Hunter woke suddenly. A noise.It was a noise unlike anything he’d ever heard before. Close! Very close.Like it was on him. Like it was . . .Just in one ear.He twisted his head. It was full night. Black as black in the woods far from the starlight.He couldn’t see anything.But with his hands he could feel. The thing on his shoulder.His ear . . . gone!A terrible fear wrung a cry of horror from Hunter.He couldn’t feel it, his ear, or his shoulder, couldn’t feel with anything but his fingers and he felt, reached beneath his shirt, felt the flesh of his belly pulse and heave.Like something inside him.No, no, no, it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair!He was Hunter. The hunter. He was doing his best.He cried. Tears rolled down his cheeks.Who would bring meat for all the kids?It wasn’t fair.The sound of munching, crunching started again. Just in one ear.Hunter had only one weapon: the heat-causing power in his hands. He had used it many, many times to take the life of prey.He had fed the kids with that power. And in a moment of fear and rage he had accidentally taken the life of his friend, Harry.Maybe he could kill the thing that was eating his ear.But it was too late for that to help.Could he kill himself?He saw Old Lion’s head, eyes closed, hanging where he’d hung him for skinning. If Old Lion could die, so could Hunter.Maybe they would meet again, up in the sky.Hunter pressed both palms against his head.
The food is ready,” Zil announced to loud cheers.“But we have something more important to do, first, before we can eat.”Groans.“We have to carry out some justice.”That earned a silent stare until Turk and Hank started raising their hands and yelling, showing the crowd how to act.“This mutant, this nonhuman scum here, this freak Hunter…” Zil pointed, arm stretched out, at his captive. “This chud deliberately murdered my best friend, Harry.”“Na troo,” Hunter said. His mouth still didn’t work right. Brain damage, Zil supposed, from the little knock on his head. Half of Hunter’s face drooped like it wasn’t quite attached right. It made it easier for the crowd of kids to sneer at him, and Hunter, yelling in his drooling retard voice, wasn’t helping his case.“He’s a killer!” Zil cried suddenly, smacking his fist into his palm.“A freak! A mutant!” he cried. “And we know what they’re like, right? They always have enough food. They run everything. They’re in charge and we’re all starving. Is that some kind of coincidence? No way.”“Na troo,” Hunter moaned again.“Take him!” Zil cried to Antoine and Hank. “Take him, the murdering mutant scum!”They seized Hunter by the arms. He could walk, but only by dragging one leg. They half carried, half marched him across the plaza. They dragged him up the church steps.“Now,” Zil said, “here is how we’re going to do this.” He waved his hand toward the rope that Lance was unspooling back through the plaza.An expectant pause. A dangerous, giddy feeling. The smell of the meat had them all crazy. Zil could feel it.“You all want some of this delicious venison?”They roared their assent.“Then you’ll all grab on to the rope.
Tightened his bootlaceSharpened his bladeThe Hunter walked along and prayedFor tonight's prey--Song Of the Hunter
The greatest hunter is one who knows how to wait.
Hunter’s entire body writhed and squirmed.The side of his head was partly gone. A creature, like some monstrous melding of insect and eel, protruded from Hunter’s shoulder and as they stood there rooted in horror it took a vicious bite of Hunter’s flesh.Taylor was suddenly gone.Dekka’s face was grim, her eyes wet.“I tried . . . ,” Hunter said. He held up his hands, mimicked pressing them against his head. “It didn’t work.”“I can do it,” Sam said softly.“I’m scared,” Hunter said.“I know.”“It’s ’cause I killed Harry. God has to punish me. I tried to be good but I’m bad.”“No, Hunter,” Sam said gently. “You paid your dues. You fed the kids. You’re a good guy.”“I’m a good hunter.”“The best.”“I don’t know what’s happening. What’s happening, Sam?”“It’s just the FAYZ, Hunter,” Sam said.“Can the angels find me here so I can go to heaven?”Sam didn’t answer. It was Dekka who spoke. “Do you still remember any prayers, Hunter?”The insectlike creature was almost completely emerged from Hunter’s shoulder. Legs were becoming visible. It had wings folded against its body. It looked like a gigantic ant, or wasp, but silver and brass and covered with a sheen of slime.It was emerging like a chicken breaking out of an egg. Being born. And as the creature was born, it fed on Hunter’s numbed body.Jerky movements beneath Hunter’s shirt testified to more of the larvae emerging.“Do you remember ‘now I lay me down to sleep’?” Dekka asked.“Now I lay me down to sleep,” Hunter said. “I pray the Lord my soul to keep.”Sam raised his hands, palms out.“If I should die—”Twin beams of light hit Hunter’s chest and face. His shirt caught fire. Flesh melted. He was dead before he could feel anything.Sam played the light up and down Hunter’s body. The smell was sickening. Jack wanted to look away, but how could he?Sudden darkness as Sam terminated the light.Sam lowered his hands to his side.They stood there in the darkness. Jack breathed through his mouth, trying not to smell the burned flesh.Then they heard a sound. Many sounds.Sam raised his hands and pale light glowed.Hunter was all but gone.The things that had been inside him were still there.
I’m too much a man for hysterics.”Liu, Marjorie M. (2009-01-20). Hunter Kiss: A Companion Novella to The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls (A Hunter Kiss Novella) (Kindle Locations 355-356). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.
Mental illness is a physical illness, not some disease that enters the minds of the weak or characterless. Like cancer can happen to anyone, let's start treating mental illnesses as what they are, devastating diseases. ~ Sherry Hunter
My cheeks still bulging with wine, I properly scoped out the room. Mom? Check. Dad? Check. Ari? Check? Rabbi Abrams, here to perform the ceremony to induct my brother as the latest member in the Brotherhood of David, the chosen demon hunters? Check. I spit the wine back into what I now realized was a silver chalice and handed it to the elderly bearded rabbi. “Carry on,” I told him. Then I threw up on his shoes.
Brother,” Artemis chided. “You do not help my Hunters. You do not look at, talk to, or flirt with my Hunters. And you do not call them sweetheart.
Mind you, the effectiveness of one hunter’s gun does not determine the number of bush meats the other hunter will kill. You got to be yourself. Be you.