Disclaimer: I DO own the rights to the hunted, and any privileges thereof because it is an original. Therefore, it cannot be copied, distributed, borrowed, poked with a spork, or in any other way "ripped off" without my permission. (Oakwood, can I pirate your story and claim it as my own?)

OK, enough with that boring stuff. This is a fic that I'm planning into turning into a graphic novel of sorts. Since it's still a draft-in-progress, it is incomplete, and rough, and I would appreciate feed back. Mainly, I'm looking to see if I've begun to clearly define Cyan's personality and voice (she's the narrator, and main character). Later on (in the unwritten part), she's going to run into a guy named Hokusi, the guy with the flaming sword and three feet worth of hair mentioned in the pro-word. From there . . . well, you'll just have to wait and see.

By: Oakwood
[email protected]

I used to live the normal life of a despondent, pseudo-suicidal college student. You know, insta-noodles for lunch, late night 24-Hour Wal-Mart runs, the occasional nervous breakdown. But my world went from the Sylvia Plath version of Felicity to the Twilight Zone in one evening. The same night when a man with a flaming sword, 3 feet of hair, and the ability to hunt demons through this realm and the Other crashed into the garbage cans outside my apartment.


Come on Cyan, lemme give you a ride home!

It was the second time this week that Chester the Molester had attempted to get me into his truck. That's all right Kip, I said with a smile, it's only three blocks to my apartment. I don't know why I was his new Infatuation of the Week. I guess all the other waitresses at Fat Joe's had slugged him already.

But there are so many weirdoes out there, he said with his best attempt at a suave intone.

At least if I'm walking, I have room to run. I can take care of myself. Four years Tang Soo Do, remember? He stiffened slightly as though he had just remembered. THAT certainly seemed to discourage him. I could could feel a grin tugging at my lips.

Well all right. If you're SURE. He seemed shifted from foot to foot, and began to get into his truck.

I'm sure. You just don't want to loose the use of your hand, I thought as I waved good-bye to his tail-lights.

I sighed and glanced up and down the deserted parking lot while I waited for Joe to finish counting the safe. C'mon. Hurry Joe. I took a deep, steadying breath to try to calm the panic that pushing stomach acid into my esophagus. There's nothing to be afraid of . . . Fat Joe's squats dead center on St. George Street, the most tourist-ridden section in tourist-ridden St. Augustine. And even though I was standing alone in a parking lot at nine o'clock at night, there was very little danger of being jumped, or mugged, or abducted by aliens, or of anything really. Tourists still wandered around the pedestrian exclusive St. George not 50 feet away, and bike-mounted police officers regularly patrolled the cobblestone side streets. Still, I was jumpier than an ant at a Raid Company picnic lately. The hairs on the back of my neck kept prickling, as though someone--or something--was watching me. Of course, something was watching me, but I didn't know it just then.

The owner of the gift shop across the lot exited his store with a bang, and I nearly jumped onto the roof top.

Butchie, it's time you switched to decaf. Fat Joe, himself,was standing behind me locking the door with a decidedly amused expression on his face.

Hey Joe, I said cooly, I didn't hear you squeeze through the door. Did you grease up the frame this time?

Joe chuckled and moved onto to the second reluctant door lock. Joe, really wasn't all that fat. He carried a good-sized beer-gut, true, but if he spent a few less nights at the St. George Pub after closing, he'd be much more svelte. But, if you worked at Joe's, you had to be able to sling the insults as fast as the proprietor himself. It was part of the attraction of the place, and with all the fancier, nicer, trendier, and tourist-friendly eateries within walking distance of down-town, Fat Joe's had the distinction of being the only place you could, Get good food, with a healthy dose of humility. The nastier the insults we served up, to each other and to the customers, the bigger the tips.

I had been dubbed by the Fat Man himself, when I came in on my second day of work with a pixie-cut were formerly long locks had been.

I looked over his shoulder at the third lock he was securing into place. Are you afraid someone's going to steal the secret to your eleven herbs and spices? I asked.

he snorted. I was getting good at catching him retort-less. Truth be told, Butchette, someone did break into the place. Last night.

Last night?

Yep, damnedest thing too. I couldn't find no forced locks, no broken windows, no nothing. He rattled the door and turned to face me. Damnedest thing.

I glanced around the deserted parking lot. Something felt like it was crawling up the back of my neck. Did you call the cops?

Joe pinched his nose shut and blew. Nah. What would they do? File a report? Nothing was taken. Just trashed my office is all.

They trashed your office? How could you tell?

Joe flashed me a dirty look and snorted a laugh. Probably was the IRS. I wouldn't put nothing past those bastards.

I grinned, feeling relived. And why would the IRS be after you, oh Honest Joe?

Joe put one hand to his chest, and placed the other in the I solemnly swear position. I haven't the foggiest."