The Hunt

Posted on 8 Nov 2011 in Emmeline, Imagine | 4 comments

Well folks, here is the next installment of Emmeline, sponsored by NaNoWriMo. I hope to get back to my Holstee Manifesto Series once I’ve caught myself up with the novel. Hope you enjoy a bit of fiction this evening. Much love and warm fuzzies to all my readers.

As we approached the dragon, it stood its ground, barring our way. Derek placed his palm out in greeting, dragging me along behind him. I wasn’t precisely sure what the protocol was for meeting dragons, but I didn’t want to insult him by looking him in the eyes. So I kept my gaze downcast, even as it paced back and forth. Derek stopped, a bit confused.

“Lig, what’s the story?”

Apparently this dragon had a name. I didn’t like the way that it kept staring at me and snorting, however. And I’m guessing that Derek didn’t either.

“Derek, she is claimed.”

Derek looked at me directly, with a great deal of compassion in his eyes. “Emmie, I need you to answer this honestly, ok?”

“Sure, Derek.”

“Have you at any point in time, to your knowledge, made a bargain regarding your soul?”

“Are you talking like a Faustian soul sale? That’s ridiculous.”

“Emmie, this is really important. It’s ok if the answer is yes, but we need to know in advance. Have you ever given your soul to anyone before?”

I racked my brain for any moment when I could have done what Derek was asking. Not knowing what else to do, I said a quick prayer, asking to remember. And I saw a grove of trees, a picnic table, and a little girl dancing on top.

Lig hissed again, and smoke came billowing out of his nostrils. “She consults with her owner even now, Derek. You cannot bring her in without permission.”

Stunned, I stared at Derek.

“Derek? What is he talking about?”

“Emmie, what did you do, just then, when I asked you…what did you do or see?”

“I prayed, Derek, then I saw the day I became a Christian.”

Derek heaved a huge sigh of relief and started laughing. “Oh Emmie, you’re a Christian?”

“Well, I was. I still believe, but I don’t follow.”

“That’s fine. Even if you were the most devout follower, Christians are easy. Your god claims you forever, but gives you freedom. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen. Alright, we can take care of this easily enough. Emmie, do you give yourself permission to come behind the veil for the purpose of the Hunt?”

“Sure, Derek. Why else would I be here?”

Lig started chuckling as well. I didn’t seem to get the joke that both of them were sharing, but since the big, smoking dragon was moving away, I didn’t bother to argue. I grabbed Derek’s hand a bit tighter, and this time we walked slowly across the drawbridge, past Lig. But just as we were about to pass him, he stuck his tail in front of me. I froze, and waited for the tail to move.

“Lig, come on. She’s given permission. Let her go.”

I stood still as a statue, a bit afraid of either being burned to a crisp or eaten. Neither option was particularly appealing at the moment. In an act born of either desperation or sheer madness, I turned to face the dragon. His head was waiting right at eye level. As he looked into my eyes, I could tell that he was seeing something that I couldn’t. I hitched my head to the side and raised my eyebrows, hoping he would get the universal sign language for ‘huh?’

He looked again, peering deep, and I could feel something writhing in the pit of my stomach. He tapped one claw against my stomach, and said, “Girl, you’re owned, but something is crawling in you and trying to steal you. You need to beware.”

Derek stepped between us and said, “Don’t scare her.”

“D – I’m not trying to scare her, but if she doesn’t know, it will consume her. She has the power to force it out – if she wants to. But she can’t do that if she doesn’t know that it’s in there. Young one, I see a fire in you, and some of it is pure and relentless, and the rest of it is tainted. You need to root out the taint. You can pray and ask your god to reveal to you what you need to do. But I will give you a gift before you go. I will show you what I have seen. Look into my eyes and place your hands on the side of my head.”

David A. Hardy/

I did what he said, and immediately fell into his eyes. It was as if I were trapped in one of those psychedelic pieces of art. I saw stars being born and swirling in the massive galaxies; stars dying and being sucked into black holes. As I soared through those galactic eyes, I was drawn down through time and space until I saw a moment, something I never wanted to relive, and at that moment, I saw something pierce my side. As I cried out within the vision, I could almost relive the feeling of something writhing into me, burning and searing me inside. Lig’s eyes took me deeper, and I saw the vines start to grow around my heart, almost like in a fairy tale. As the vines grew, the heart seemed to glow and transform into a solid gold shell. The thorns couldn’t penetrate the shell, but they certainly seemed dangerous enough. I started to shake, and could feel the great heaviness inside of me that he had mentioned. I felt dirty, ashamed, all over again. As I came spiralling out of the vision, I could feel walls of solid steel shut down around my heart, my soul, and the brittle, sparkling person that Derek had come to know and love came back to the foreground. As Derek put his arm around me, I heard the dragon’s voice echoing in my head: Someday, Emmie, He *will* find you again. You have to be prepared. And sadly, Derek is a hunter, not a warrior. He will leave you for other prey, and you must be ready to stand on your own.

He swirled his tail out of my way and nudged me forward with his great snout. I couldn’t get very much enthusiasm behind my initial steps. I was bewildered, and overwhelmed. Derek turned me to face him, placed one hand under my chin and turned my face up to look him in the eyes. I willed my gaze to lie. To tell him I was fine. He smiled.

Fantastic, it worked. I smiled back.

“We ready to go, love?” I nodded, and once again, we were off, this time running.


  1. Some really select posts on this site, saved to favorites .

    • Thanks Moriah!

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