Author: Raven's Hymn PM
Minerva Venator is one of many hunters in the town of Gévaudan who were commissioned by the crown to hunt the monsters terrorizing the town. Everyone knows that the blood-stealing beasts are a menace, but not everyone thinks the creatures are monsters. As a strange gathering of people arrive, Minerva's life is changed forever, and the town of Gévaudan will never be the sameRated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural/Horror - Chapters: 5 - Words: 4,044 - Updated: 02-16-13 - Published: 01-24-13 - id: 3095039
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
July 25, 1767
Last night feels like a dream. Or at the very least a nightmare. One that I pray will never again invade my mind.
The gathering of supposed vampire healers will not be here until this afternoon, but for the sake of the citizens of Gévaudan, I pray that they are real.
Achille, Jacques, Daniel, and I were in the forest last night hunting for vampires, hoping to get enough to support our families. Achille's mother is ill, Jacques needs the money for his starving family, and I need as much money as I can get so that my father's infatuation for drink does not cause Mother to be without food. Only Daniel is without a family, having been orphaned as a child. He wants the money to leave Gévaudan and travel the world.
He talked in hushed tones as not to alert the beasts to our presence about what would happen if the gathering succeeds or if we killed all of the vampires in Gévaudan. At times I wonder this myself. Achille will no doubt mourn the loss of his reputation as a vampire hunter, but he will recover and he will most likely become a farmer, maybe even find a nice girl and settle down. Unless he doesn't stop his philandering ways.
Jacques will continue to be a hunter of game, barely making enough to feed his family. Daniel may or may not return to his thieving days, but I pray that his path will be a different one. As for me, Father no doubt will try to find a rich man for me to marry, and I will do my best to avoid such a fate as that of a wife and mother. I would prefer to join Jacques in his hunting, but I do not wish to steal away the money he needs to help his family.
Once the beasts are dead I will have to ask my brother Claude to help me escape this town. It will break Mother's heart, but that will be the price I have to pay for my freedom.
But as Daniel was arguing with Achille and the wind shook the leaves of the trees, our fate rears its head and shows us that we might not have a choice in the matter of our lives.
A pale, bloodless face revealed itself from behind the foliage, it's dark, soulless eyes gazing at us like a beggar would a king's feast. Jacques aimed his rifle at the creature, prepared to fire. The creature continued to stare as if his life was not at risk. If the creature wished to die, then he found the right hunters.
Just as Jacques was about to kill the beast, a voice from the darkest pits of Hell froze time.
"Now is not the time for death."
The creature looked towards the sound of the hellish voice and went from a wolf stalking its prey to a mouse hiding from a family's cat. Our entire hunting party became statues, making us easy prey for one of the monsters hiding in the shadows. Never before has one person hand this effect on either of us, because no ordinary human has this power.
Out of the darkness came a figure made of marble and sin, its body cloaked in night and death, its thick hair hanging like a mourning veil long past sharp shoulders. I remember its eyes the most. They were pools of thick, juicy blood that revealed the soul of one who is far from salvation, if a soul it still has.
Before I realize our fate we were surrounded. Empty, starving eyes drank us in like we were lush wells of blood. We would have surely died, or suffered the same fate as these creatures of the night were it not for the Grace of God. Or the plans of a devil.
The demon spread its arms wide, almost welcoming were it not for the air of death surrounding it like a heavy fog.
"Well," the demon spoke, "it is a pleasure to see such fine creatures in our domain. I must apologize for my family's behavior. They always seem to be hungry. But not to worry, such beauty will not go to waste."
It is known in our town that Achille is a golden man with an angel's face. Jacques is an older man with a savage beard, but he still retains his youthful appeal. Daniel has the face of a weasel, but he can charm the gold out of anyone's pockets. Yet I know his mention of beauty was not meant for either of them. As the monster said that fateful word, I could see his hellish eyes drinking me in like fine wine. I felt a chill as he looked at me, a feeling from the depths of my soul. For the first time in my nineteen years of life I was truly afraid. No other monster can do this to me, and I am sure only a demon could ever frighten me.
Achille aimed his crossbow at the demon's heart, if a heart it has. The demon only laughed, a melody from the pits of Hell.
"You think you can kill me so easily? I have lived longer than my children, and I have given them life eternal. Do you wish to end such perfection?"
"I care not of your demon children," Achille spat at the creature. "I will not let you drain out town of its life blood."
The demon laughed again, the fires of Hell in every note.
"You are so sure we are monsters? Are your eyes so blinded? We are the future, my child, and we are a family. Sadly, we are in need of an important addition. After all, what is a family without a mother?"
His eyes rested on me, a web of evil ready to steal me away.
The others noticed this as well and surrounded me as they would our king. The beast laughed for a third time.
"I would not place your faith in your weapons, my children. I will not be denied what is mine."
Daniel stood by my side and held my hand in his own. What he said next surprised not only me but all who were witness.
"I do not appreciate a monster looking at my fiancé in such a way, not do I enjoy anyone trying to claim her."
The demon glared at Daniel like any rival would, but I could see murder in the depths of his eyes. In the blink of an eye, the monsters disappeared into the forest.
I am in fear for my life and those of our hunting party. The beast wishes to claim me as his bride, but my fellow hunters will not let his happen. I pray that my fate is not sealed into becoming one of the creatures that I hunt.
I would rather have a short life on this earth if it means that I will never see the monstrosity, this demon from Hell, ever again.