“It’s freezing out here and my parents must be freaking out, can’t the bodies wait?” I look over at Jessica who’s shivering her ass off in a cotton T-shirt and running shorts. At the very least, I should take her back to my car.

“Alright, let’s go.” I drape my jacket over her shoulders and we start walking out of the cemetery.

“What’s your name?” Her voice is still a little shaky, but it sounds more like chills than fear.

“Brandon,” I reply as we pass a five-foot obelisk.

“Thank you again, Brandon.”

“You’re welcome. Mind walking a little faster? The sooner I burn these bodies, the sooner I’ll get you home.”

“Burn them?! Won’t that interfere with the investigation?”

“I’m not a cop,” I chuckle.

“Then why did you rescue me?”

“Money.”  Speaking of which, I bet Elyse has some high-end goods on her. Madame Rakoczi pays top dollar for the things I find while hunting.

After that exchange she’s quiet; I guess she’s disappointed. Tough shit. I stop walking to open the iron gate. Before I get it open, I feel something pointy pressing against my back —  a knife if I’m lucky, a wand if I’m not. I did not see this coming. First off, where the hell did she stash that? I tried not to notice since she looked like jailbait, but those were some little shorts. Second, I already plugged the witch.

“After the last dozen hunters I expected someone older, more experienced.” So she’s Elyse.

“Says Miss Teen California. You’ve aged well. What’s your secret, Elyse?” I assumed that the older woman was my mark, not the scarred girl on the ground. Looks like I shot the wrong woman back there.

“Oh, you know. Wheatgrass shots, yoga, blood of the innocent,” she states wryly.

“The Bathory approach, I should’ve known.”

“How will you complete the ritual, seeing as how I shot your virgin?” I ask, attempting to fish for information.

She laughs, “Thanks for the offer but I already have one lined up, Brandon.” Damn, I walked into that one.

“Then who did I shoot?”

“That was my apprentice. She was doing repairs to Virgil’s body. The proper preparation makes a resurrection go so much smoother.” She grabs me by the shirt and spins me around, walking back toward the bodies.

“Good thing I shot her.”

“It certainly is. She didn’t know it, but her death was needed to complete the spell. Your timing was impeccable.”  I let out a sigh. Elyse has been in control of this situation from the get-go.

“Not that I mind, but why am I alive?”

“Virgil and I will want something to play with.”

“Sorry lady, I charge extra for couples.”

“Enough small talk. The moon will soon peak and Virgil will rise.” If I don’t figure out a plan quickly, not only will I be toast but Virgil will be alive again…and that can’t happen. Like a convict getting out of federal prison, a wizard returning from the other side will have learned a heap of new tricks. Overpowering her physically wouldn’t be hard. If that’s a wand, this could go sideways fast. Breaking it is my best shot. I thrust myself back at her. I feel a deep, sharp pain in my lower back. I gasp — that was definitely a knife.

“What a shame. Virgil and I were going to have fun playing with you.” Intent on her goal, Elyse walks by without giving me any further consideration. I roll over on my side so that I can watch her. That bitch is still wearing my jacket.

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I'm from the small farming community of Sutter. I find myself equally at home in the woods or at a bar. I dig The Joe Rogan Experience, the comic series Berserk, the art of John Bauer and Game of Thrones. My interests include writing, shotgun shooting, travel and writing. I have a blog started at http://jdferrin.com/ check it out!


  1. Josiah David says:

    Whoa, didn’t see that twist coming!