Drip. Drip. Drip.
That sound. Loud. It reverberated within, to the depths of his soul. It was absolute and everything, as all of his senses switched to focus on it. It was familiar to him. All too familiar. He held something tightly in his hand. Cold. Weighted, but not heavy in his grasp. Comfortable. A dagger.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Long. Serrated. Deadly. Silver. Slickened with blood. The source of the dripping. Blood. Droplets forming a pool beneath. He was sat on the edge of a bed. Not his own. Unknown. Nude, but for the shadowed cloak that rested upon his shoulders. What had he done? The memory was there somewhere, just not on the surface. Distorted. Surreal. His head heavy and his vision dark.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
That sound. The blood had stop falling, but the sound hadn’t ceased. The source. The was what he had done. With his vision now clear, he could see that she led there. Facedown. Scantily clad. Lingerie, lace and black. But it was like she was aglow. White. Pure pale white… and the red… so much red. What had he done? He needed to know. He sat the dagger on the bed like it was something fragile. He stood on legs that hadn’t moved in hours. He moved muscle, stiff and stagnant. He went to her. It was only then that he could smell something that had lingered there for the entirety of that moment. Something beyond that iron tang of blood. Something beneath that sickly-sweet scent of perfume. Death. Another thing in that moment that was all too familiar.
She was dead, he was sure. But why? He searched for something within himself akin to remorse but found nothing there. He’d been here before. This situation. He knew it. He turned her lifeless form over without care nor thought. She was beautiful, typically so. Naturally. Distractingly. She’d been laying there for a while. He could tell. It was then that he saw what he had done. Her throat had been slit and her chest had been opened.
Distracting. Her beauty was distracting. That was the key to this scene before him. He was distracted from the darkness that lurked within. Her beauty. A façade for something truly ugly. He was drawn to the eyes. They were closed, but instinct told him of something beneath. Yellow. The iris of her eyes were a distinct yellow, encapsulated in black. Her mouth. That’s where he was drawn next. Beyond those lips that he knew he had kissed lurked something unnatural. Fang. Lines of jagged fang replaced teeth. Succubus. He knew what she was. A demon of deception and lust and thirst.
He removed himself from the side of the creature, his investigation complete. His mind was clearing. His body was returning control. Memory flooded back in flashes of light, white and black and red… so much red. The blood… his past was drenched in it… and so will be his future.
A glint of a reflection caught his eye. That reflection in the shadow of the moon bowed before him. He was the darkness. Even in the presence of such evil, he was the darkness. The eyes that glared back were void. An absolute black. His name. He remembered his name. He was Azerius… and he… was The Hunter.
So, The Hunter: Monster Within is getting an update… a big update. The novella is in the process of getting a complete re-edit, including extended chapters and new chapters. I’ve decided to re-work my novella in order to bring it up to speed with my current writing style and skill. I still had much to learn when I released The Hunter, but now I feel that I can really bring it life and make it into the book that I had always envisioned.