The Hunter


Concentrated stillness, the stalking of sunshine from the dark hole, that hole life had become. He chuckled. Who thought that it will one day come to this? Having to sit at an angle to get some damn sunlight! Was it all worth it? Getting rid of that wizard and witch? So much blood had been split leading up to that moment, seeing their lifeless bodies and setting them on fire. That was a victory.

But there was this little issue of Anna. Oh dear Anna, he reminisced. He remembered vividly how relieved he felt when he found out She had no magic blood in her. It was still strange that a witch and wizard would give birth to a child that was completely human. In every sense of the word. She was beautiful that Hannah, with the golden white hair flowing hair to her waist, oh he longed to touch that hair. She had blue piercing eyes that seemed to look sort of at you, then inside you. Her laughter was one of those that ringed through time, a beautiful echo lost in history. At least now she will be safe, safe from the mythical world that her parents had sold their souls to.

He clenched his teeth at the pain on his arm. “Damn rats”, he cursed as he caught it. He was more annoyed that the bite brought him out of his train of thought. Thoughts of Anna were his only solace in this God forsaken hell hole. He still couldn’t believe that the order sold him out. “Someone has to take the fall for this, your methods were too messy”, the leader had told him. Too messy! Too messy! That council sits in their little bubble of safety and send you to do things, kill things that they have never met and have no idea how they can be killed, to sit up their high horse and call your methods too messy!  The rage in him squished the malnourished rat in his hand. A bloody mess in his hands, just like his life.

“If the hunger doesn’t get you, the rat’s sure will”, said a voice somewhere below his eye view. He struggled to his feet.

“Whose there?” He looked around the tiny cell frantically.

At the corner of his eye he saw a figure, a sad wrinkled creepy thing. One of those things that burned disgust to the back of your mind forever. He had seen nasty ugly things in his hunting life, but non as repulsive as this. “What are you vile creature?” he asked. It just sort of coughed or laughed, he wasn’t sure which. “I am your cell mate, Mate.” It said.

The thing about high up cells is that you can never get enough light in your little room. It is all part of the punishment. Light is a luxury only befitting the free. So he couldn’t quite see it properly and at the same time was glad that he couldn’t.

He sunk down to a crouch and looked at the creature still trying to figure out if it was just a fragment of his imagination. Solitary confinement does things to your mind. You can never be really sane in there. How many years had it been? Years, days, hours, it makes no difference in here. Once a friendly guard had told him he had been there for ten years. But really, ten years, in solitary confinement! That can’t be right. He could feel that his hair and beard had grown long. He took to braiding it in his free time, squishing things he found inside it, lice maybe, he didn’t know.

Free time, He used to long for that during his work days, hunting, spying, killing, getting orders, repeat. But now, what can you do when all you have is free time? You braid your hair and eat your nails. Once in while he hears somebody at his door asking the guard if he is dead yet. The guard replies no and then there is a heavy grunt and curses. “Can’t we starve him?” a voice asks. “You know we can’t”, another replies as the voices drift away down what must be a corridor and heard no more.

He used to put his ear on the door to try and catch something, something to give them away. But after many years or days or months, he stopped.

The thing in the corner moved and he was awoken from his day dream. “Why are you here creature?” he asked it trying to clean the mess in his hand, crushing that rat was a mistake. The cell will stink for ages before it is fully rotten and gone.

The thing seemed to ponder his question but said nothing. ‘Are you real or a fragment of my imagination?’ He asked again.

The thing chuckled “Where do we draw the line between being real and being an imagination. If I am just in your head, would that make me less real?” it asked.

“I am really not in the mood for existential analysis”, he huffed.

The thing got up and started pacing the small space. It really annoyed him that he couldn’t see it clearly.

“Have you been sent by the order?”

“No”.

“What do you want then?”

“I want you”.

“I am sorry, I only date women”

It laughed. “I see your time in here has not dulled your sense of humor”. It seemed to regard him for a moment.

“It is sad that somebody of your skills has been locked in here for this long. It has been only three years by the way, not ten. I have a job for you, if you can do it, I promise I will make sure you never end up here again and that your Anna will be safe”, it said.

He rose to his feet and grabbed the thing by its neck. “Leave Anna out of this conversation“, he hissed. He regretted his action as soon as he did because a sharp pain shot up his arm and he leaped back and hit his head on the wall. It felt like a formidable force had struck him.

“A man should never show his weakness”, it stated, “You have shown yours and now there is no way out. If you don’t do what we want we shall kill her.”

“Who are you?” He asked painfully.

“I am the wizard king”. It said.

He was shocked beyond words. He had heard of the wizard king from the order. It was a myth, nobody had ever seen him. The people who claimed to have, had come back mad. But this thing, a king?

“Don’t be deceived by my demeanor. I can only transverse through space and time in this form but my strength is the same nonetheless. I will leave you to think about my offer for three days then I will be back for an answer. Anna received the letter you wrote when you thought you were going to die and now she is investigating and getting quite close to the truth. Very close to the order, you have worked for the order and you know what they will do to her if she gets too close. Your place is not in here and I am the only one who can get you out. Choose wisely”, with that it was gone.

“Wait!!!” He shouted but he was alone again.

“Shut up”, someone shouted from the other side of his steel door.

The letter? So she got it! That is great, but now she is investigating, that is bad. He knew he was going to die and the line of wizards and witches was cut. He didn’t even mention his name there, they had never talked. That was a huge mistake, but he was emotional from being sold out and wasn’t thinking straight.

He was still tempted to believe that that thing was only a fragment of his imagination. But he has seen enough in is life to know that such things don’t just happen. There are no coincidences and dejavus and people just knowing stuff. This was real and his Anna was in trouble.

“I don’t need three days”, he shouted, “Take me now”.

 

 

 

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