The Hunter Series - Penelope

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Chapter 2


My mind felt groggy when I woke the next morning. Turning over and groaning. I peeked at my alarm clock. It read: 7:12AM 17/03.

Ergh! Why am I even up this early?

My eyes closed in hope to get at least another hour or two of sleep. No such luck. Now I’m awake, I desperately needed to pee. Leaping out my bed, my feet felt a bit numb. A bit uneasy on my feet, I wobbled to the bathroom.

There was the mouthwatering smell of bacon drifting up the stairs when I left the bathroom. It made my stomach growl. Even though I actually wanted to go back to sleep, I also wanted bacon. So, I went downstairs.

Mum was at the cooker when I went into the kitchen. My stomach made another loud grumbling sound, loud enough for mum to turn around.

“Morning, Penelope. Here’s your breakfast.” Mum said. Loading the plate full of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Then handing it to me.

“Thanks, mum.” I said, sitting at the table. It wasn’t surprising she knew I would come downstairs this early. It had been this way everyday for as long as I could remember. Somehow, she knew the days when I get up early. I never knew how but I was grateful because she made me a cooked breakfast.

“I heard you come in pretty late last night,” She said, bringing her own breakfast to the table. It was a bowl of shredded wheat and blueberries.

“Oh, I’m sorry if I woke you. I tried to be quiet.” I said in between chewing.

“You didn’t wake me. I stayed awake to make sure you got in safely. Were you with Justin, again?” She took a sip of her tea, trying to be nonchalant.

“He brought me home, yeah. Why?” I asked, frowning. Her series of questions made me oddly suspicious.

“I was just wondering sweetheart,” she said, sipping her tea again. “I hope you’re being careful with him. Do you use protection?”

Suddenly, I had to stop myself from spitting the food in my mouth and potentially all over her face.

Where did that come from?

The bluntness made me shift in my seat awkwardly.

“Mum, we don’t need this conversation.” I said. The food seemed less appealing now.

“I just thought, you know, with you coming home at god-knows-what-time that it would involve a boy.” She continued. “I just want to make sure you’re being safe.”

“Well, you don’t need to worry about that. Justin and I are not together and we’re not having sex.”

Thankfully, mum didn’t probe too much after that. I guess it was an obvious mistake to make when I come home so late at night. She didn’t know about Hunters or vampires. I wanted to keep it that way.

Mum opened up a newspaper as we continued to eat. Even though my appetite was put off I finished my plate. When I got up to clear the table, she stopped reading to look up at me.

“Have you heard about the pier?” She asked.

“No. What about it?”

“It’s been sold to Mr Lockhart. It says they’re ′very thrilled to take on this new project and have high hopes to bring a new lease of life to the town of Eastbourne'. Bit cheesy but it also mentions they’re hiring at the night club. You know the one. Oh, what’s its name? The one at the back of the pier.” Mum said.

“Atlantis?”

“Yes, Atlantis! Perhaps you should hand in your CV.”

It was obvious mum was subtly trying to tell me that I needed a job. The only money I earned was from the Hunters. It wasn't the best idea to tell mum I earn my money by being a trained vampire killer. Then, I thought back to what Justin had said...

Perhaps you should take a step back. Find a new job for a while...

It couldn’t hurt to get a new job. New scenery to clear my mind. I could come back to hunting when I found peace in my inner world.

“Okay.”

Mum widened her eyes in surprise. “You will?” Then did a subtle cough. “I mean, I’m glad you’ve decided to do this.”

I smiled. “Yeah, I might as well head over today. I have nothing else to do.”

Mum seemed pretty chuffed when I left the kitchen and headed to get ready upstairs. Sitting at my dresser, I brushed my long black hair into a side plait, pinning the loose strands at the back with hair grips. It didn’t take too long to put my eye liner and mascara on. Today my eyes were a deep ocean blue with a sparkle of anticipation. I hoped I’d give a good impression to the potential employer. In hope, I pulled out my favourite black jeans pairing them with a plain white T-shirt and not forgetting the leather jacket that showed my curves perfectly.

As I headed out the front door Mum wish me luck.

“See you later!” I yelled back.


The weather was still pretty grim from last night. The clouds had turned to dark grey. The wind picked up and made me shiver. I only hoped it doesn’t rain by the time I got over to the pier. The wet-rat look didn’t suit me.

We lived close, it was about a 20 minute walk from here. Closing the gate behind me and making sure it was secure otherwise the neighbours would be complaining about the gate banging against the wall, again. I headed off on my journey towards town.

The morning’s dull forecast hadn’t stopped the people of the town coming out of their homes to spend money. When I came round the bend, past the post office, I realised that the market was open. The smell of home made bread and scones found it’s way to me, luring me to buy from one of the stalls. I tried to pass quickly, keeping the thought of getting a new job in mind. Although, I made a mental note to pass by on my way home.

The smell of the salty sea air hit me when I got to the pier and breathed it in deeply. The pier hadn’t changed much over the years and it was still a magnificent domed pavilion. I walked through the arcade and pass the expensive tea rooms. There were little tourist shops that lead up to Atlantis, pub by day, club by night. I wanted to take a look in my favourite shop which made glass figurines. As a child, my brother Jeremy was always fascinated with watching them make them on site. Smiling at the sweet memory, I continued walking along the board walk until I reached Atlantis. I quietly slipped inside.


The pub wasn’t too busy for 9am on a Thursday morning. There seemed to be a couple having a fried breakfast and a woman sitting by herself with a laptop and a coke. I made my way to the bar where a cute barman was cleaning glasses. He had auburn hair with a long ginger beard. Even with his rugged looks, his features seemed delicate and my guess would be in his early twenties. He wore all black with ATLANTIS embroidered on the left and just under he wore his name badge - Cian.

“What can I get for you, darling.” He spoke with a thick Irish accent. His big warm smile made me smile.

“Can I have a latte, please?” I asked. I would have ordered food but I was still full from the breakfast earlier.

“Of course you can.” He tapped on his till and I put my card in the reader. Once I had paid, he continued. “If you would like to sit down, I’ll bring it over when it’s ready.”

“Thank you.”

There was a table free near the window with the best view of the sea and beach. My gaze lingering towards the horizon and I found myself wondering what the day had in store for me. Then, rummaging in my bag I pulled out a copy of my CV (Justin wrote it for me), a pad and a pencil. The pad was full of drawings of cartoon characters, animals and snap scenes of places I've visited. For a few minutes, I added the last details to my last piece of work before beginning to draw the coast from my eye line. If I hadn’t had a keen sense of hearing, I would have jumped when the sweet Irish voice spoke next to me.

“Here is your latte, enjoy!”

“Oh, thank you!” Then before he left, I built up the courage to continue. “I was just wondering if you were still advertising a job here?”

He nodded. “Yes, we are. Thinking of applying?”

“Well, I would like to... Would it be okay if I handed you my CV?”

“Of course you can!” He said. His enthusiasm made me feel a whole lot better and I gladly handed over my CV. “I’ll take it straight to the manager’s office since he’s in today.”

“Thank you so much!”

There were tiny butterflies in my stomach as he walked away.

While I enjoyed the view, I took a couple of sweetener packs from the condiments at the table, stirring them into my coffee. My mouth was dry and I sipped my drink. It burned my tongue. The frown was back as I put it down to cool and focused on my landscape.

The time seemed to pass by quickly. By the time I had nearly finished my sketch, I noticed a young man come out from one of the back offices. He was the same height as the barman and even more pale than him. The young man, in his late twenties had dark brown hair, neatly shaven and wearing a suit. He took my breath away and I couldn't help but admire his beauty. After a few minutes of mindless gawking, I realised I should really stop doing that before he thinks I'm some nutter.

The Irishman, Cian, gave a small gesture towards me. My heart practically leaping out my chest but I looked down, pretending not to look at him with a burning desire to look back. I wondered if he was looking at me. Or if he thought I was cute.

No! Stop it. You are here to find a job. Not find a job and date the boss.

Finally, I couldn't hold it for any longer and I had to look up. The cute man was gone and my heart deflated like a sad punctured tire.

“Hello.” A voice spoke beside me. It made me jump, I hadn’t heard the man arrive at my table. “Sorry to startle you. Are you the person who handed in a CV today?”

My voice, unwilling to work with me, twanged. “Yes.” I cleared my throat and tried again. “Sorry, yes.”

“I hoped to catch you before you left. May I sit with you?”

I nodded.

“That’s a beautiful drawing. Can I see?” He gestured towards my pad.

“Sure.” I slid it over to him. He smiled and nodded his head slightly as he scanned not only the piece I'm working on but all the others as well.

“That’s impressive. You have a talent for drawing. The best I can do is stick men.” He said, I laughed. He passed the pad back to me. “Cian handed me your CV. It's really good and I wanted to meet you. My name is Isaac Lockhart.”

He extended his hand.

“Penelope Hennessey.”

I reached to clasp his hand. The moment I touched him, something stung my palm. It was like an electric charge running though my palm and through my body. I flinched and snatched my hand back. It kept stinging for ages which I found odd. There didn't seem to be an explanation but Isaac laughed it off, saying something about the weather. I was not convinced.

“Would it be okay if I ask you some questions?” He continued.

I nodded. “Yeah, no problem.”

He pulled out a tiny notepad from his inside pocket. It had a pen attached to it and jotted some notes down while we talked.

“I noticed you have worked at the night club in town. How long were you employed there?”

“Yes, I stayed there for over two years. I worked four nights a week.”

He nodded, writing only the most important parts.

“What can you bring to this role?” He continued.

“Well, I am a dedicated team player...” as I carried on the answer I pictured the most recent time I was a team player...



We were outside an ‘abandoned’ factory. Crouching behind a short brick wall next to another Hunter, Craig. Only it wasn’t abandoned any more. It was now the home of a vampire clan using the harbour to take victims out of the country. Our mission was to shut it down and bring those victims back to safety.

Outside the loading bay entrance was two vampires. I signalled to Craig that I would take the stocky vampire and he can take the short one.

While Craig jumped over the wall and took for cover behind the empty storage unit. I aimed my crossbow at the stocky vampire’s heart. It was only when Craig moved close enough to execute the other, I took the shot. The vampire didn’t know what hit him until it was too late. It gave me time to get over and finish him off. I pushed the poisoned wood deeper into its heart and his face turned into a veined corpse.

“... And I’m aware this job involves time pressure. You are looking for someone who can multi-task...”

Another stake stabbed into a vampire's heart as we entered the factory. Now, he was only useful to shield me from a stray oncoming arrow. Letting him drop to the floor, I claimed my stake. It angered me that a member of my own team nearly killed me.They were being stupid and reckless.

Craig ran ahead, only to face four vampires. Justin and I ran to catch up, staking another, this one dared to snarl it's teeth at me. We had one each to kill now...

“... I am a dedicated individual who has the right experience you need. I believe this job would be able to develop my skills in this working environment.”

If this were any normal interview, I’d say my chances of getting this job were pretty high but what happened next would haunt me for a lifetime...

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