The Huntress

The rain fell hard on the wooden roof of the local inn.  Outside was a ghost town, not one life was caught in the rain.  The entire village seemed to be enjoying the inn’s offerings.  Laughter, singing and jokes were shared by all.  In the corners of the in, beneath the tables, slept men who failed their challenge against the veteran dwarven drinkers.  Ale flowed from the bar in buckets as celebrations continued late into the night.

“Oye!  Hemmerflit!  You think that lass is dead yet?”  A red-haired dwarf wiped the ale from his beard.

“I hope not!  I’ve got a sack o gold that says she comes back.”  An equally stout dwarf shouted back over the music.

“The deal was she comes back with the bounty complete, and when she doesn’t, I get your gold.”  The bartender appeared across from the two dwarves.

“Haha!”  The red dwarf laughed deep.  “No one has been able to kill the werewolf, no way a wee lass will take it down!  Might as well pay the man now!”  Slapping Hemmerflit in the back, the dwarf continued to laugh deeply.

The grey-bearded dwarf ignored the two hyenas and left to empty his bladder.

“Aldron, another pint of Ale, Hemmerflit is paying!”  The barkeep and red dwarf laughed together once more.

Outside the village, there was no cover for the pummeling rain.  A grey horse dashed through the night, the hooded rider pushing hard toward their objective.  The grey blur cut through the rain as if it weren’t there.

“Woah…easy.”  The rider spoke to her horse.  As the words left her mouth the horse came to a halt.

In a silent motion the rider dismounted, her boots sunk deep into the soaked earth.  As if the deep mud didn’t bother her, she pressed on.  Allowing the pelting rain to drown out her movement, the woman moved briskly toward the thicket.  Crouching near a dense moonbell bush, the huntress prepared herself.  Dropping her cloak to the wet ground, she ran her hand over it as a whisper trickled from her lips.  Her steady hand pulled a bolt from her hair, letting her brown waves fall to her shoulders.  Loading the bolt into her crossbow, she set out deeper into the woods.  Gripping her blade tight, the huntress absorbed the howls that began to drown the heavy rain.

The deeper she trudged, the thicker the air became.  Focusing her hazel eyes in the distance, they changed to blue as she cut through the dense fog.  Seeing what no one else could see, she focused on her target.

Leaping from shadow to shadow, the beastly mountain of fur bared toward his next meal, the huntress.  With a deep howl the monster lunged at her, his claws flared and demanded her flesh.

Ignoring every desire to freeze from the demonic howl, the huntress rolled to the side and leveled her crossbow.  The beast was too fast.  Dashing into the brush, her target was obscured.  Saving her bolt, the woman freed her blade and prepared for the next attack.

From behind her, the beast blasted out of the foliage.  The two enemies lashed out with an attack.  Catching a claw to her stomach, the huntress was able to evade the brunt of the attack.  Facing her opponent once more, she flicked its blood off her blade.  A deep howl of pain erupted from the demon as it bound toward her.  Ignoring stealth, the werewolf faced her head on.

In sparks of rage, the beasts’ claws met with the cold blade in exact strikes.  Rolling away, the huntress leveled her crossbow once more.  Without hesitation, the pulled trigger released the bolt.  Impaling deep into the monster’s chest, it collapsed.  Not wasting the opportunity, the huntress ignored catching her breathe and lashed out with her blade.  The steel weapon cut deep into the werewolf, his deafening howl disorienting anything that stirred in the forest.

Seizing the opportunity, the beast used every ounce of rage to rise and strike his foe.  Unprepared for such a show of power, the huntress was knocked back.  Barely holding onto her blade, she stabbed the earth struggling to rise.  Blood fell freely from her torn garments, pain lanced through her legs.  Ignoring it all, she ran.  Ducking through the forest, the huntress forced herself forward.  Pain shot through her with every step.  Behind her, the werewolf trampled the forest chasing her.

Diving over a bush, a faint whisper rolled off her tongue.  As the beast tore through the same bush, black fabric erupted from the ground.  Muffled howls echoed from the thrashing ball of what used to be a cloak.  Steadily walking up to the trapped demon, the huntress held her blade high above her head.

“Alright Hemmerflit, time to pay up.  That girl is deep in a werewolf’s belly by now and I need to start closing up.”  The innkeeper glided from table to table as he spoke.

“Oye!  At least we got right toasty from ale pal!”  The red-haired dwarf cheerily hit his friend once more.

Hemmerflit reached for his sack of gold just as the inn door swung open.  Through the air soared a bloody head.  Landing on a table, the werewolf’s dead eyes stared at the innkeeper.  In an eruption of laughter, Hammerflit fell to the floor cackling and heaving.

In the doorway stood a hooded bloody figure.  Calmly hiding her pain, the huntress walked toward the innkeeper.  Greeting him with a kind smile, she extended her hand as a shocked man dropped a sack of coin into it.

“Give’er mine too!”  A barely breathing Hammerflit shouted from the ground.  Laughter still spilling from his mouth.

A second sack of gold was stuffed into the huntress’s pack as she left the inn.  Mounting her grey horse, the two disappeared into the rainy night.  Deep dwarven laughter followed her out the village.

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