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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22. Twenty-Two

“So they draw you in with messages, but then once they’ve phoned you in real life they really have you?” Corey asked as I finished my explanation.

“Yeah. It was the weirdest thing. I was suspicious in the first place, thinking it was bad news whether this guy was a periliare or not. I wasn’t really giving him that much attention, but then when he called me and I heard his voice, this sort of buzz and warmth filled me up and I felt all…I dunno, lovey-dovey or something. And let me tell you, that is not normal.”

He screwed up his face. “So, it’s in the voice? That’s where the power is?”

“It must be. It makes perfect sense. I mean, Sam rang Erin to ask her out, which I found weird at the time because why would he have bothered?”

Corey was nodding. “He must be a controller.”

I blinked at him. “A what?”

“A controller. You know, a demon — sorry, a periliare — who has some sort of controlling power.”

I laughed. I didn’t mean for it to come out sounding as mean as it did, but there it was. “You mean a hominium.”

“A what?”

“A hominium.”

“Why do you have all these weird names for them?”

“They’re the real names.”

He sat back against the wall, kicking his shoes off and pulling his legs up onto my bed. “Well, I’ve never stopped to ask one.”

“Some of us have a little more knowledge about periliare ways.”

He laughed. “I don’t know them as a race. I know them as an evil thing that needs to be destroyed.”

I put my hand to my heart in mock hurt. “What are you saying?”

He rolled his eyes. “Not you.”

“You promise you won’t hunt me?”

“I promise.”

“You better not.”

“What are you anyway?”

I let my hair down from its ponytail. My head was being squeezed way too tight for my liking. And it felt too formal all of a sudden, like Corey and I were old friends. “What am I? What sort of a question is that? What are you?”

“Well, I’m a hundred percent African American. And full human.”

“Corey,” I leant one elbow on my desk, “you’re not American.”

“I have two American parents thank you very much.”

“Fine, fine.” I held up my hands. “Sure, whatever. You can be American if you want to be.”

“So, what are you?”

I had to force the words past my lips. It was so alien to say it out loud. “I’m a demi-peri.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Is that what they call you?”

“Not that you would know, but yes.”

“All right. What kind are you though?”

“You don’t even know the proper names of them.”

“What do you do, Iris? Come on. What can you do that I can’t?”

My stomach squeezed. “I…I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“No. I never knew my mother. I don’t know what she can do. Sylvie knew she was a periliare because my father told her she was. He didn’t say what type she was. And Sylvie never met her.”

“So, you have no idea what you can do?”

“No. Well, I mean, I can have an educated guess that she’s a homi. Hominium,” I corrected when his eyebrows came together.

“You’ve never done anything crazy and superhero-ish?”

I shook my head. “Never. Maybe it’s a recessive trait.” I shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Damn. That would’ve been cool.”

“Yeah, well. Human’s fine by me. Now.” I ripped out a page from my notebook and started scribbling on it. “I’m going to teach you the proper words so we’re speaking the same language.”

“Why do we have to use the words they want us to?”

“Because calling them demons or whatever is offensive to my people.”

“I thought you said human was fine?”

I smirked. “Shut up. Anyway, demon is a pretty negative word, and they’re not all evil.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Come on.”

“What?”

“They’re monsters.”

That hit me like a punch in the gut, but I swallowed past it. “No. They’re not. That’s like saying all humans are good, and you know that’s not true. I know at least two periliares that don’t mess around with humans unless they have to.”

“But they still kill them though?”

I weighed my hands like scales. “When they have to. Plus, who are you to talk? You kill them.”

He narrowed his eyes. “I don’t know about this.”

“Well, what about me?” I cut to the chase. “Do you think I’m evil?”

“You’re basically human. It’s not the same thing.”

“You don’t know. Maybe I’ll grow up to be some kind of super thing.”

“You don’t eat humans though.”

I rolled my eyes. “They don’t eat them like zombies. They harvest their Vitalem. It’s basically your life-force. And no, I don’t eat that. Not that I’ve tried, but I don’t think I can.”

“You really do speak another language.”

“So let me teach it to you. What names do you give them?”

“Well, the worst ones are the elements. You know, the ones who can control fire and water and stuff.”

“Elementum. Do you know how to kill them?”

“What is this? A pop quiz?”

I raised my eyebrows at him.

“You have to destroy their brains. Cutting their head off is not enough.”

“Great. What else?”

“Well, you’ve got your controllers, like I said, who can control people.”

Hominium, and they have loads of different powers, not just controlling people.”

“Before you ask, you have to cut their heads off. Then you’ve got changers. They change stuff about people, like taking away their sight or something. You have to cut their heads off also.”

Hominium,” I said again.

“You already said that.”

“They’re the same thing. The periliares who have an effect on people, whatever that effect is, are hominiums, or homis for short.”

He scratched his head. “Should I be writing this down?”

I showed him my piece of paper. “I’ve got you covered. What else?”

“There are also transformers, who can change themselves into someone else or some kind of beast or something.”

“See.” I tapped my pen on the desk. “How do you not get confused? You’ve used the words changers and transformers to mean different things when those words mean practically the same thing.”

“The changers change people, the transformers change themselves.”

“Whatever. Transformers are corpidems, or corpis for short. They’re periliares who have some sort of physical or internal power.”

He pointed at me. “Internals, that’s what we call some of them. See, it does make sense. Internals have some kind of power inside of them, like an advanced learning power or something.”

“Again, corpi.”

“You kill them with a stab to the heart.”

I leant back in my chair. “Well, at least you know what you’re doing even if you didn’t know what you were talking about. And why the hell did you use five names when there were clearly only three types because there are three different kills?”

“Some of us like to be more specific. How do you know all this anyway? One of your periliare friends?”

“Sort of. An elementum called Aeirie told me all this when I was fourteen. I wanted to hunt periliares, and she told me to be careful because she didn’t want to see another demi-peri get killed. Apparently, a lot of us turn to hunting.”

“I wonder why.”

I smirked. “She told me everything I needed to know as well as warning me to only go after the troublemakers or I’d have to deal with her. She told me that if we were to ever meet again, it would be bad news.”

“Jeez.”

“Yeah. She was pretty dramatic, but they all are from what I can see. She also gave me my Teneculum.”

“That is a word I know!”

“Hallelujah. You have one then?”

“Yeah. Dad’s got one that’s been passed down. Hunting is in the family. Lee has one too. I think that’s how they met. I’m using one that was given to Dad by one of his old hunting friends when he retired.”

“So you’ve got three in your house?” My eyebrows couldn’t have gone any further up my head.

“Yeah. Well, one for each person.”

“I wish I had more than one.”

“What’s yours look like?”

“I would show you if Sylvie hadn’t taken it away from me. She doesn’t want me to go hunting any more, so she confiscated it.”

Corey’s face dropped. “What?”

“Yeah. I know.”

“But you’re defenceless.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

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