‘I dance with the devil in the silver light. On a duel sided blade I stand. I run like the wind in the
dead of the night. You can’t catch me; I’m the butcher’s man.’
To look long into the abyss means the abyss will be the only place you can look out from. It will engulf the soul and erupt from with in at the same time. It waits patient, unwearied by the dying of the majestic moonlight that filled the sky once every month. The sound of a chopper rumbled in the distant, it carried a distinct noise, like an AK-47 firing round after round. A tall dark figure killed the engine on his motor cycle and pulled out his cross bow with silver tipped arrows and waited. He was the hunter-the Butcher’s man. He knew all too well what was happening in the woods. His leather jacket, adorned with silver stakes, and a leather belt with more silver tipped arrows glittered in the silver moonlight. On his wrist was a watch with a digital timer, counting down.
‘Three hours left until the serum wears off. It’s gonna be a long night.’
The hunter listened to the large deep voices of the hounds bellowing through the trees, tracking an odd dangerous scent. He knew the men wouldn’t be able to track the beast-not because they didn’t want to find it, but because they didn’t believe in what they hunted. So he waited to hear the screams of terror echo in the night.
Silence. Erie. Hush. The dogs yelped in the distance filling the hunter’s ears, followed by high pitched yelps. Gunshots thrashed through the silent night. Shocked high pitched shrills and unbelievable banshee screams followed the sounds of bones being crushed by a thing that time didn’t really erase. It still existed…werewolf. A creature of myth and legend that had long since been thought to be nothing more than a scary story…something created to bring thrill to most otherwise boring movies.
With his cross-bow in hand, he made his way to the sounds he waited for. He stepped down the path with ease, like he had been there before. He knew the woods in the park all to well, perhaps it was because he had hunted here before. A head rolled towards him. On any other night, he would have punted it like a soccer ball then laughed, saying, “I’m the Butcher’s man.”
He hunted the beast. The thing not quite a man nor animal but a monster none the less and it needed to die. With stealth, he moved through the woods, careful not to step on anything that would make a sound. A flash of the beast appeared to the left of him. The hunter hid behind a tree and waited. ‘It’s close.’
His rapid heart beat pounded against his chest. The hunter crossed himself then rounded the tree, aiming the crossbow at an empty space. The beast darted past him. One of the arrows the hunter shot nailed a tree. The beast looked him in the eyes and howled towards the moon. The blood from his last unsuspecting victims still dripped from his mouth. In a single motion, the hunter shot again, hitting him in the arm. Smoke rose from the injury. It penetrated the air around the hunter, filling his nasal passages with a disgusting smell of burned flesh. The beast howled again then like a flash, it charged towards him. The hunter aimed his crossbow, but the beast moved between the trees.
“I’m the Butcher’s man! Do you hear me beast? You will taste the tip of my arrows with your mouth.” the hunter yelled.
The beast howled at the moon again, giving the hunter the position of his prey. Quiet. Calm. Still. The hunter slowed his heart with deep breaths and closed eyes. He sensed everything around him from the gentle breeze brushing past him to the leaves floating across the ground. In his mind’s eye he saw the beast of the night standing behind the bushes to the left, waiting for the hunter to come into view. The hunter backed towards the bushes and turned at the last moment. He rolled to the ground and aimed the crossbow towards the beasts head. More smoke filled the air. This time his mouth filled with an acrid taste as if acid had been lit on fire. The hunter pulled out his machete and hacked the beasts head off. The now dead werewolf melted into the human body it cursed. The head now had blue eyes and blond hair.
The hunter tossed the head aside and lit a cigarette. “I dance with the devil in the silver light. On a duel sided blade I stand. I run like the wind in the dead if night. You can’t catch me, I’m the butcher’s man,” he said then took a drag.
He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, “Hey, it’s Shax, come pick me up. I won’t have enough time to get back,” he said, looking at his watch. He kissed the cross around his neck then knelt down to thank God for letting him live to kill the beast.
Shax walked around to make sure none of the victims would come back as werewolves. He was almost a little relieved when he found all the heads of the victims were severed. He walked back to his motorcycle and waited, reflecting back to a simpler time.
There are some things in life you take to the grave, little secrets that though wouldn’t hurt anyone, you keep to yourself just because they’re yours. Shax real name, Julian Masson, was such a secret. He had a wife, a daughter and one on the way. He lived in a small three bedroom home in a nice suburban neighborhood. All the yards were green and mowed to perfection. All the mailboxes stood in a perfect line down the street. Each of the houses had a cookie cutter feel to them. It was, for a lack of better words, a preplanned neighborhood. In the sea of preplanned shit, there was actually an awesome thing, he loved it . Every part of it. The earth he lived on was his. The house he came home to every night belonged to him. There was a mortgage on it, but no one could kick him out of it. He didn’t have much of a belief system at the time, nor was he superstitious. To him, yes, there was a God, but what of it? If someone told him a year ago werewolves, or Lycanthropes really existed, he would have told them they were crazy by waving his finger in a circle motion by his head, then walked away.
Things were different now, his life, what he did and who he was…all different. It happened when he went to the park to jog on the evening of a full moon. He was attacked by a werewolf. Attacked but not bitten. He somehow escaped and ran home. The thing must have had his scent because it followed him. While he was in the bathroom cleaning up the scratch, the beast entered his house and killed his family. Right when it charged the upstairs bathroom door, the hunters arrived. They tracked it to his home and killed it. That was six months ago. Since then he joined a team of hunters. A girl named Kit-Kat just joined them. He found her standing with the beasts head in her hand. She had blood dripping from her arm and her pink died hair was blood soaked from the fight she had just been in. She looked up at Shaxe with a very calm look. “I knew they were real,” she said when she dropped the head.
He took a drag off his smoke, and opened his cell.
“Hey, it’s me. He’s dead. I’ve got about half an hour before it wears off. Come get me will ya?” he said.
He took a drag off the cigarette in his blood stained hands. ’It never comes off.’
A few minutes later a black semi truck with a matching black trailer pulled into the park. The crew consisted of four people. Yeager, an old man who had been a hunter for about ten years he didn’t know much about him accept he was an ex-ranger. Other than that he knew the man had seen more than his fair share of death. Something like that leaves a mark on a body. It’s seen in the eyes. There isn’t any way to hide it. Then there was Kit-Kat. She always had her hair died a different color. She seemed to adapt to the life well. Shaxe didn’t know if he did her a favor by saving her life, but he knew then he couldn’t look into her eyes and let her fall.
A woman named Q-girl, “Q” for short, who was a chemist and himself. Not much was known about Q-girl except she was ex-military ex-biological chemist. He understood it was something big. What he didn’t know was why she left. There were times when he wondered of either of them had left…actually.
“Good, you’re alive. Grab the bike. Yeager is waiting for you inside with the cage and the serum,” Kit-Kat said.
She had a tattoo of a wolf clawing it’s way out of her skin on her arm. It covered the scar from her attack. She too was just scratched. The danger was in the bite. As long as it was just a scratch, you wouldn’t transform all the way into a beast. The ones with scratches were what hunters deemed “skin-walkers” -they wouldn’t change…just become more enraged on the night of a full moon. The serum Q created worked to suppress the virus. Most of the time it worked. When they were hunting though, he had a smaller dosage so he could tap into the virus and use it for his own purposes.
Q stood in the trailer with a needle in her hand. “Here. Give me your arm. I have what you need,” she said.
“Thanks,” Shaxe said.
“Not a problem,” she said.
“What did you do to yourself anyways. Look at you, you’re a mess,” she told him.
“I know. Well the dam thing didn’t want to go down. I told it to,” he said.
Yeager, a tall burly man with a short sliver beard, a scar on the right side of his face and a special forces tattoo on his arm, entered the trailer. “Patch ‘em, drug ‘em and cage ‘em. We gotta go. There’s another one just a few miles away from here. We won’t get ‘em tonight but the orders are clear,” he said.
“Got it,” she said.
“Cage? Really? Tonight? We should go and kill the other one,” Shaxe said.
Q put the needle in his arm. “You heard him. We have orders,” she said.
“To hell with the orders. I want to kill that thing before it kills someone else,” Shaxe said.
“We aren’t the only hunters here tonight. We have to watch our backs. If any of them find out you’re scratched then they’ll do you in. Kat too. So just chill,” she said.
The veins in Shaxe’s arm began to burn. The serum had taken hold of him. He knew the drill…soon his whole body would feel like it was on fire. It didn’t last long, but long enough to feel like hell had invaded his body and using it for target practice.
He was correct when he said it was going to be a long night. He walked into the cage and laid on the cot. “I’m too tired to hunt now anyways,” he said.
The burning sensation from the full dosage of the serum began to inch it’s way through his body. He yelled out in pain and begged for water. Kit-Kat was in the next cage, going through the same thing. He looked over at her, part of his mind still aware of how much he cared for the team, began to feel sorry for her. So young and having to go through such unimaginable pain. Q brought a sedative and pumped it into the iv in their arms. She took the radio from her hip and pressed the button. “They’re out.”
The next day, Shaxe woke up and his team was down a person. Kit-Kat was missing.
“Where’s Kat?” he asked.
“She’s no longer with us,” Q said.
“Why, what happened?” he asked.
Q didn’t look at him. She just took his vitals and continued on. Shaxe grabbed her by the arm. “What do you mean?” he asked.
“We turned her over to command last night so she could be studied,” Yeager said from behind him. “Now do you mind letting go of my chemist?”
“Studied? What do you mean studied? She’s a human being, not a lab rat. Bring her back!” Shaxe said.
“You better chill out. We still have use for you. We’ve never captured a female skin-walker. We need to know what’s going to happen to her,” Yeager said.
“Command? Ex-military huh? I should of known.
Shaxe sat down in the chair. His mind flashed to the girl he had saved. The way she smiled. How she always seemed to know what was needed and especially how she never put up with his shit. He looked up at the two people he had considered his friends with contempt. Anger. Betrayal. Rage. All swelled together in the boiling pots of his veins. ‘Don’t you worry Kit-Kat. I will find you.’
Flashing streams of ghost images formed in his imagination of all the terrible things that were being done to Kat. He hated it and shut his eyes to block the images out only to have them become more prominent in his mind. Quiet. Still. Silence. Rushed through his mind and he heard her. She wasn’t crying. She paced around in a cage. He saw another boy about the same age standing in the corner of the same cell she was in.
A terrible realization rushed through him. He knew what they wanted…a child.