Well the prompt sparked a story! I might want to dig into these characters more and build on it, but for now this is a small part of their stories that I wanted to tell.
I hope you all enjoy!
The Huntress and the Wolf
The images flashed rapidly of fire, snow, metal, and blood. The sounds surrounded of metal clanging, screaming, and flesh hitting flesh. The smells drifted between of smoke, sulfur, rotting, and death. The ringing started and Lilith was pulled to reality from her dream with a gut-wrenching tear. She reached for her phone and fell off the couch with a hard knock against the old wooden coffee table. She put her hands on each side of her head and pushed herself off the floor. The phone continued ringing as she watched the weird number flash across her screen.
Once the ringing stopped she grunted and got to her feet. She swayed a little and made her way to the old yellow tiled kitchen where the doors were falling off the hinges the secondthey were pulled open. The old avocado colored refrigerator creaked, and the leftover’s smell wafted out hitting her in the face making her pull back as she eyed the water bottle on the top shelf. The phone beeped indicating a voicemail and she rolled her eyes and slammed the refrigerator door closed. Her phone was still lit up but dimmed as she walked over to it. The cracked screen stared at her and judged her a little as she slid the notification over and began playing.
“I hear you’re the one to call if there is a certain reptilian issue. Baxter’s. Southtown. Two hours.” The voice had a gravel to it that set her skin on edge. She clicked her phone off and stretched her sore muscles. Her wound from the other night on her thigh decided to break open causing it to bleed through her jeans and down her leg.
“Damn!” Lilith wasn’t a skinny girl, but she wasn’t big either. She was medium build and had enough muscles to make her body seem smaller. Her curves set the balance up for her enemies to underestimate her. She liked being underestimated. She usually came back to whatever crap motel or friend’s place she was staying at with bruises, gashes, and wounds that wouldn’t heal as soon as she would like. She only wore her makeup to cover all the bruises from when someone caught her by surprise. She peeled the clothes off from the battle of the night before and washed the gash out with some booze from Sage’s side drawer. She swore under her breath and rinsed it out before patting it dry and slapping mock versions of a bandage on it before throwing on a new pair of dark high waisted jeans, biker boots, a white tank crop top and a leather jacket. She had about an hour and a half to get to Baxter’s and scope out the bar.
She pulled up to Baxter’s and parked near the back alley. She looked around for cameras and a back door for a quick exit if things went south. Every other situation she was in like this if she went in without being prepared there was a good chance she wasn’t coming out alive. Not with the creatures that she hunted.
She closed her eyes for a moment and remembered her blonde foster mother, Ellen, who always looked like she was starving herself day in and day out. She came home with bruises and weird stains on her clothes. Her “sister” Davina was always there on Ellen’s late work nights. Lilith thought she was doing something well below the amazing woman that she was. When she turned ten something broke into the house while Ellen was gone. A demon. The face contorted in ways that she had never seen before. Lilith clasped her hands to her mouth and let burning tears fall down her cheek as Davina screamed. Ellen busted the front door in and took a katana straight through the things neck. That was how it all started. She lied to everyone about her mom. She lied to everyone about her pseudo aunt and she lied to everyone since that day about what she did and why she was so good at holding her own in a fight. She hadn’t thought about Ellen much since she lost a fight a few years back. She couldn’t. If she truly let that in she wouldn’t come back from that. Then it would be, “Hello looney bin. Goodbye, life.”
“Alright Gravelly man. Which one are you?” She adjusted in the seat of her old Chevy and watched both the back door and the front door. She saw a couple of hookers smoking and trying to grip the old money’s attention as it pulled up now and then. One of them looked like an older Sage which made her chuckle to herself. Then she noticed a shaggy haired man sneak into the back. He was in a leather jacket and she tried to get other detailsbut the lighting was crap in the alley.
“Guess I should make my way in.” She took a look in the mirror, pulled her hair out of the messy bun and tried to make it look presentable, and she did the best she could do with leftover makeup. She slammed the mirror closed and opened the door with her left arm. She tried to fight off the limp her leg was so desperately needing her to do.
“Hey honey. Got a smoke?” The Sage look-a-like asked as she walked up.
“Sorry. Not tonight. I was gonna ask you.” The woman turned to her friend and Lilith made her way in. She spotted shaggy hair at the back of the bar and made her way over. She stopped so there was a seat between them and waved to the bartender. “Two whiskeys Bax.” The shaggy haired guy noticed her and smirked down at his bottle of beer. Baxter walked back with empty shot glasses and set them in front of her. He was older than her, mid-forties, salt and pepper hair, and some scars that were similar to the ones she had.
“No trouble tonight.” He poured the caramel colored whiskey into the glasses. Lilith looked up into his hazel eyes and smiled as she took the first shot. She set the glass back down and picked the other up.
“I would never.” She slammed the other and he laughed as he walked away.
“I take it you come here a lot?” His voice sounded too velvety to be the caller. She checked her watch. Twenty-five minutes early. She might have time to flirt and get another.
“That is the worst first line I have heard in a while.” He laughed and stilled a little as Lilith scooted to the stool between them. She could feel heat radiating off of him. She could feel it. She needed to be smooth about this.
“It got you to move closer.” The silver star in her pocket started vibrating on a low hum. Her body was always so in tune with the weapons she carried. She leaned in and put a hand at the back of his neck and grabbed his hair a little. She put her cheek next to his and her lips next to his ear.
“Want to get closer?” She stood up and walked to the back door. She could feel him walking up behind her as she pushed the door she cracked her neck to the left and the right. The alley was dark. In front of her stood the dumpster and behind her a pile of alcohol boxes. She picked the spot behind the door where she could safely lean on the wall and use the open space to her advantage if she needed. The man was about to test her. She wasn’t sure how.
“Do you believe in ghosts?” he asked her. He made it sound like a statement not a question which caught her off guard a little. She stayed quiet trying to figure out if he would continue or elaborate on his own. After a few moments, he asked, “Do you?” She hesitated again before taking a deep breath and the bait.
“I guess. I’ve never thought much about it.” He moved closer and touched her arm. She was trying to stay calm and let each word he said calculate all outcomes when a shiver ran through her. He felt it. She could tell by his body language.
“What else do you believe in?” She pulled back and looked into his eyes noticing for the first time that they looked like melted gold with flecks of chocolate.
“I believe that love isn’t instantaneous.” He showed off a wolfish grin. “A look or touch don’t just make something happen or spark some internal thing.”
“So, ghosts yes. Love at first… spark, no.” She leaned back from his touch and against the cold stone wall.
“Is that some catastrophic issue for you?” The silver star in her pocket burned now, but she couldn’t make her move just yet. Things needed to be just right.
“Surprising? Yes. Catastrophic? That’s a little dramatic.” He turned away and she moved quick pulling her silver whip from under her jacket and around to her side. She spun and the whip made it perfectly wrap around. She grabbed onto the other end pulling them back to back. The smell of burning flesh and fur was drowned out by the soul stilling howl.
“Yeah that doesn’t work for me.” He got leverage and flipped himself so they were now face to face and he pulled her flush up against him. His claws dug into her hands forcing her to let go.
“I’m the one who called you genius.” She stilled in shock. “Care to hear me out now?” He pulled the silver from around him and tossed the whip down the alley. “Damn that hurt.” Lilith stared at him trying to figure out why a wolf would call a hunter. He was rubbing at the burn marks as they faded.
“That must be nice.” She pointed to the fading.
“They fade. Some more quickly than others. It wasn’t on too long so it will be gone soon.” She nodded and backed up against the wall to where she stood before.
“Why’d you call wolf boy.” He smirked at her.
“Wolf man.” She smiled a little and looked down the alley at her whip trying to will it back to her. “The snake. He is a Dagon.” It took Lilith a minute to realize what he was talking about.
“A serpent god. A literal god of snakes?” He nodded and Lilith dropped down into a squat against the wall. “Dagon.” She remembered the word written in Ellen’s notebook. There were a lot of question marks and a lot of words that didn’t make sense.
“He hunted her.” Lilith’s eyes shot to his.
“How did you know her?” He walked to her whip and took his jacket off. She watched the muscles tense as he wrapped it around the silver and dragged it back to her. He placed it at her feet and put the jacket back on.
“She saved me when I was a kid. Kept an eye on me after I was bit.” Lilith watched him slowly lower to her level. “She kept me away from the packs. She kept me safe.” Lilith nodded now trying to still understand how he found her. He could see her thoughts racing as if she was writing them into the air. “She told me about you. Gave me your number before she disappeared.”
“Killed.” The wolf stilled. “He killed her.”
“Lan.” He put his hand out to her trying to shake her hand. She closed her eyes and took a breath before taking it. “Ellen always called me Faolan. Lan stuck.” Lilith giggled.
“Little wolf. Huh.” He eyed her for a second trying to understand.
“Again man wolf.” She shook her head quickly and started laughing.
“No. Faolan means little wolf.” His eyes widened and he put his hand on the back of his neck trying to rub the awkward tension out of it.
“She must’ve really liked you to give you a nickname.” He watched her movement.
“Don’t have one.” They stood there silently for a minute. “So where is he?”
“I will take you, but one condition.” She shook her head ready to argue. “We do this together.”
“Nope. Just me.” He grabbed her shoulders quickly and tightly.
“I lost her. We lost her.” He wasn’t going to budge. She could tell. He had a look that reminded her of Ellen on a mission.
“You get in my way I silver cuff you to the car.” He put his hands in the air and they got in the car. After she started the car he reached for the radio and she smacked his hand. “My car.” She kept the music off. She needed to think it all through. He would occasionally tell her directions and she would just follow.
“Do you have her katana?” Lilith shifted uncomfortably. “Kill the followers.”
“What?” He leaned against the window.
“Kill enough of his followers and he falls. He lives because they live. They worship him. The live for him. If you kill the ones who are actually living for him then he dies.” Lilith slammed on the breaks and he slammed into the dashboard.
“They have killed for him Lilith. They are anything but innocent. They aren’t just human anymore. They are more. They are him.” She got the car back on the road and he led her to an underground tunnel that led to the cape.
“Oh, this screams great idea.” He shrugged.
“I can get us in. We need to kill them and not be killed by him to get out.”
“Right so in, lots of stabbing, don’t die, hopefully he dies, and get out.” He nodded and got out of the car. She put it in park and hit her head on the wheel exasperated already. She took a few deep breaths and reminded herself this would be for Ellen. She got out of the car and geared up. She grabbed as much as possible and told him to load up on what he could. She noticed a few grenades near the rear of the trunk. “If one of us blows up the path out to the cape they would have to come right at us.” Lan’s eyes went wide and he started chuckling.
“You’re definitely her daughter.” A smirk flitted for an instant on her face.
“Something like that.”
The pair went in fast. The second they hit the opening Lan broke off about fifty yards to the right and lobbed the grenades letting the rubble fall. Lilith had climbed up on the ledge above the exit waiting for them to get close. The screeches grew near. It was unlike anything she had ever heard before. The first two approached and she dropped down. As soon as she landed she spun and beheaded two. It took more muscle than she thought would be needed, and she braced herself for the next few. Lan was handling the others coming up his side. They only seemed to get bigger and stronger as they approached.
They swapped sides once or twice, but the worst was the last guy who was almost a giant. Lan was keeping him busy and she dropped on his neck. She was tearing her hand apart as she held the blade in her left hand trying to pull it straight back. She was worried she would decapitate herself. Dagon came out of nowhere and ripped her off the big guy. He knocked her off every rock she assumed was in the cave. If she lived through thisshe might be begging for death tomorrow. It would be far less painful. He swiped her leg and she screamed.
The big guy missed a step and Lan jumped on the katana taking his head. Lan moved quick when he realized Dagon was still alive. He tried to get to her as fast as possible. The next thing he knew Dagon was literally crackling apart. Fire was about to explode from within him and he couldn’t reach her. When Dagon blew to pieces Lilith was blown backwards and he dove to get between her and the wall. When it was over they were both covered in Dagon’s blood and their own along with the follower’s.
“Well that could’ve gone better.” Lilith waited for a response as she lay against Lan. “Lan?” He started coughing and tried to shift.
“I think you broke a rib.” They both started laughing until he coughed.
“Let’s get you out of here.” They made their way out of the cave. Once at the exit Lilith went back to the trunk and grabbed a few grenades running into and out of the tunnel to blow it up.
“I am staying at a friends place. Want to come get fixed up and have a drink?” He nodded and dropped into the car. “Sorry about the ribs.”
“Is that a thank you?”
“What? You’ll heal.”