Divine hunter chapter one

in #story3 years ago

“A man plans his course, but
The Lord determines his steps...”

  • Proverbs 16:9
    October 4th, 2011.
    Cambridge, Ohio.
    Michael sat alone at the bar with a double
    whiskey, though he wasn’t drinking
    so much as staring into it trying to establish
    what it was that had brought him on
    this journey from Columbus.
    Yesterday’s newspaper article had read that four
    teenagers over the space of
    seven days had thrown themselves from their
    dorm windows at State Park
    University. Although the authorities were treating
    it as some sort of suicide
    pact, Michael suspected otherwise. People don’t
    just throw themselves from
    buildings for the sake of it and, knowing what he
    knew now, he wasn’t about to
    ignore it.
    Michael Warden is an investigator.
    Not your usual, ordinary type of investigator−like
    the ones who track down
    criminals or follow people suspected of having
    affairs and such−but an
    investigator of the paranormal kind. Some might
    say a Demon Hunter; a Ghost
    Buster. If only it was as simple as that.
    He read the page that he’d printed out from the
    Daily Tribune’s website
    again to make sure he hadn’t missed anything.
    Then he folded it up and placed
    it back into his worn, black, double breasted coat
    pocket. He knocked back his
    whiskey and made his way out of the bar. It was
    early evening in Baltimore,
    MD, and a slight mist had started to settle in.
    Michael still had a little over three
    hours’ drive ahead of him to get to where his
    reservation was: a small place
    called The Sunshine Motel a couple of miles
    outside of Garrett Co. He’d
    planned on having an early night so he could
    make a start on his new
    investigation early the next morning, but he’d
    made an unscheduled stop for
    some food on the way.
    He crossed the rush hour traffic and headed
    towards his car. The dusty,
    beige, 96 Chevy Cavalier (which had seen much
    better days) was parked up on
    the other side of the street. He reached for his
    keys and was about to unlock the
    driver’s side door when he heard a female voice
    cry for help behind him. He
    looked back to see a young woman struggling to
    hold on to her purse as one of
    three hooded youths attempted to prize it from
    her hands.
    “Hey!” Michael shouted over the noise of the
    traffic, loud enough for the
    youths to notice him as he immediately ran back
    to help. Two of the hoods ran
    off, leaving one−who had succeeded in his goal
    −fumbling with the woman’s
    purse. He looked up at Michael, dropped it in a
    panic onto the sidewalk, and ran
    like hell.
    “Are you okay?” Michael asked as he passed the
    young woman her purse
    from the floor. She nodded, clearly shaken by her
    ordeal, but instead of staying
    with her and waiting while the cops were called,
    he decided to do something
    about it himself. After he’d visually checked her
    over, he turned and ran after
    her attackers.
    The group of youths made a right turn down a
    dimly lit alleyway between
    two tall office blocks. Michael followed them. A
    few faint street lights
    highlighted a row of dumpsters down one side;
    the heavy stench of their rotting
    contents filling the air. They reached the end of
    the alley, and faced with
    nothing but a high fence which split the dark
    space in two, they began to get
    visibly agitated.
    “You might as well give it up boys,” Michael
    shouted to them after he
    realized they were trapped. One of them began to
    climb up the fence and easily
    managed to pull himself to the top. Then he
    jumped down the other side. “Come
    on!” He gestured for his buddies but they were
    bigger and heavier than he was and were having
    some trouble executing the climb with the same
    ease as their
    Michael caught up to them and grabbed hold of
    one of the boys−now half
    way up the fence−by his waist and pulled him
    down to the floor. “Get off me!”
    The boy shouted as Michael grappled with him
    before managing to pin him to
    the ground. Too busy batting the youth’s hands
    away as he tried desperately to
    lay one on him, Michael hadn’t noticed that the
    other boy−the largest of the
    group−had jumped back down from the fence.
    Suddenly a thick arm wrapped
    around Michael’s neck, dragging him to his feet
    and holding him back long
    enough for the other boy to jump up, grazed and
    bloodied. As he did, he pulled
    a blade from his inside pocket and held it out in
    front of him pointing the
    dangerous end right at Michael.
    Michael managed to break free from the large
    boy’s surprisingly strong grip
    after elbowing him right in his diaphragm. He
    paused for a second and looked at
    the knife: nothing special, just your everyday
    Smith and Wesson pocket knife
    with a three inch blade, but Michael started to
    back away. There was no point
    getting into something he wouldn’t be able to
    explain to the authorities,
    especially as he still had a long journey ahead of
    him. The boy had obviously
    seen it as a weakness and lunged straight for
    him, causing Michael to jump back
    out of his reach until his back hit a wall, which
    stopped him from going any
    further. “Son of a. . . ”
    The youth never stopped and at the last minute
    he lost his footing. Falling
    forward, his knife plunged straight into Michael’s
    stomach, causing him to gasp.
    His eyes widened with surprise.
    The boy looked down at what he’d done and his
    face instantly paled.
    Michael saw a moment of panic as he stared
    straight into the boy’s deep indigo
    eyes. He couldn’t have been more than seventeen
    years old if he was that. After
    a moment, the boy let go of the knife to leave it
    sticking out from Michael’s flesh. He stood frozen
    to the spot, his mouth working like a goldfish with
    sound escaping.
    “Come on dude, let’s go!” the boy’s friend urged
    as he grabbed him by the
    arm. “We gotta split before anyone sees us. Leave
    him, come on!” That was
    enough to snap the boy into action and they both
    ran back down the alley to the
    street, leaving Michael standing there looking at
    the knife as blood soaked
    through his gray T-shirt spreading outwards from
    the wound. There was no
    pain, though. In fact, he’d hardly felt a thing
    which hadn’t surprised him too
    Now all alone in the alley, with nothing but the
    sound of dripping water
    from a leaky gutter nearby and the distant traffic
    noise, Michael placed his hand
    around the black handle, held his breath and
    pulled the blade out slowly. It felt
    strange, not like he’d expected at all. It was
    almost numb with a slight scratchy,
    pulling sensation as the cold steel exited his
    flesh. He dropped it to the floor and
    lifted his T-shirt to assess the damage. There
    was now a deep slit right under his
    ribs on the left-hand side, but he felt okay. There
    was no panic because he knew
    he’d be perfectly fine.
    Under different circumstances, though, he knew
    that right about now he
    would be dropping to the ground and waiting to
    die from such a lethal wound.
    He’d already lost a lot of blood and was pretty
    sure that the knife had punctured
    his kidney.
    That wasn’t about to happen to him though. You
    see. . . Michael was no
    longer human. The body he walked in wasn’t his.
    Neither was the name he now
    used. Both used to belong to someone else−a
    young man. Someone who’d been
    down on his luck, who’d had no family to care
    about him, and his misfortunes
    had led him to choose a dark path. Fortunately
    for Michael, who now inhabited
    it after discovering he could borrow a body. Which
    he had many times. This
    one, however, was more of a permanent thing.
    After discovering that using
    someone’s body could ultimately lead to their
    deaths, Michael had managed to
    find someone close to death, who wouldn’t need
    theirs anymore. So, that man
    was the reason he was standing in the alleyway
    at that moment instead of being
    hauled off in a body bag.
    He assessed the damage to his shirt. “poo!” he
    said, poking his finger
    through the tear. “This was my last decent
    goddamn T-shirt.”

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