(Warning: Contains dark themes and isn’t very Christmassy.)
Azerius entered the police station just after midnight. It was a usual time to be awake for the Hunter, but not for the one that had called him in. His friend, Police Sergeant Cassius. The warmth and bright lighting of the building’s interior took a short while to adjust to. The night outside was one typical of mid-winter. Snow fell heavy, creating a thick blanket of white over the town of Silvervayne. A bitter cold wind swept through the forests, it’s trees glistening silver in the grey light of the full moon. Lakes and rivers were hidden under sparkling solid ice.
Azerius removed his snow dusted hood at the sight of the concerned receptionist. She had a nervous look on her face as the Hunter entered with his face shadowed and mouth masked. Luckily, at the sight of his short dark hair and bright sapphire eyes, his face was a familiar one.
“Azerius, what brings you here at this time?” The young receptionist asked, a slight sparkle in her otherwise tired eyes. She flicked her long blonde hair over her shoulder as she spoke. The Hunter made an attempt at remembering her name, but couldn’t entirely. He surmised that it was either Judy or Judith… but possibly Kate.
“I was summoned by your boss,” Azerius said, prodding the baubles of a miniature Christmas tree that sat on the counter. Its branches were lined with twinkling lights that shone in an assortment of festive colours. It was almost mesmerising as he watched. So much so that he distracted his gaze before he began remembering…
“He’s probably in his office. Would you like me to call him?” She said, but it was already too late. Azerius had let himself beyond the counter.
“Nah, I’ve got this. Thanks… Judy.” Azerius spoke her name under his breath, so if it were wrong, she wouldn’t hear it. But she did and called out a correction as he walked toward the head office. She was Tera. The same Tera that had been there the countless other times that Azerius had gotten her name wrong.
The Hunter opened the door to Cassius’ office without knocking, much to the sergeant’s confusion. No one ordinary would dare to do so to the fiery-tempered enforcer, but Azerius was no one ordinary. They were friends. Friends that had faced those that lurk in the darkness together. Cassius didn’t speak, he merely motioned for Azerius to sit. A small glass of whiskey had been prepared for his arrival.
“Drink up, you look cold.” Were the Sergeants first words. Azerius sat down and did exactly that. He could feel the instant warmth that the aged alcohol provided in his throat and chest.
“So, something troubling you?” Azerius pondered.
“I’m in a heap of shit and trying to dig my way out with a teaspoon,” Cassius said, finally showing his true self. He looked exhausted, despite the row of empty coffee cups on his desk. He gave a half smile and repositioned his slouch into one that dictated his position. “There’s been five murders this month. All in locked homes. All strange. As in, your kind of strange. Their bodies were frozen solid, despite a heated home. But that wasn’t the cause of death. No. They all had two large shards of ice sticking into their necks, almost separating their heads from their bodies.” Cassius stopped for a moment, reaching into an evidence folder. He revealed several pictures of the macabre scenes and place them before the Hunter. “So, any idea?”
“Yes. Seems to be a… Christmas… ice monster.” Azerius replied.
“You’ve just made that up, haven’t you?”
“Yeah… I have no clue.”
“You can find this thing though, right? You’re the Hunter.” Cassius pleaded. “You’re my only hope.”
“I said that I didn’t know what it was, not that I couldn’t hunt it,” Azerius said with a smile and wink. “I’ll have this thing’s head on your desk before Christmas day. That’s a promise.”
And that was an ambitious promise. It was only five days until Christmas day.
If you enjoyed this, please check out my novella, that is now available on Amazon Kindle and free on Kindle unlimited! The Hunter: Monster Within.
I also have a series, set in the world of The Hunter, on Channillo! The Hunter: Demonic Uprising.
Part 2 is coming tomorrow. Thank you all for reading!