it.

I was only a few footsteps away. I dug my nails into the sofa, trying to pull back, but he only laughed and closed the gap himself.

Something let go of my lungs as my oxygen ran out, and I heaved a breath in. It cleared my body just enough for half a second of conscious thought.

And I took it.

I threw all my weight into my knee and drove it between his legs.

He yelped, bending at the waist, clamping his hands between his thighs.

The spell broke.

I jumped back, brandishing my Teneculum, and growled at him. “How dare you?”

He only laughed, making me shudder.

Backing away towards the door, I noticed my body was shaking. I could taste bile at the back of my throat.

The periliare stood, and I turned my head so I couldn’t be trapped by those eyes again.

“Please.” His voice wasn’t quite as sure. “You think if you shut your eyes this will all go away?”

I held my breath.

“Come here.”

I froze.

“I know you want to. I can see it on your face.”

No! I had a furious word with myself as I felt my body tilting forward in his direction.

“See. You can’t help it. No one can.”

I dug my heels into the carpet, but it was getting more and more difficult to keep my balance.

“You’ll give in eventually.”

I wanted to bare my teeth at him and fling some kind of insult, but I couldn’t make my tongue work in my mouth.

“I’m bored with you now.”

My heart gave a leap into my throat and would’ve choked me if I’d been in possession of my own body. I had to ride the wave without complaint.

When I was once again in front of him, he snatched the Teneculum out of my hand. Something died in me when he twirled it around.

“What do we have here?” He observed the blade with his ridiculous eyes. “Where did you get this?”

He wasn’t like the truth homi. I didn’t have to give him anything.

“I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of this.”

With his spare hand, he grabbed my right arm and pulled it towards him. I was squirming in my head, but it wasn’t translating to my body.

Get out! Get out!

The grin was back on his face as he looked at my Teneculum and looked at me and gave me a wink. I wanted to vomit.

He touched the blade to my skin and stared at me for a beat, before raking the Teneculum across my arm. A yowl escaped my mouth and echoed around my head. I wasn’t even sure if I’d made the sound. The knife created a line of fire, and my arm was on fire, and my heart was on fire, and now I was on fire. In the next second, my breath was stolen from me, and I felt the injury in my stomach instead of my arm as I went to heave all down the handsome man.

His eyes were too wide, and I took the second I had to save my life. I had to do the one thing I spent my days avoiding.

I gave up my secret.

“I’m a demi-peri!”

The Teneculum was dripping blood, and the man was baring his teeth, but his expression softened just a little at my words.

“If you kill me, you’ll be sorry.” It came out in a screech.

He leant forward just a little, eyes narrowed and face screwing up.

I stood there panting, grasping my arm where a sickening throb had started up.

He rocked back on his heels, eyes widening as he discovered what I was saying was true. My own stomach had clenched hard the second he’d opened the front door, but I’d been looking for it, and a demi-peri caused just a breeze of a reaction.

“Well, so you are.” He crossed his arms. “A demi-peri hunter, how original.”

“Leave me alone.”

He cocked his head to the side. “Who’s to say I won’t still kill you, child?”

“I do. You don’t want to mess with me.”

He laughed. “Is that right?”

“You don’t want to get in the way of my mother.” I hated using the evil witch in this way, but it was the only way I was getting out of here alive.

“Who?” he hissed.

“You want to risk it?” My blood was still dripping on the carpet, and I wanted nothing more than to throw up, but I held firm.

He sighed and dropped my Teneculum to the ground. “You better not come back here, demi.” And then he walked away, leaving me to scrabble on the ground with shuddering hands. My left hand was covered in blood, and my right hand seemed to be confused. With difficulty, I shoved my Teneculum into my jacket pocket and pulled myself to standing with the help of the white sofas. They were ruined now.

I scurried out of the house before he changed his mind, trying to make as little noise as possible. A few streets away, I made it to a bench and collapsed into it, shutting my eyes and trying to hide my wound.

When I had enough strength to look at it, it’d stopped bleeding, but I was still covered in blood.

I staggered to a nearby set of disgusting public toilets to wash my hands with the ice-water that would no doubt come spurting out of the taps. The smell was overpowering, and I almost lost my stomach. Again.

Back on the street with almost-clean hands, I rang Kay.

“You got one for me?”

“No.” I gasped it. “I was wondering if you could bring me a bandage.”

She sighed down the other end of the phone in an exaggerated manner. “I’m very busy, babe.”

“You don’t sound it.”

She laughed. “I am.”

“Please. I need a bandage and maybe some of those tape things to hold a wound shut.” I closed my eyes and tried to breathe evenly.

“Go to the hospital. You might need stitches.  And this isn’t my problem.”

“I don’t need stitches. I need a bandage or something. Please, Kay?”

“No. This isn’t part of our deal. I’m not your babysitter. Call me when you’ve got one.” And then she hung up.

“Bloody ungrateful, selfish periliares,” I snarled as I hung up.

My heart was racing and my head was spinning a little bit and I needed to sit down and sort myself out, but I was too afraid of people staring at the gash in my arm. So instead, I darted into the high street and into Boots where I bought myself a bandage and those sticky things that held wounds together. The only piece of luck I’d had since making this awful trip was that I had my purse to complete my charade to Sylvie earlier that I was going into town.

I rushed to the train station and worked on sticking and bandaging my wound at the very end of the platform where the back of the train would arrive. By the time it huffed into the station, I’d given up trying to get it right and decided to leave my crappy bandage the way it was.

I hurried myself onto the train and sat on a seat for two so I could curl up against the window and not be disturbed. I shut my eyes, and when the train pulled out of the station, I fell asleep in moments.

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