The Hunter - Part 4 (Finale)

in fiction •  last year


Gasping, the Hunter awoke. He was on a bed, that much he knew. He was also dry. This came as a surprise because he was certain the last time he was conscious he'd been lying in a fountain, waiting for death to come claim him. He opened his eyes and found he was in a warm room, with a fire blazing in the hearth. Unless the afterlife was severely less swanky than he'd been led to believe, he was beginning to think he'd been rescued. Artemis stirred and groaned, feeling the soreness in his torso and leg.

Someone got up, and a female voice said, "Oh good, you're awake."

A beautiful woman entered his field of vision and he thought that maybe he had died and gone to heaven after all. She was lovely, and her blonde hair cascaded delicately over her… nun's habit.

Damn it, he thought.

A woman of the cloth. He should've expected as much. Gods forbid he die and go to the fun heaven full of loose women with heaving chests. He had to go to the boring heaven. Artemis sighed roughly and said, "So I suppose I'm dead, then."

She laughed, and it was like music. "Oh, not at all, sir. You're very much alive, and have saved our town, besides. The surviving child's parents, in particular, are very grateful. They've been preparing a feast in your honor, as soon as you're well enough to attend."

He sat up, grunting with the pain in his chest. "And I'd guess you'd say I'm not near well enough to attend such an event, am I correct?"

"As your healer, I'd say no. You need several more days of rest before you're able to make merry in any fashion, let alone a town-wide celebration."

"I figured as much," he said, settling back down. "Might as well get comfortable. So," he eyed her, "are there any other services you provide besides healing?"

Her hand fluttered to her chest, a blush suffused her face. "Sir, that is most inappropriate. I serve the Lord, not my flesh."

He smirked. "So there might be some...fleshly desires there?"

She skillfully avoided the question. "I shall go and tell the others that you're awake and able to take food. We'll start you on broth to make sure your stomach is strong enough. But rest assured, good sir, you are a hero around these parts."

Artemis laid back down carefully. He hadn't died, and perhaps, just this once, that had been for the best. He decided he'd let himself mend, and that it might be worth it to stay on in this town for a couple of weeks. He would have to talk to the mayor about his pay, but for now all earthly worries were eased under the tender ministrations of his divine nurse.

Picture credit:

This story was featured in the DimensionBucket Media anthology, Darkest of Dreams: (3).jpg
(Part 1 here:
(Part 2 here:
(Part 3 here:

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