A Hunter's World Ch. 01byFrumiousBandersnatch©
"Sure looks like 24 carrot gold" the little fat sweaty man declared, squinting at the long solid chain and the large heavy pendant dangling from it, in his hands.
"Of course it is. I told you it was. How much for it?" Alessandra demanded, staring down at the disgusting thief, who called himself a pawn shop owner.
"Well, I guess I could give you 150 bucks, but it's not a very popular style, so I'm bein' nice." He said, exposing his stained and rotting teeth in a poor excuse for a smile.
Alessandra shook with hatred, for this disgusting little crook, but checked herself. After all, she did need the money, more than the pleasure of killing this man. Forcing a plastic smile on her face, she gently responded.
"We both know that it is worth well over that amount. So, how about you give me 400 now, I will be back in 3 weeks to pick it up, I will give you 500 back, and be nice enough to not kill you." The artificial smile remained plastered on her face, while she watched the shop keepers shocked face.
He stared at her with wide eyes. Aless could see him debating his options, coming to the conclusion she wasn't fucking with him.
"300 and you have yourself a deal." He shot back, also knowing Alessandra needed the money.
"375 and you keep your life today." She responded, playing with the knife hidden behind her waist, wishing she could use it.
"Deal." He replied, while he restrained a smile, valuing his life that much.
Aless walked out of the pawn shop and stood on the side walk, while the shop door slammed shut behind her, followed by a quiet clicking of the lock. She chuckled at the thought of the sickly shop keeper's fear, knowing it was well deserved. She would feel little or no remorse for killing him, really she would be performing the world a service in doing so. She had seen into his soul when she had handed him the necklace and pendant. That mere touch had allowed her to see how darkly stained that dirty little man's soul really was. Looking up and down the sidewalk, Aless watched the parade of people pass by. Each and everyone one of them absorbed in their own personal tortures, seeing so little around them, so ignorant of all the happenings in the world, that she found peace in being lost among them. She stood on the hot pavement sidewalk pulling a pack of smokes from her pocket, without anyone even acknowledging her or paying her notice.
She sighed, as she lit the smoke and took a slow drag. Such a bad habit, she knew, but when the people of your family only had a 25 - 30 year life expectancy, you sort of gave up trying to preserve your life in the small ways. 'If I'm going to die, I will die living as I want to.' Ahhhh, the warm fuzzy thought of a Hunter. She chuckled to herself, as she recalled her mother chastising her father for teaching their child such things. She had ripped him a new one for even insinuating their, "child should live life expecting to die young".
"That is for you silly Hunter men. We Hunter women are smart, and preserve our lives." Her mother had screamed at her father, that day.
However, no Hunter woman had ever been born with the powers. Until her.
At puberty she had discover her birthright, in a very memorable way.
The summer of Aless's 14th birthday, she had discovered a couple of her many inherited talents: soul searching, and the reading of strong thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, if someone's thoughts or emotions were intense enough, she could clearly see their thoughts play out like a movie in her mind; which was what had happened that hot Sunday in July. She had been at church with her mother, and had worn a light cotton dress, due to the intense heat. They did not have air-conditioning in either their home or car, so Aless had dressed lightly. However, once inside the cool church she realized how under-dressed she was and sat freezing. She sat in the pew shivering, as the air-conditioners blasted cool gusts of air through the church. Her flesh was goose pimpled; her teeth chattered and, her young sensitive nipples hardened making her pert little breasts very visible through the thin cotton dress.
As everyone filed out of the church, gathering on the steps to gossip and chat, Father McLellan greeted them and thanked them for attending. Father McLellan was a highly respected and trusted man in their small community. He had been a mentor to most of the children and parents of the town. He also created and ran a program for assisting troubled youth in their community. He helped teens with drug addictions, young single mothers, kids with problems at home, or orphans and helped them rebuild their lives. Many of them decided to leave the little community; or, so she had assumed, because she couldn't recall having seen any of them after they entered his program.
That day, as she walked out of church, Father McLellan had held onto her hand, as she went to withdraw it from his own. He had told her he wanted to speak to her for a moment after he had finished greeting everyone, about a trip with the group he was running. He said he was hoping she could help him plan and attend a trip for his group, he had told her he thought she would be a good influence for the other kids. She told her mother , who had told her to come right home after he was done speaking to her. They only lived a few blocks away, and it was a small safe community, so it hadn't been a big deal.
Aless had walked into Father McLelland's office and stood before his large desk. He arose and walked around the desk, placing his hands on her shoulders, while explaining what he wanted her to do to help his group. However, through the physical contact he was making, she had been able to see his thoughts, fantasies and emotions as clearly as the world around her. Unfortunately for her, they were not images any child should see in their lifetime. Let's just say, he had noticed how cold she was and had a hard time finishing the sermon while hiding his obvious erection. He had many dirty vile and humiliating plans for her and was more than ready and happy to steal her innocence, as he had from many others. Father McLelland was a very bad man, who had done very bad things.
Unable to differentiate between what was real and what was not, Alessandra had fled from his office and out of the church, crying. She did not understand what she had just seen, but knew that it had been too real and too strong to ignore. And so, she had fled home sobbing, to the comfort of her mothers arms. After half an hour of calming the child and soothing away her worries, her mother and father discovered what had happened and discovered the new talents that she possessed. It had taken all her mother's cunning and convincing to stop her father from marching off to the church and strangling good old Father McLelland. Mother had a much better idea, which would ensure the only person who went to prison was the perverted priest. A few days later the police received an anonymous tip that the good father had been abusing some of the children in his program and that he had them in his basement. Low and behold, upon further inspection the police had found three youth, two girls and a boy all under the age of 17, locked away in his dark dirty basement. He had been physically and mentally abusing them for months. Mom had done some investigating. There was a mountain of evidence to ensure the kind father would never see the light of day again; and, knowing the prison rules, she was sure he wouldn't be long in this world. Even thieves and murderers have their morals and codes, none of which allowed for the abuse of children. Any guilty man knows that everyone deserves a chance at innocence. Anyone who dares to steal innocence away from a child has signed their own death warrant.
And thus, Aless had discovered that she had inherited the Hunter's skills. She, the first woman in known history, was to carry on the right of the hunt. Her father had been in shocked disbelief, and her mother had been heart broken. Her mother had sobbed for a week straight. Eventually after her father had wrapped his head around the idea that his daughter was the one to inherit the skills of the family, he began her training. "No use in getting yourself killed cause you don't know what you are doing", he had declared. Her father had trained her for the next eight years, teaching her everything he knew.
The week before he died, he had stopped during the middle of their combat training and looked her directly, somberly and sadly, in the eyes.
"I am so proud of you Aless. I'm sorry that you have to carry this burden, but I trust that you will be the best Hunter we have ever known. When I am gone I need you to take care of your mother for me. No, no honey, don't interrupt. I need to finish. I am old, for a Hunter. I have lived longer than most of the men in my family. I was able to watch you grow, and be part of your life. That is more than any father can ask. I love you both so much. Things are becoming tense, and I will be gone a lot for a while. I need you to keep an eye on your mom and keep training. If anything should happen to me, or your mom," he said with a pained flinch, "find Taggart Reichmann. He is the only man I would ever trust with my family. Now. Back to training.", and with that he had hit her with a quick surprise blow to the ribs. They quickly fell back into the comfortable ease of training; acting like the conversation had never taken place.
That was the last time she had had any type of personal conversation with her father. He had left the next day with four other men, to investigate a couple of out of town deaths that looked suspicious. Two weeks after that, she and her mother had received the phone call notifying them of her father's death. Her mother had stood holding the phone so tightly, that her knuckles had turned white; her expression had been blank and lost. She hadn't made a sound, but grasped her right arm and collapsed to the ground. Aless had rushed to her mother's side, just in time to hear her mother choke out "heart, my heart". Aless had grabbed the phone from her mother, hanging up on the poor man calling to relay the horrible news, and dialed 911. Katherine Hunter died in her daughters arms, half an hour before the paramedics arrived. They found Aless rocking her mother's small body back and forth, on the kitchen floor. Aless was rocking back and forth,chocking on dry sobs, unable to produce any emotion. She decided she preferred the dead cold feeling, rather than the pain and sadness she should have been feeling. It had taken three people to pull Katherine Hunter from Aless's arms.