I’ve asked myself over a hundred times how I came to be. In a world that was governed and taken over by beings that are not human, I am an enigma. I shouldn’t have been born, along with half a dozen other children nearly thirty years ago.
They’re smarter now, the vicious beings, they’ve been sterilizing their prisoners just in case they escape before they’re done with them. A few hundred and I have been lucky, we’ve had the pleasure of keeping our reproductive health but it hasn’t stopped them from trying other means. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The current year is...2942? I wasn’t entirely sure anymore it didn’t really mean much to keep time. If the sun was up, you’re safe, if it was down, you better take cover. These were the foundation of rules we lived by.
For the most part, I lived by a slightly different set of rules but when you’re the one that created them you can change them when needed and if it was to protect the last of your kind, it was necessary.
I didn’t live by the light of the sun or by the moon’s yellow glow, I moved when needed. I tracked my prey by day and killed them when they weren’t looking during the moon’s hours.
Flipping back to reality I looked down and watched the small hilt of my dagger sticking out of the beast’s chest in front of me the knife digging into the pale flesh of my current prey. I held it in an extra beat so I could hear the slight sizzle of their blood making contact with the silver.
It was dead, and it wouldn’t be coming back.
Pulling back on my dagger I noticed the Ruby by the palm of my hand had been crusted with the last dozen of my prey’s blood. I should clean it soon.
A striking howl let out in the distance, it was time to head back in, the sun would be up soon and I needed to prepare for my day class.
As soon as I heard her feet I turned to my right and readied my hands for her arrival. She was quick and the second the brush of her fur was under my fingertips I grabbed on and swung my right leg over her body.
Feeling the air whip last me with the slow brightening scene before the two of us made my mind clear away for the time being. The smell of blood and dirt was thick but that was mostly my fault. My hands curled tighter into the nape of her neck as she ran faster and faster until we reached the edge of the last known human village.
Covered in a dome of silver pipes and intertwined with vines from the surrounding trees and vegetation I looked over the protection as she came to a slow trot.
The barrier looked good, looked strong, and since the day had arrived the electric component would be turned down to conserve for later use.
I hopped off her back and stowed my weapon on my hip before adjusting the cloak around my shoulders. Knowing it too would need a good wash I made a plan in my head to stay indoors a little later tonight to get things done.
I walked up to the barrier and pressed the black button on the bottom of the keypad.
Soon the camera would sweep over to my face and I would go through the routine checkpoints.
“Morning Red, get anyone good?” Joshua’s voice came from the speaker near my elbow. I couldn’t see his face but he could see mine. “Every kill is a good kill. Let me in.” I joked and then demanded entrance to our home.
“Come on Red, you know I gotta check ’em.” His draw came out thicker this time and it reminded me of my father for a moment. “Yeah, yeah, I know. Here, keep in mind I haven’t brushed today.” I heard his chuckle through the speaker and took the chance to face the camera completely and squared off my face.
I pulled my bottom lip down as far as it would stretch, showing him my teeth and gums. I opened my mouth completely and showed off my molars and tongue. I even think he got a glimpse of the back of my throat. Ending with a pull on my top lip making sure he saw the gum line there as well I heard a soft beep and the several clicks of the locks being opened.
I pulled the door open quickly and let her in first after I squeezed through the small space I closed the door and waited for the sound of thick locks closing it again.
“You made it back, and I thought you’d be out all day too. We could use help with clean up, you know.” The arrogant voice of Donovan came from the first line of trees. I watched him walk out and greet us for the day. I noted that he had shaved since I saw him the other night. “You know me, I make the mess I don’t clean up.” I joked.
“Howl! I missed you!” He shouted suddenly when his eyes drifted down to Howl’s sturdy frame. It was almost as if she was waiting for him to notice her. The big dork.
She stayed still for a moment while his arms stayed wide. I thought she was really going to blow him off this time but I watched her crouch low and take off in a sprint until she came barrelling into him. She such a puppy sometimes.
“Are you two done kissing each other? I need a drink and a bath. The second one today barfed all over me when I stabbed him in the gut. Rude if you ask me.” I pulled off my cloak and showed Don the mess that laid under it. His face twisted into a sour frown when he saw the leather vest over my white undershirt then his smile lifted when he saw my face. I was sticking my tongue out at him like a child.
“Maybe that’s what you get for not cleaning your mess when you’re done. How many last night?” He always asked this. Usually, the cleaners, if they’re needed, will get my numbers from the lead but Don had to be different.
“What’s the number worth to you?” I asked with a raised brow. I wasn’t going to tell him anything for free. Especially since I knew what he had riding on my answer. “Oh come on, Red, you can’t just tell me? I want to win the pool!” He whined and I continued to strip down to only the bare necessities to get to the first tree house.
“That’s no fun, you find out when I tell everyone else in the room.” The numbers weren’t just for the cleanup crew, there is a running pool on how many I kill on an outing. The bet changes weekly and Don hasn’t won one in a month.
I saw the frown on his face and gave him a pouty lip as I strolled by and threw my cloak at his face. Howl and Don brought up the rear as we walked to the main house.
We live high up in the trees for a good reason, but that will come later.
I threw all my dirty clothes in the first basket I saw by the massive trunk where I would find it when I was ready to head to my own home. For now, the tank top, jeans, and boots would be just fine. We took the stairs two at a time as we approached the main door. The moment it opened I could see why Donavan was eager to get my kill numbers early.
There were at least twenty people in the pool tonight because they’re all sitting around the tables and bar.
“The Slayer returns!” Several of them shouted and I gave a curt nod to the room before finding a table for Howl and me. Plopping down in a chair I found a glass bottle of water at my fingertips before I had the chance to request one. The keeper of the drinks and food smiled at me and I returned the favor with a slight toast in the air with the gifted water.
“So, Slayer, we are all eager to learn the kill number for tonight.” Johnathan, one of our younger members spoke up before taking a seat across from me. Howl slept at my feet knowing she was safe since no one dared mess with her.
“What’s the betting prize?” I asked curiously.
“Three clothing tickets.” My face went up in a slight shock, that was a lot. This explains more from earlier. I watched Donovan take a nervous seat next to Johnathan and when the room was suddenly all turned to me I gave up the water in my hands and readied them for the answer.
“A couple of hours ago I wrapped up a clean and brutal baker’s dozen.” The room erupted in not only applause for the deed but groans and curses for the ones that lost. I looked over at Donovan to see a tight smile and an almost vacant expression on his face.
“Did you lose again?” I asked while sipping on the water glass.
“No, I won. I bet thirteen.” His tight smile blossomed into a happy loose grin that made more people in the room groan with their loss but it only made me smile wider.