The Hunting Game

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The Hunting Game

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:08 pm

Hell, yeah! Freedom! The open road stretched out in front of him, endless possibilities for each new day blossoming as far as the eye could see and all within reach. Reese didn't think he'd ever get tired of it, although, certainly, the loneliness took some getting used to. After living his entire life within a tribe surrounded by family and under near constant supervision, his very abrupt, untethered solitude resulted in a bit of a shock to his system. Only a day after exiling himself, he'd almost gone back, uncertain how to deal with the suffocating silence. But then he remembered how it'd been, the watchful eyes over his shoulder, the disapproving glares whenever he did anything for himself and the nagging authority when he tried experimenting with the rules. It didn't take much convincing once he realized what he was gaining instead and he promptly got over it.

Left to his own devices, it wasn't enough to simply stretch his legs and fly free. Oh, no! Not after what was said to him! They said he couldn't do it without them. They'd all said he would surely get himself killed. And they'd tried to convince him that the gap between monster and human was too great to ever bridge or compromise. Reese saw things differently and now he had something to prove. His brethren, the other yee naaldlooshii - "skinwalkers" as they were more commonly known - would never view the humans as anything other than prey. Once upon a time, the yee naaldlooshii had been human too, only a few millennia separating them from their so-called food, through generations of breeding and cementing their gifts into the bloodline. Reese was intrigued by these distant cousins and was frustrated when his attempts to satiate his curiosity were constantly frowned upon. They also called him a "pervert" for these frivolous ideas and desires.

So, what was a newly freed and ostracized skinwalker supposed to do when faced with oppression and undignified name-calling? Why, rub it in all of their faces, of course! And what better way to completely alienate those he'd once called kin by becoming the one thing they hated and feared above all else: a hunter. That's right. Despite being a monster himself, Reese wasn't about to let that stop him from doing what he wanted, labels be damned. It'd started out as revenge and an attempt to spite his overbearing Mother but after getting his first taste of it, it'd now become about fun and doing something good for the humans. Because, sure, human hearts were delicious and he wasn't about to deny that but there was something satisfying about saving a human woman from being almost torn apart by a Wendigo. Killing other evil creatures sated his lust for blood and violence and the grateful, bosom-squishing hugs he got in return for his efforts were a nice reward as well. He'd only killed two things so far - the Wendigo was fun and the surprise on the werewolf's face as he died was hysterical - but after that one human lady clung to him, pressing her soft body to his and sobbing in gratitude for having saved her life, he really didn't need any more convincing to keep doing what he was doing. Warmly embracing and comforting big-breasted human women after slaughtering evil creatures. Oh, what would Mother-dearest think of him now?

And that was how Reese found himself in the middle of mountainous country. Having just stumbled into town, he'd already forgotten the name of the place - "Black" something, which didn't make a lick of sense since there was a shit-ton of green around - not that it mattered since he was mostly drawn to locations by his senses rather than names or descriptions. Being a part of the supernatural world had its advantages, namely that he could basically sniff out otherworldly creatures like himself. Following his nose, he was drawn to this area by a sense of wrongness in the air, his skin prickling with the presence of another. Oh, yeah. These were the hunting grounds of something alright. Now all he had to do was find actual signs of it doing harm to the people here to gain clues to where it might be hiding. The scent he had for these sorts of things was certainly useful, but it didn't do much to help him pinpoint location. The entire town was awash with the smell of this unnatural presence and he might have to cover every inch of it before it led him to the culprit. Once he got close enough, the scent would get stronger but as of right now, walking down the sidewalk downtown, it could be in any of the myriad shops or businesses he passed.

Finding these clues meant he had to interact with the humans and ever since he left the tribe, it'd become his new favorite thing to do. Before, it'd always been "stop playing and eat your food" or "no, she doesn't look 'cute' or 'interesting', so quit talking to her. Just eat her heart and shut the hell up." Now, he could talk to them all he wanted, both men and women and although rusty with interaction at first - he learned rather quickly that he had to lie a lot in order to get the desired results - he was getting pretty good at it. It also helped that he was naturally good looking as well. With slender features and an angular chin, dominated by large, amber-yellow eyes and just the hint of stubble, he apparently cultivated an air of roguish charm that enticed the more youthful of female hearts. Not that he was "male model" material, what with his below average height, wiry frame and crooked front teeth, but he was easy enough on the eyes - and just above the line of "unremarkable" - that it helped open doors before he even uttered a word.

After a little over two days of snooping around, Reese finally caught his lucky break. Apparently, Black Hills had been suffering from occasional disappearances for a while. Being in such a touristy spot - Mount Rushmore, anyone? Holy shit, those dudes were big! - it was overwhelmed by a steady stream of strangers coming and going almost constantly. But also being in the middle of such rural country, it was not all that surprising when some inexperienced hot shots from NYC or Californian douchebags decided to wander off the trail while hiking and then were never heard from again. There were large predators that got plenty of finger pointing of course but things were so spread out, nobody was really looking for reasons to get upset. Those who were lost were just added to the list of "cautionary tales" and they all sort of blended together in a pile of statistics. It was a lot of jibberish to sift through, and none of the cases really stood out as out of the ordinary. That is, until Reese met Mandy.

A pretty girl in her mid-20s, with chestnut, shoulder-length hair - and D cups, Reese didn't fail to notice, repeatedly - she'd been on a road trip crossing America, coast-to-coast, with her brand-spanking new husband, Todd, before he'd up and vanished. Unlike most young women in her situation, Mandy didn't take this as some elaborate rejection or decide to give up when the local PD tried to reassure her that they were doing everything they could. As a determined and confident woman, she decided that something grave had happened to Todd and it was her job to stick around to find him - or at least figure out what happened to him. Although he was about 90% positive that Todd was dead, Reese agreed to help her in her efforts, even though it meant he probably wouldn't get a hug as a reward when they found her precious husband. Alas, he was plenty content to eye the goods from afar for the duration. Oh, and he figured, wandering around with her, she might make good bait to lure out whatever had snatched Todd up. Not that he'd let anything happen to her, of course, but it was the best plan he had at the moment.

Sitting with her and comforting her in the cafe where he'd met her, the sun of mid-afternoon shining through the short locks of his soft brown and copper hair, Reese cleared his throat before continuing. "Now, where was it that you last saw him?" His amber eyes glinted with a flash of gold as his slanted grin turned sympathetic.

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Re: The Hunting Game

Post by ShadowWake on Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:51 am

Damn. Prodding the suspended form with a single finger, she sighed, folding her arms squarely across her chest and glaring at her meal. Or what should’ve been her meal. The problem being that generally, she liked her food warm and this fine specimen seemed to have coped poorly even with his own dreams – the cooling flesh serving a cruel reminder to be careful what you wished for. How was she to know that his desire would be risky? Some fighter pilots lived, didn’t they? Cursing out loud, she kicked him in the shins, setting off a gentle yet hair-raising cacophony of squeaks and creaks from the combination of chains and tree roots that held her prey in place. Turning her glare onto the rocky ceiling, she noted that some of the drying vines had already started to peel away from the cave’s rough stone. “Almost time to move anyway,” she grumbled and gave the corpse one last kick for good measure before turning on her heel and stalking to the rear chamber.

It was always the same. Hide – stalk – feed – move – hide – stalk – move – hide – movemove, move, MOVE! Reaching the large hole in the floor, she shivered, unconsciously moulding herself an extra layer of fat as the chill breeze whistled mournfully through the black opening, and bent to grasp the rope tied securely around a pointed stalagmite. It had never been like this in the past; no internet, no phones, no frigging vehicles. But worse was the competition. Demons sprouting here, monsters emerging there – considering the prevalence of belief in the middle-ages, you’d be surprised that they hadn’t died out by now. But no, until she had found Black Hills, every hunt had attracted all the beasts – and in turn, the birds and the bees, as the humans termed it – and before she knew it, she was fighting off whole packs of malicious human look-a-likes just for a meagre taste of blood.

Yanking hard on the rope, she drew its contents steadily up out of the cooling spring water far below, the metal case clattering against the stone rim as she dragged it in front of her. The last hunt was the worst outcome to be sure – it wasn’t often you found someone who was so abominably weak in spirit – but prior to that had been a bout of feeding that even she usually shunned. Quick snacks more animalistic in nature... she considered with no small amount of self-loathing – no better than a common vampire. What had happened to the Djinn so feared by the Native American tribes of the Midwest? Matchitehew – “he who has an evil heart”? She snorted to herself in disgust. More like “he who has an empty belly”.

Unclipping the case was as disappointing as she’d thought: a solitary bag of human blood floated serenely in the icy water. “Damn,” she repeated. Not even enough to spend time searching for a new den, let alone checking out a suitable hunting ground to live in. No, she would have to stay a while longer. Which meant she had to go out and hunt. Snapping the box shut and standing with a speed that would’ve astonished most humans – had she ever let them see – she kicked the box back down the hole, grinning at the loud splash of it hitting the water. Later, her old friend would head down the same way, but for now, she was hungry enough to leave that satisfaction until she got back.

If there was one trait she had gained from humans that she was quite happy to adopt, it was preening. Her possessions were few: a couple of narrow blades, a tiny siphon, her blood bags of course, a few collecting bowls and jars – all small enough to fit in her backpack – and her one item of luxury. It was only a small hand mirror – the kind that most human females carried in their purses, which was in fact where it came from – but she liked the way it glittered, showing her true and untrue forms simultaneously like a shimmering mirage. There was something about looking at it that made her feel as though she were home; in the ancient deserts across the seas where her people first began.

Presently, the face she wore was rather plain: a backwater local lass with dewy brown eyes and dark limpid hair that hung like a curtain over her face. That, and pretending to be trapped under a tree, had been enough for her last victim. But hunting from scratch without an idea of a prey target was an altogether different matter and starting with something more refined was in order. Grinning, she shifted, face sliding perfectly into its new form: eyes flecked hazel and wide pouting mouth, offset with a strong jaw and dark tapered eyebrows, draped with rich auburn ringlets. Frowning, she tweaked slightly, removing the pout to favour a more natural line, and snapped closed the mirror, gathering her possessions into her backpack as her tattoos faded swiftly back into tanned skin. There was no harm in being careful after all. She would go down into town, posing as a newly arrived tourist, and scent out her prey, hoping that with the oncoming season there would be plenty to choose from. If there wasn’t... well, there would be a hungry few days ahead. Sighing, she shook her head and stepped out of her cave into the leaf-dappled sunshine.
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Re: The Hunting Game

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:08 pm

Alright. Reese was getting real tired of Mandy now. They'd gone past the "sweetly vulnerable, grieving stage" and vaulted headlong into the "I'm-okay-so-long-as-we're-doing-something-proactive" stage. He could deal with her crying and comforting her because it not only gave him plenty of excuses to touch her but it also inspired a heroic picture of himself in his own mind. But the tears were dried up, after emptying out of her for about an hour, and now after all of the gentle caresses and soothing shoulder rubs, he'd positioned himself very firmly in the confidante role. Amidst all the planning and wondering what their next move was, it was "Todd this" or "Todd that" or "And one time, Todd..." Yes, yes, and it was very unfortunate that the bastard was gone now.

Needless to say, his patience with the human was wearing thin. The first couple of hours after meeting her went considerably well - he got to lie to her a lot and touch her a bunch and play her unexpected hero by offering to help her find her pathetic waif of a husband. She was a sweet girl and very smart, and aside from the constant stream of personal stories he couldn't give two shits about, the love for her husband was actually really admirable and endearing. Beyond that though, there was little for them to connect on and despite being with her, Reese felt incredibly lonely. He couldn't tell her anything real about himself, couldn't tell her about his gifts or his suspicions about what they were hunting. At first, it'd been like a game, playing himself up as a hot shot and pushing a fake identity to keep her happy and interested but after a while, her blind trust and blissfully ignorant praise began to chafe against his true motives.

All misgivings aside about the whole "use the pretty woman as bait without telling her anything" plan, Reese couldn't just send her on her way. He still needed her. She was probably the most important clue he had to finding this thing, since given her story of how ole hubby vanished, it was looking like a deliberate occurrence rather than some unfortunate accident. He had no other witnesses around from previous cases to interview and the police seemed really intent on blaming hungry wolves for most of the other disappearances. Mandy was his freshest lead and she was going to go sticking her nose in this whether he helped her or not, so he sucked it up and put on a smile for her, setting aside any doubts he had about putting her in harms way - and also, he forced himself to swallow down the bile that rose up when she told him all about Todd's romantic gestures during their pre-marital courtship.

Making their way to the last place Mandy saw Todd, the two found themselves in Bear Butte State Park. Mandy and Todd had been staying at a ranch motel during their visit, a quaint midwestern establishment that really played up the Native American and cowboy themes. After exploring Wind Cave just a few days prior, Mandy had stayed behind in their room while Todd went for an afternoon hike in the hills and then he just never made it back. It was the beginning of the summer, so families all packed up in their RVs and mobile campers were eagerly making their way through the list of activities that the Park provided, one of which was a guided hiking tour. Retracing the couple's steps, Reese and Mandy found themselves surrounded by the influx of tourists, backpacking through the winding trails in the hilly forests.

Normally, Reese could set aside his more monstrous nature, ignoring his base desires to make human contact tolerable. Being around the inexperienced masses - most of which who were completely unprepared for even a short walk let alone any sort of indepth hike into the wilderness - he found it rather trying to keep it all in and stay focused. Most of the time, he considered the humans much like he would regard a basket of kittens needing to be coddled and protected but this atmosphere seemed to cultivate an image of "food" that would not be dispersed. Some of the families were of the fleshier variety, exposed, corpulent expanses of skin glistening in the midday sun, breathing heavy and whining in irritation as aches and pains were vocalized after the first mile and the bugs feasted in earnest. Not to mention that even if his senses weren't as strong as they were, the smell of saturated bodies and living meat was overpowering in it's prevalence, drowning out the crisp mountain air. To chase away the images of huffing, vulnerable prey waddling around - and nudging into him occasionally when the trail grew too narrow - Reese numbed himself by withdrawing internally, keeping himself just responsive enough to Mandy that she wouldn't worry.

At one point, early in the tour but after an hour of stumbling around with the same annoying group, he found himself distracted. There was this one little girl of about 7 years, who kept running around, poking everyone with sticks and laughing and he was severely tempted to shove her down the rocky hill. Go on, you little twit! Poke me! I fucking dare you! Shit'll be real funny, then! Then all of a sudden, he blinked when he realized that familiar scent, the one that had drawn him to Black Hills in the first place, was stronger than it had been. The smell of human sweat was still overpowering as ever but just underneath it, the odor of otherness and power was wafting through the air. Immediately hyper aware of how much more distinct it had become - and realizing that the creature was really close by if he could smell it this strongly above everything else - he began to search it out while trying to keep a low profile. It wouldn't do to scare it off if it truly had targeted this group. Even so, he was so caught up in searching the trees surrounding them while they walked, that Little Miss Shithead with the annoying sticks, poked him with nary a reaction from him.

After a while, Reese began to suspect that whatever was hunting here might not actually be following from the cover of the woods but could be among them, acting like the other tourists. It'd be a bit harder to narrow it down if the creature had the ability to shift it's shape like he did, to blend in with humanity. While subtly trying to sniff the creature out among those in their tour group, he was distracted again when Mandy began to grow disheartened. "What are we even doing here?" she asked him quietly, drawing his attention finally after he'd basically ignored her during the entire hike. "I mean, what am I doing? He's gone and as much as I appreciate your help, I just don't think either of us are prepared for this. I mean, how are we even going to find him out here? What is the point? He's probably dead. Maybe I should just pack my things and go home to Washington..."

They were off to the side on one part of the trail, letting the main group with the guide stay within sight just ahead. He was restless and annoyed with her for timing her little crisis right now, just when he'd finally caught the scent and he found it hard to muster up the patience to reassure her. Still, the miserable look she gave him was enough to wake him up to the reasons he brought her along in the first place. Pausing, he licked at his lips and glanced around the trail, looking for inspiration, when his eyes fell on a lone red head wandering among the stragglers behind them. She looked ordinary enough but there was something off about her that made the short hair on the nape of his neck stand on end. Since she wasn't close enough to get a whiff of, Reese cast her out of mind for the moment, returning his focus to the young woman standing in front of him.

"Hey, no, no, no!" he hastily cooed, flashing her a friendly smile and rubbing a hand on her upper arm. "Don't give up on me now, chica! I'll tell you what the point is: closure. You think those dickheads back at the police station are really gonna delve into this any more than they already have? After that line they fed you about 'wolves getting bold during this season'? Sounds like an excuse to sit on their asses, if you ask me. You know as well as I do that Todd deserves better than that. You deserve better than that. We came out here to find out what happened and that's what we're gonna do. We can at least put the effort in that no one else is going to and do everything we can. I won't let you give up on me because you'll hate yourself for it later, thinking of how much more you could have or should have done."

Cradling her face and wiping a stray tear from her cheek with his thumb, he waited for her to nod before flashing another crooked tooth grin at her. "That's it, girl. Alright, so, we can pretty much guarantee that Todd went on this hike a couple days ago, right?" Mandy sniffed and breathed deep as she shoved her emotions down, letting that confident determination take it's place once more as she gave him another firm nod. "Okay but he didn't take the tour, because none of the guides recognized his photo. So, maybe when he walked here by himself he wandered off the path? These trails are fairly well-defined but he might have gotten overconfident and decided to explore a little bit on his own." Glancing towards the front of the group where the guide was standing several feet away, Reese made note of how far the guy was and where his attention was focused - he was showing off a cluster of mushrooms climbing a tree trunk and rattling off some very rehearsed facts about it. Looking back the way they came, several people were taking their time and taking photos of the scenery - while a couple of the larger tourists were sitting and catching their breath on a fallen log. He also narrowed his eyes at the curly haired chick with the nice tan who was still dawdling back there but shrugged it off before focusing on the forest on either side of them.

"Come on," he said in a hushed voice, shooting wary glances around as he took Mandy's hand and led her off the trail. And of course, she was only too willing to follow her new friend blindly, simply relieved to be doing something. After wandering several yards and cutting a zig zagging path to get them sufficiently turned around, he waited until she began huffing in frustration, apparently having lost her sense of direction.

"Crap, I think we're lost," she said in a dismayed tone, putting a hand to her forehead in exhaustion.

Reese let his eyes flit around the trees surrounding them, with full knowledge of where they were and what direction the hiking group was in. "Yeah, I think you're right. Darn." Putting on his best face of exasperation, he looked back at her with a weary shrug. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I'm so sorry, I got you into this mess. I was just trying to help."

Concern entered her eyes and she reached forward to give him a gentle squeeze on the elbow. "No, it's alright," she said in a soothing tone. "I really appreciate all you've done for me, Reese. Don't worry, we'll figure this out and we'll get out of here." A flash of amusement filled him to see her trying to comfort and reassure him now but he hid it beneath an anxious nod, following her lead through the brush. And as soon as he got the chance, he ditched her.

Not entirely because he kept an eye on her but he made sure that she thought she was alone. From the cover of the trees, he snacked idly on some gummie bears he'd pilfered back in town, while he watched Mandy stumble around the woods, frantically calling his name and crying out for help. When she began to sob pitifully in hopeless fear, he stifled a belch against his fist, watching and waiting for his bait to catch the attention of the thing that had been stalking the tour group. Glancing at his watch as Mandy began to pray out loud, he decided he'd give it an hour before he wandered back on the scene to take her back to civilization.

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Re: The Hunting Game

Post by ShadowWake on Wed May 01, 2013 4:56 pm

It was torture – plain and simple. She had seen Hell and it was nothing like the seething mass of fat-packed prey-bags that swarmed the forested hills, buzzing and squealing like any animal content in its own ignorance, but if she could imagine the kind of hell these creatures described in their own myths and legends, it would be this: surrounded by food and unable to eat it. For the first hour, she kept her head down, trudging up the steeper inclines with the more serious ‘hikers’ as though she were merely concentrating on the climb, forcing herself to ignore the human hamburgers that paced and sweated beside her. In truth, she was nervous – or as nervous as any almost-immortal being could be around mortals. There was a scent in the air that just... wasn’t right.

After a while, she found herself lifting her head to glare at her surroundings, automatically trying to identify what it was that set her senses jangling; which proved rather unfortunate as a young man attempted to use the opportunity to ‘small talk’. Suppressing a withering glower, she turned a smile on his endless prattling – for it didn’t seem to matter that his conversation was primarily one-way – and probed his mind for any base desires that could be used. Urgh. Shying away from her own mangled image in the air-filled depths of his grey matter, it took her all of three seconds to decide that this was one fantasy that she would rather not make come true – even if he was going to be immobile for the duration of her feed cycle. Desires as deep as a muddy puddle and just as disgusting.

However, belatedly, she realised the testosterone-fuelled fop was asking questions she could no longer ignore without drawing enmity and suspicion, and so smoothing over a sneer of derision, she flashed him a quick glance. “Jeanie,” she responded with a smirk to his query, unable to help herself as she added, “like the magical kind.” Most monsters and demons didn’t appreciate such subtleties of humour and a force of habit still led her to directing her witticisms on her hapless victims. Sure enough, the kid Mickey – “like the mouse” apparently –didn’t bat an eyelid, unaware as he was of the simple irony. It almost seemed a shame when a pretty little blonde in shorts pretending to be a belt waved mouse-boy over to join her and her prodigiously endowed friends in what seemed to be a giggling match at a rather unsubtly shaped tree.

By now, their ‘conversation’ had taken them to the back of the group and she found herself scanning the people in front warily now the irritation had left her alone. The strange feeling from earlier remained and it wasn’t just a pervading smell of wrongness now, but an unnerving nudge in the back of her mind where her baser instincts lurked; whatever it was, it was dangerous, and there was simply too much prey milling about to pinpoint which mind was harbouring such an overwhelming desire to hunt. It made her feel like a fox amongst chickens – with the guard dog alert and slavering. Mentally drawing herself up, Jeanie made a split-second decision to do some herding of her own; tacking away from the tourist party, she cut off the worn track and through the trees, aiming for a spot higher up to wait in ambush. After all, it had worked well last time.

Arriving at a suitable point, she shrugged both arms through the straps of her pack, settling it securely inside a wide crevice in the rock face she had chosen as her hide. No sooner had she done it when the distant sound of panic caught at her ears, the stink fear making an acrid tang in the back of her nose. Quashing the instant pang of bloodthirsty hunger, she moved toward the noise in a blink, keeping herself out of sight behind the largest trunk in view as she assessed the lucky break before her with a tilt of her head. Wrong, wrong, all wrong. Her instincts were screaming at her, every part of her being responding to the coincidence with the conflicting sensations of hope and paranoia; here was a woman alone, frightened enough to make the taking oh so easy, with an overwhelmingly simple desire to have her life back to the normalcy before her husband’s disappearance. Indeed the same human who had been such as wasted venture had now suddenly provided the answer to several problems: hunger and cover. It was an opportunity that she just couldn’t ignore.

Keeping back for a short moment, she moulded her features into a look of friendly concern, letting it show through her voice as she started to make her way through the trees towards the girl. “Hello?” she called, and the woman spun on her heel, startling with a small breathy gasp and clasping her hand to her bosom. “Did you need some help?” Relief suffused the girl’s face as she gushed her gratitude, completely unaware of the danger and almost dancing over to the Djinn. Mechanically smiling and making comforting noises as she quickly sketched a mental map of the hallucination, Jeanie almost missed the girl’s next words.

“Have you seen anyone else? You see, there was a guy with me who...” Suddenly panicking at the realisation, Jeanie clamped her hand around the slender neck, choking off the stream of conversation as her eyes flared a vivid blue. A goddamn trap! She just knew it! Her need to hunt must have masked the strange feeling for too long and innately knowing that whatever it was would be close (for now she was thinking of it, you couldn't miss the stench of power), she dosed the woman with a light trace of toxin. Veins spider-webbed across her prey’s fine jaw as the girl’s eyes rolled back to their whites smoothly, the Djinn’s tattoos gliding down her bare limbs as though newly painted.

Growling in annoyance, she let the unconscious form drop to the forest’s litter, turning to where she knew by his smell the creature was hiding. “Whatever you are,” she stated too sweetly, her glare luminous as she peered through the sun-dappled woodland, “You’d better have a good reason for interrupting my meal.”
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Re: The Hunting Game

Post by Guest on Fri May 03, 2013 6:30 pm

He smelled it before he saw it and he was still surprised. Leaning on a tree with a split trunk, he zoned out while listening to Mandy cry - given confidence by her proximity and aware of her general lack of harm - fiddling with the charm necklace he wore and sweating in the heat. It wasn't nearly as bad as the Arizona deserts he grew up in and the trees helped diffuse most of the sunlight from it's treacherous onslaught but still, the summer was making it's grand entrance, preparing for it's reign in the quickly approaching June. The back of his cobalt blue T-shirt stuck to his shoulder blades and his rust colored hair grew darker where it framed his face. Rubbing his arm across his forehead to wipe away a trickle of sweat, Reese suddenly tensed as the smell of power became more pronounced, alerting him to the nearing presence of the one he was hunting.

"Bingo!" he murmured under his breath, smirking as he reached under the back of his shirt to the gun tucked in his pants. He hadn't brought a lot with him today because he wasn't sure exactly what he was looking for. Most things - himself included - were vulnerable to silver, so that's what the gun was loaded with. In addition to that, he had a silver knife tucked away and the pockets of his khaki cargo pants were filled with a few charms and home-brewed repellents. There was also a machete in his car, parked back at the ranch, because most things - either in addition to or instead of silver - were killed by beheading. He hadn't brought it with him because he wasn't really certain how good Mandy was gonna turn out to be as bait and also, he didn't want to freak everyone out by toting around a really long knife while tromping through the woods. Not very family-friendly.

Checking the clip in his handgun, he loaded it and cocked it before darting his head to look through the gap in the tree's dual trunks, his body flushed with excitement and blood-lust as his prey wandered into the trap he set. Watching Mandy become aware of the stranger, he stuttered a moment when he saw the woman approaching her, doubt seeping in at the edges as he registered the very human-like concern on the red head's face. He got over it quickly though when he remembered how odd ole Red had been when he first made note of her back on the trail, added onto the fact that the smell was too strong to be ignored now, his senses zeroing in on the woman as the source of it. "You like that bait? Aw, yeah, chicks dig the bait," he tauntingly whispered, adjusting his stance behind the tree to get the most advantageous viewpoint. He wasn't very elevated where he was, still, he had a foot or two on the women, looking down on them from an angle.

He was still adjusting his footing on the mossy ground, so the sudden change of tone in the interactions below caught him off guard. Shit! She was fast! There was a moment of casual sadness when Mandy fell to the ground at the thing's feet because although he'd been barely tolerant of her as a companion, he hadn't brought her out here to die. Then he nodded in relief when the young woman's heartbeat filtered to his ears from where she lay, merely unconscious and not dead as he originally assumed by the ferocity of the attack. Glancing at her, he shrugged - Eh. She'll be a'ight. - turning his focus back onto the thing still standing.

Immediately, he became aware of the glowing blue eyes and the tattoos scrawling themselves on the visible parts of her arms and he racked his brain for the profile that fit. The only thing he could think of was a genie or whatever - the tattoos fit and suddenly the terrain made sense. As she spoke aloud - obviously talking to him - he lightly banged his forehead to the tree he was hiding behind, frustrated as he realized the crap situation he'd gotten himself into. Seriously? During his down time before and after these hunts, he spent his time pouring over books of lore, reading about legends regarding ancient creatures and boning up on their characteristics - weaknesses, strengths, behaviors, even committing to memory a few spells that would act as quick fixes in dicey situations. Most of the things he read about were a bit more common, like werewolves and vampires, doing pre-research on the things he was most likely going to encounter while following his nose across the country. The Djinn hadn't been on the list but he'd briefly glanced over it's stats anyway and now he was having difficulty dragging up the bits and pieces from his memory.

Grimacing at the gun he held, he wondered if she'd even be vulnerable to it at all. Figuring that the best way to find out would be to threaten her with it, he boldly stepped from his cover and pointed it at her. "A good reason?" Reese asked, giving her a playful, crooked grin as he nodded at Mandy. "Yeah, how about 'you can't eat that'? Sorry for the inconvenience but not really."

His finger was on the trigger and for the moment, he had her perfectly targeted. Even with how fast she was, he could adjust his aim just as quick - well, he hoped - and despite his spotty recollection, he was pretty sure silver would hurt her, if not kill her. The advantage was his and this hunt was seconds from being over, added as another notch to his belt. Everything inside him screamed for him to kill the beast and retrieve the lady - who, through his involvement, had become his responsibility - and he really badly wanted to add it to the list of reasons he could say 'Suck it!' to his family and tribe for all their restrictions and disdain. Still... it'd been a while since he'd talked to anyone like himself and unlike the Wendigo - who'd been one ugly SOB - and the werewolf - who'd been an old dude - this one had a pretty face. Glancing at Mandy's still form, he remembered when the loneliness hit him while he'd been with her, that lack of connection, and he wasn't so eager now to return to that right away.

Pointing the gun a little to her left side, he shot without warning, the bullet whizzing past her shoulder to hit a tree behind her. "That's silver, pumpkin," he said smoothly, instantly putting the gun back on her. "So, let's not make any sudden movements, eh?" Shaking his head slightly with a rueful grin, hating himself a little bit for his willingness to chat, he kept his eyes trained on her as he asked, "By the way, she'll be able to walk away from that won't she? What did you do to her, anyway? You're a genie, right? Ain't you guys' supposed to be blue?" A low chuckle left his throat at his joke, and his amber eyes caught a glint of sunlight as a breeze came through, rustling the branches overhead.

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Re: The Hunting Game

Post by ShadowWake on Mon May 06, 2013 3:43 pm

Jeanie felt her lips tug at the corners as the apparent young man levelled the pistol at her ample chest, the sunlight glinting off his amber eyes like the twinkle of doubt she sensed seeding in his emotions. “That’s not a good reason,” she purred, settling her hands on her hips, as her eyes flashed with displeasure – almost contradicting her playful toothy grin, “You see, for me, this pretty little darlin’ here is – to put it simply – my lifeline. To just leave her... it’s not an inconvenience as such but an impossibility. Waste not, want not? Surely a growing young...” the Djinn paused, assessing the prey’s saviour from head to toe with a critically amused gaze, “...thing like yourself would understand?”

With a half shrug at his lack of reaction, Jeanie took a step towards her meal. Faster than she could react, a small bright dart of metal shot past her right ear, causing her to freeze mid-stride as her heart skipped at the faint hum of the bullet’s passage. Anger flared deep in her chest and she drew herself up slowly, turning stiffly to glare at the intruder. “I guess you don’t,” she hissed under her breath as he trained the weapon back on her. It would be a lucky shot to get her right in the heart but silver nonetheless hefted a healthy punch when it came to pain, and with only a few days blood to sustain her, there was no way she was taking that hit. Tilting her head at his nonchalant tone, she surveyed him under lowered lashes; he certainly wasn't human with that scent - and the weird eyes - but what was he? She snorted to herself. And since when did a monster get all gooey over the food-bags anyway?

Blue?” she scorned, curling her nose in disgust and unable to help the irritated bite to her tone, “How long has it been since you actually spoke to one of your own kind? Have the humans so tamed you that you can no longer recognise kindred from prey? No,” Jeanie continued, the edges of her form fading into pale ghostly grey smoke as she allowed her natural form to slip through, the tattoos across her skin twisting like oil on water as her luminous eyes flared in swirling darkness, “we are not blue.” Oh! It was such a relief! And yet she knew if she allowed herself too long, the effort to maintain a human form would be beyond what her weakened soul could cope with, and that was a one-way train to starvation.

Sighing, Jeanie solidified her form, passing an exasperated hand over her face until her eyes dimmed to a more normal colour. “It’s not painful, you know,” she told him with a glare, feeling an obscure need to defend herself, “I’m not an animal. There could be worse things than to live through their hearts desire – indeed, some of my prey came from worse. There was this one girl...” Frowning and turning her head away, she threw up her hands in annoyance, then folded them squarely across her chest. “I can’t believe I’m even doing this. Look, I don’t care what you feel your justification is, I’m hungry, and the choices for me now are slim. Either I attempt to grab my meal and get shot, or I attempt to run and get shot, or I actually escape and starve.”

Facing him again, she turned a look of derision on him before baring her teeth in a grin that didn’t meet her eyes. “Shall we see what type of monster you are then, hunter?” she hissed, trying not to let a manic laugh escape at the inevitability of the situation, “What’s it going to be for me: the desperate scramble, the fear-driven hunt or the agonisingly lonely death in my den? Go on!” She did laugh then, blue eyes sparking as she held out her arms. “Your friend will be awake soon, and you don’t want her seeing her handsome rescuer murder a helpless woman in cold blood, now, do you? Which – is – it – to – be?”
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Re: The Hunting Game

Post by Guest on Wed May 08, 2013 2:31 pm

Well! This was not what he expected at all! Even so, he was becoming more and more pleased by this turn in events. I think I just made a friend! That loneliness. It'd definitely been something he struggled with a lot after abandoning the Mother and the brethren of his tribe. The desire to play, to fight, to confide in someone about all the wonderful things he was seeing and experiencing for the very first time, only to turn around to find he was still just by himself. Even when surrounded by humans, none of them understood the undercurrent of the supernatural world, all a part of their own "tribes", wrapped up in themselves. They didn't get it but not only that, they were terrified of it, of anything that challenged their perception of reality. By taking control of his life, he'd isolated himself.

The more she talked and the more she revealed, the more Reese felt himself drawn to this creature. Although certainly not the same type as him, here was someone who understood, someone he could be real with - evident in the playful way she identified what he was. She almost lost him when she began to sniff disdainfully at Mandy, talking of humans as if they could be nothing more than food - which sounded an awful lot like some of the things Mother said - but his mind was irrevocably changed by 2 things: the first, was her revealing her true form to him. Blinking golden eyes in shock as a slow smile spread across his features, all he could think was how fucking awesome that was. The Wendigo and the werewolf had been corporeal creatures with very straight-forward abilities, so this was his first time witnessing anything at this power level. When she uttered a response to his earlier gibe from within her smoky mass, it sent a shiver down his spine and he flexed his fingers on his gun in sudden excitement, scared and yet drawn to that energy and power. He couldn't help wondering: What else could she do?

The second thing that convinced him not to kill her was the moment she tried to explain what was done to his human charge. He saw it, that sympathy in her eyes and voice as she sifted through memories, recalling someone she'd encountered once before and although he searched for any sign of manipulation - like how she'd perfectly mimicked concern for Mandy when she first showed up - her burst of frustration and hunger revealed that the glimpse of emotion was genuine. She wasn't trying to trick him. She hungered for them and saw the humans as meat, yes, but like him, she empathized with them on some level.

Ignoring years of ingrained instinct and his desire to hunt, while she grew angrier, her voice coming out in fierce threats and ultimatums, Reese grew more relaxed, his smile and expression brightening as he formed his plan of action. "My, aren't you a sassy one," he commented breezily, keeping the gun leveled at her and motioning with his other hand in a calming motion. "Alright, alright, just calm down there, sister. So, you're irritated and hungry, I get it, Smokey, but really, are those the only two choices? Kill you or kill you?" He squinted thoughtfully and crinkled his nose before shrugging and smoothly offering, "How about I do you one better? After all, waste not, want not, right?

"I'm willing to give you this one," a quick shift of his eyes indicated Mandy where she lay. "But in return, I want something from you. See, 'cause I'm all by myself out here and as great as Mandy is, I'm willing to sacrifice her just to make friends, so you can obviously see the attachments I've made to her. I need a companion." He shrugged, keeping his expression neutral as if he were just stating facts. "Not asking much, just that you come with me while I hunt and keep me company. You don't even have to help if you don't want to, although I think you might change your mind because this shit is really fun. I get to kill stuff all the time and the hunt isn't all that different from going after humans. Same thrill just different prey." His excitement bled through his words as he flashed a crooked, boyish grin at her, unable to contain it.

"Speaking of, in exchange," he chewed on his bottom lip and released a reluctant sigh. "I'll let you occasionally indulge when you need to. We all gotta eat, eh? Except I don't really have to until it's my 'extra special time' of the month." He gave her another grin and scratched the side of his head with the gun's muzzle before casually pointing it back at her. "So, what say you, Ms. Not-Blue? You join me on my road trip and I'll make sure you stay fed when you get jonesing for a human snack pack. Oh, also I won't kill you today. How's that?" It was a long-shot. He wasn't really sure how appealing he'd made his case - hey, it sounded like a win-win to him, okay? - and he wasn't really sure how he felt about letting her feed while he was trying to save humans but it wasn't something he could argue with if he wanted her to join him. She would obviously starve without it and although he hadn't given much thought to his own feeding habits... well, he'd cross that bridge when he came to it. No, he definitely couldn't kill her now. Well... he would if she said "no" but as of now, with the potential of her response hanging in the air, the desire to end her life had left him.

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Re: The Hunting Game

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