The woman who’d invited her to a bar in the middle of the night was a Huntress; a cult of monster hunters who claimed they were descended from Artemis. When she’d first heard the term she’d looked them up and Rachel found no proof they were anything but human.
The woman’s speed as she attacked proved there was something supernatural about her. She closed the distance between them and drew a long sword in the time it took Rachel to take a step back.
“Resistance will only make it more painful for you and more fun for me.” The woman smiled a smile that was one part pure joy and ten parts loonier than a Canadian vending machine.
“I thought Huntresses only killed monsters? Not innocent humans?” Rachel stalled, putting her hand on the machete. She wanted to try and disable the woman and find out how she’d found her.
Spitting on the ground, the woman said, “You’re pretending to be them and your friends with them.” She sniffed the air. “You reek of monster.”
“The sniffing thing’s a little weird, even for—” Rachel’s quip was cut off by the woman’s sword thrusting towards her. She jumped back and pulled out the machete just in time to parry the sword.
The woman’s longsword was longer than Rachel’s machete but Rachel was a good foot taller than her and had a better natural reach. Using the naturally tight quarters of the bar, Rachel moved in close to the woman and pushed her attack. Between the close quarters and the length of the blade, the woman’s motions were limited.
“You’re good, but I’m better!” cackled the woman as she thrust the sword towards Rachel in a reckless move that left her sword arm overextended and exposed. Taking the opening, Rachel dodged the thrust and slashed at the woman’s arm. She didn’t see the dagger until it was too late and it slashed at her side. If the coat hadn’t been thick leather she would have been gutted, as it was, she received a deep gash on her side.
Like a fool, Ronny ran into the bar. “Hey bitch. I don’t drink sentient blood but I’ll make an exception for you.”
The woman dropped the sword and lunged forward with the knife. Rachel easily deflected the knife but the attack wasn’t mean to hurt her it was meant to distract her. The woman pointed her hand at Ronny and something flew out of her sleeve hitting him hard in the shoulder and pinning him to the wall. The thing the woman had shot from her arm was a hawthorn stake.
Between her blood loss and the nauseating smell of seared flesh where the hawthorn touched Ronny’s flesh, Rachel wanted to vomit.
Things went from bad to worse when Ginny ran into the bar. Her perfect face was twisted in anger. She must have seen what happened to her brother. She moved with a staggering speed and was on the Huntresses back. It was funny to see the tall slender model-like Ginny wrapping her arms and legs around the larger huntress.
The Huntress laughed as Ginny bit into her throat. Instantly Ginny started choking on the woman’s blood. The woman grabbed Ginny and lifted her up as a human shield pulling out a different dagger. The way it sizzled on Ginny’s throat, Rachel assumed it was silver.
“Put down your weapon and I’ll let your vampire pets live.” The woman was lying and Ginny knew it.
They stood staring at each other in one of the tensest moments of Rachel’s life. The Sig-Sauer pistol weighed on her hurt side. Rachel could feel the strength leaving her body with her blood and she knew she needed to do something quickly. She needed a distraction. If she pulled the gun out she’d never get a shot off before the woman killed Ginny.
As if it knew what she was thinking, her cellphone, which she was certain she’d turned off, started playing a death-metal version of monster mash. The moment of confusion was enough for Rachel to pull out her gun and shoot through Ginny and into the huntress.
The woman dropped Ginny and stumbled back. Rachel didn’t take any chances and emptied the clip into her. Replacing the clip, she holstered her weapon and walked to Ronny.
When she pulled the hawthorn stake out of Ronny, he whimpered a little as it ripped flesh. Her phone started to ring again.
The Caller ID read Dowan and she answered saying, “You have interesting timing.”
“I just woke up from a nightmare and had the overwhelming feeling I had to call you. I never ignore those kinds of feelings.” Dowan sounded worried.
“Thank you. You saved our lives.”
“Me, Ginny, and Ronny.”
“Ronny, huh? Oh well.” The disappointment in his voice disappeared and he said, “Since I saved your life would you be willing to grab dinner with me?”
“It might be the bloodloss talking, but why not.” Rachel couldn’t help but smile. He hung up and she sat down.
Ginny took out a bottle of suspicious red liquid and gave it to her brother. “This will fix him but you need a doctor,” she said to Rachel.
“I have a first aid kit in the car and Tim can sew me up,” Rachel responded as she went through the Huntresses pockets. The woman had no ID, and twice as many weapons as Rachel. Thankfully for everyone, that didn’t include a gun. Rachel marveled at the arrogance of the supernatural community for shunning guns.
In a hidden pocket inside the woman’s shirt was a picture. It was Rachel, Ginny, and Tim in the cafeteria talking. On the back were the words, “Huntress, Demigod, or Human?” The angle of the shot told her it was taken from inside the cafeteria, which meant it had been taken by another student.