Published on 2012/01/08

Demon Hunter

Tim McCoy

Shadows clung to the wall of abandoned chapel as I slowly made my way up to the altar. I hated this part of my job, we demon hunters never got to chase evil into a five star hotel or a botanical garden. No unfortunately demons liked to stick with the dank and dark areas that exist on the fringes on human society, places I had become far too familiar with over the course of the last year. I held my revolver low, both hands gripping a little too tightly as I searched for a sign of my prey. A noise to my left spun me around, gun coming up automatically and my finger beginning to squeeze down on the trigger. I struggled to control my breathing as my eyes came to rest on the shape that had been lurking in the shadowed corner.

The mouse rose up on its hind legs, nose twitching; never realising just how close it had come to death. Yes, that was me Kathryn Vellar the scourge of mousekind. I hated being so jumpy but I had been informed numerous times that such reflexes could help to save my life or in this case end that of an innocent mouse. I let out a rush of air and lowered the gun, no point in letting the demon know that I was on its trail, although I was beginning to doubt that it was here in the first place. This chapel may have been a temporary resting place for the hell beast but it was certainly not its lair.

Demon lairs usually had piles of bodies, or parts of bodies and lots of bloodstains. This chapel smelled of demon but from what I could see and sense there had never been anybody killed here. The bastard had probably just passed through here on its way from the last crime scene, it had been a bad one and four cops were now lying dead in the middle of the city. They had all been torn to pieces and the heads were the largest parts they could find. The foul creature had done it as a message to me, to warn me off its trail.

I frowned suddenly realising that I had missed a very important piece of information. I had left my police backup behind to follow this fresh trail and it had been so much easier than all of the previous ones. I had raced into this abandoned, collapsing chapel to try and find a highly intelligent demon that had killed more than one hunter since it broke free of hell. Now I was standing here half pointing my gun at a mouse… and I think that I just accidentally walked into a trap.

Oh, very not good. I swung around, raising my gun to point at the rotting wooden beams that made up the roof. Sweat trickled down my spine as I struggled to sense the creature. I was sure that it was here, this was exactly how the others had been killed. It had surprised them from behind.

A crackling sound came from behind me; I whirled again; this time losing my balance. I landed on my ass and the handgun went off twice. The mouse ran for cover and the demon stepped out from the shadows. It stood at six feet tall and was vaguely humanoid in shape. The differences occurred when one looked at the giant talons on its hands and feet, the viciously curved fangs and its matte black skin.

The smell of charcoal that filled the air told me that this was only a minor demon like we had suspected. Arch-Demons tended to smell more like sulphur; also they didn’t need to sneak up on their prey. I gulped in fear; this was the first demon that I had ever faced by myself. I scrambled backwards, trying to escape. Tears began streaming down my face as the creature advanced and a cold weight settled itself in my stomach. I was acutely aware of my bladder and hoped that I wasn’t going to wet myself again. I had begun to find it a sort of occupational hazard.

I raised the gun in shaking hands and began to recite the Lord’s Prayer; it didn’t really harm the demon but it did bring me some small measure of calm. As I stumbled over the prayer I began to draw on the energy that dwelled deep inside all hunters. The demon grinned down at me believing that I was still the prey; as my lips froze in fear I drew the energy into my hands and forced it into the gun. The weapon glowed and the demon stopped grinning; it lurched forward and I screamed.

The demons claws tore through my left shoulder as I threw myself to the side. I scrambled towards the pews; my bullets could kill it now. All I needed was one clear shot. I raised the gun and the creature of darkness moved like water, it suddenly had me by the throat. Oh God I was going to die.

“HELP!!” I screeched, fighting back a total mental breakdown from the fear that surged through my body.

The demons grip tightened and I realised that my gun was pressed up against his chest. Without thinking I pulled the trigger continuously, white light cutting through the darkness as my blessed bullet tore into the demons flesh. The smell of burning fish filled the air and the demons grip slackened.

I leapt to my feet and backed away to the door, switching my backup clip into the gun. I sobbed and fired into the face of the evil figure until its form crumbled into dust. My legs folded underneath me and I shook with the knowledge of how close I had come to death tonight.

Finally I stood and surveyed the damage to my body. My left arm hurt but I could still move my fingers so it was unlikely that there was any permanent damage. I also had a number of shallow cuts on my neck and a really bad bruise on my butt. Overall I thought that I was in pretty good condition considering what I had fought.

I was alive, the demon was dead and for a change my pants were dry. I love it when everything goes according to plan.

Tim McCoy is an Australian Author. He has had one short story published in the online E-zine Moon Drenched Gables. At the moment, he is just hoping to get as many of my stories out there as possible; but one day he would love to write full time.