Piper’s calling. I excuse myself from whatever conversation Eric calls that and heads outside. It’s still nice out and I don’t need to be stuck in the house alone with the predator that’s my “dad”.
“Piper, what’s the call for?”
“Alea! Alea! I need-” She’s having a panic attack and with her asthma it can’t be any good. “It’s Rose, he’s here. He-he hasn’t s-seen me yet.”
“Piper calm down. Where are you?”
“I’m at the boardwalk with Belle!” Damn. Belle also needs help.
“Do you have your inhaler?” The line clicks. Without a second to waste, I rush down an alley and go Lightning. Thunder cracks from behind me as I race down the boulevard and up Main Street. I’m crossing through the park and past Patriot Avenue. Then, I see what I’m working with.
Police are showing up as Rose has got his gunmen lined across the boardwalk. Someone calls my phone. “Belle?”
“Alea, please-please. I need you!”
“Belle, I can’t talk right now,” I try to say in a hushed voice. It doesn’t work. He sees me. With a snap of his fingers, he’s standing right in front of me. He takes my phone and crushes it. Next, he smiles.
“I know where she’s at.” Okay, remember this guys: no matter how much of an ass your sister is, always save her. And that’s what I plan on doing. Rose disappears leaving me little time to figure out where Belle is.
Is she behind that bush on the beach? Nope. Inside Mellow Yellow’s surf shop? Nope. In fact she’s nowhere on this boardwalk. Except for…A scream from the bathrooms tells me where they’re at. I run as fast as I could to get there. “Rose stop!”
He turns to look at me. “I know exactly how this ends, Lightning. You’re not the only one who’s traveled through time.” What is he talking about? Red lightning forms in the air around him and caught off guard, I’m knocked to the ground. With faster speed than I can comprehend, he delivers a final strike to my face and I’m out cold.
Alea, get up! Get up, Alea! Piper charges out of the stall next to me. “You lay one hand on her or her sister, you’re going to have to go through me!”
“Piper!” Now I’m out of my stall pleading with my eyes for Piper to get back. She doesn’t.
Rose takes care of it for me. He waves his hand and Piper is thrown back into the stall where I hear her colliding with the base of the toilet. Slowly, he approaches me. My legs turn to jelly and I need support from the wall to stay up.
“Please don’t…please don’t,” I whisper to myself as salty water leaks down my face.
Oh my god, that hurt. I can barely move. My vision’s blurred, but I see clearly what’s about to happen. I try to get up.
I can’t. All I can do is watch helplessly as Rose puts his hand around my scared sister’s throat and lifts her into the air. Her face goes from a bronze color to pink. Now, it’s dark red. Belle squirms in the thing’s grasp unable to free herself. She gasps and chokes, but Rose’s power is too strong.
With one last look of pain, her neck snaps and her eyes roll back into her head.
A long time ago…
“You can’t stop me from doing what’s right! Don’t destroy these turtles’ nests!” Belle yelled. Alea, her four-year old twin, ran in for reinforcements. “Alea! You have to help me.”
The leader of the three businessmen chuckled. “Listen, kids. You really can’t stop us.”
“Yea we can.” Belle stood there defiant in her belief.
One man knelt down so that he was on the same level as the girls. “You and what army?”
“ALEA, ATTACK!” Belle yanked at his hair and Alea jumped onto another’s leg, refusing to let go. The man tried to wiggle her off his leg and he succeeded. She fell into the sand blinking as though she was recollecting herself. Belle, now on the back of her opponent, attempted to reign him in with his hair.
“Girls! Girls!” Christian ran up to the commotion. All fighting ceased. “What is going on here?” Diana grabbed the girls and motioned them away from the three men.
“Daddy, they’re trying to destroy these nests to construct a new building. Do something!”
“Is this true? This is a public beach. The land there can’t be sold.” Belle and Alea smiled smugly at the men.
“With all due respect sir, what do you think you know? We have court documents stating-”
“With all due respect,” Christian started, taking out his badge. “I’m a lieutenant in the Beantown Police Department and if you touch these nests you’ll be harming the lives of an endangered species.” The men’s faces went white.
“W-Well, umm…” They were lost at words. “Have a good day Lieutenant!”
When the men were gone, Christian looked at his daughters who were hiding behind Diana. “Girls…”
Alea stepped out first. “No, don’t do it,” Belle whispered.
“Yes Daddy?” Alea asked, ignoring her.
“Belle…” Christian watched his daughter hug Diana’s legs and continue to hide. He looked into Diana’s eyes and she stepped aside.
“Aww man, really Diana? Fooey!” Belle kicked up a little tuft of sand. Christian raised an eyebrow. “Sorry Daddy.”
“Now girls, what did I say about standing up for what you believe in?”
“Umm…don’t do it?” Alea suggested.
“Umm…doing that’s like mowing the lawn.”
“What?” Christian was confused with that one. He knelt down on one knee. “Do it the right way. We don’t fight, we talk and cooperate.”
“But Daddy, you fight everyday.”
“Some things you’ll understand when you’re my age. For now go find Mommy!” The twins scurried away.
The Huntress: Doomsday Issue #1
Wind rustles through my hair and a cool, salty mist sprays the surroundings. Where am I? This isn’t…My eyes open in a cautionary sort of way. As if witnessing this new world would curse me forever. Interesting. I’m on a beach, but it’s no beach I’m used to. Around me our wild animals as if I were their god. “What are you doing here?” One rabbit hopped over to me. “No! Get away! Get away from me!”
The animals appear hurt. Slowly, but surely, they scatter and I’m left alone. Just like that, my power has faded into nothing. I’m a regular woman, but strangely I don’t feel as though I should be. I shiver and realize I’m wearing weird apparel on my body. Something covers my groin and I have support for my chest.
“Undergarments…,” I say. That’s a new word for me, but everything is new. A bubbling sensation builds up in my stomach and the hot liquid escapes through my mouth. “Vomit…” Another new word. My vision blurs and colors pop out from random spaces. My mind spins and the world becomes a hodgepodge of brightness and pain. I’m adjusting.
I stand up wishing to have more clothes on my body. The universe hears me think and a long, flowing dress forms over my skin. How did this happen? Trembling, I make my way towards town. Something’s approaching me. “Hey! Hey you!”
Turning, I see a man rushing to get to me. “Can I help you?”
“Yeah, you can.” The man must think that he can overpower me because he swings forward with his left fist. I stop it of course and it’s crushed in my grasp. “What are you?”
“I wish I knew, bud.” He swings with his right hand. I grab it and knee him in the abdomen. He keels over and I deliver a final blow to his back. “Don’t ever hit a woman.”
More confused than ever, my instincts tell me to take his wallet. “Wallet…” The third new word. I search his pockets and come out with a wallet containing thirty sheets of paper stamped with numbers. Then, I’m gone.
In town, a big festival is going on in the streets. The perfect way for me to lay low. “How are you, lass? Care to join me for a dance?” A man attempts to ask me. I hate men. Such disgusting creatures.
“No thank you. Can you point me towards any place I can find help?”
“Whenever a bloke needs help, they go to Peterson’s for a nice drink.” A building in front of me with a word I assume to be Peterson, beckons for me to join. I do.
Inside, it’s a chaotic mess. Men fight and women court the men who win the fights. A bit over the top if you ask me. An old bartender, “Bar…” a new word, asks if I want the special or the “special”. I choose the one without air quotes. He comes back with my drink. “By the way, where am I?”
He laughs at me like I’m insane. “You sure you can handle another drink? You’re in Mother England for crying out loud!” He laughs again as I take a sip. “Anyway, be careful out there. A nice person like you could get hurt.”
“You sure about that?”
“Well, I don’t doubt it.” And he’s gone. Lucky for him.
Two males to my right eye me as though they’ve never seen a woman with blonde hair. Time to get out of here. Swiftly, I head towards the door, but it’s not quick enough. They intercept my path. “Lookie what we have here, Johny,” the taller one says. Both are taller than me so they can easily get to me.
“I reckon she’s a Nazi spy, eh James?”
“Spy indeed.” Spy? Spy for what?
“Listen gentlemen, it’s been a pleasure, but I really have to go.” I make a move to the exit, but again they’re on it. “You don’t want to do this,” I warn.
“Quite frankly, you don’t know what we are.” They smile to reveal rows of pointed teeth. Okay times up. I punch the small(er) one in his gut, but he doesn’t cry out in pain. No, in fact, it’s me in pain.
“Ow! Fuck!” A new word. Both men clutch my shoulders. I lean backwards and flip my legs up. They connect and the men are out for a moment, a moment that would be a good one, to leave on, but it just so happens that I’m also in pain. I didn’t think about flipping back and when I did, I hit a machine behind me. Nice. I cough trying to release the tightness and panic starts to set in for the customers around me. I hear some yelling for law enforcement and others shouting directions on escaping.
The taller man’s body begins to morph and grow. It turns into a sort of ghoulish looking creature that screeches at the sight of me. “Everyone, clear out! Leave!” I yell as the creature darts at me. I brace for impact and get a blast of a lifetime. Feeling around for a weapon, proves unuseful when all that comes up is a fork. “This’ll have to do.”
The creature attempts a blow to the head, but I roll to the side. Reaching out for good placement, I plant my palm and hurl myself upwards. My body balances on my palm. All in the same motion, I sling the fork into the thing.
Or at least I tried to.
It flicks it out of the air like an annoying fly. Well, there goes my weapon. The second creature, much more hideous, tackles me. As it pins me, the first one tries to stab me with a silver weapon. Desperate, I get as close as possible to the thing that’s holding me and kiss it. My god, this is gross. It’s stunned and I successfully kick him into the other.
I get up and both creatures advance towards me. Regaining my balance, I start hurling plates and cups and silverware at the things only seeming to annoy it. The first creature lunges forward and I jump. The second one catches me and after spinning me around for what seemed like an eternity, launches me into the window. Glass – another new word, shatters as my body is haplessly bounced across the pavement. The festival outside only gets worse when the monsters walk out.
I suck blood and glass out of a shoulder wound and spit. “Alright,” my mind blurts out, trying to be witty. “Which one of you is Tiny?” Both beasts roar. They charge my poor soul, but I’m ready. I plant my feet in a runner’s stance and swing up with my fist. The grotesque one (in the context they’re both ugly), whom I’ve dubbed Gargoyle, catches it. I scream loudly as he bends the arm back and almost snaps it.
“Aah!” I punch once. “Ooof!” Again. “Oof!” Then, the move is finally completed with a quick leg across the face. My leg doesn’t let go, but Gargoyle does and I’m sitting on his shoulders bashing his skull. He falls like a heap of demon turd.
Prince Charming, whom I’ve named that because he’s probably a much better kisser than Gargoyle, grabs my left leg. He (or it) flings me up and down. I land harder each time on the ground. Something must be broken down there. Whatever.
“Hey Charming, you want to dance?” The dumb beast looks at me confused and I seize the opportunity to whack him. He stumbles backwards and Gargoyle is back up. I duck as he punches forward. My legs swing out and take the beast down. “Yeah! That’s what you – OOF!” That’s the third time I hear myself saying that.
Prince Charming punches me hard enough to hurl me into the beach. Dust and sand flutter through the air making a chaotic scene to decipher. I see two large shadows approach me. Can we just take this time to ask ourselves, what in the world did I do to get them mad at me? For the last time, I recover from the impact and get to my feet.
“I’ll cut you a deal. I beat your ass, then clobber you in the face, and let you guys go back to the hell you came from.” They weren’t happy. Well, Gargoyle wasn’t happy. Prince Charming couldn’t figure out what was going on. They sprinted at me and I jumped at the last second. Skating in the sand, they stopped right before reaching the ocean. “What’s wrong with the water?”
I press forward and they try to work around me, clearly to avoid the water. That’s when I spring forward, clutch their necks and drive them into the ocean. What I saw before me was more amazing than life itself. The water dissolved the creatures’ skins and made their bodies into a sort of muddy substance. I let go and step back to bask in my triumph.
Prince Charming and Gargoyle, now free from my grip, crawl out of the water. I slowly ease myself backwards staring in disbelief as the distorted images, more horrifying than ever, reignite this fight. “Oh my god.” God? Is that not plural?
A gentle wind picks up and a snap echoes through the air. Silence. Both ghouls dissolve into ash. This power, I’ve felt it before – but it’s not mine. “So you’ve come back from the grave. Good to see you.” The somber voice chills my spine. All around me, fire erupts from the ground and waves 100 feet tall flood the world. Bombs explode and the world becomes a sad one, full of death and grief. “You can’t stop the rise of the TitanShip. And we’ll kill you again.”
Just like that, the vision is over. The beach returns to its serene display.
“There she is!” The same man who got whooped by me earlier points in my direction. Around are what I assume to be the authorities.
One of the official looking people shout orders. “Get her! Shoot for the legs!”
Round pellets streak across the sand. I dive into the ground to avoid getting shot at and all around me sand bursts into the air. Is there anything I can use to fight back? The universe hears me again and an elegant bow forms in my hand. On my back I feel a quiver stocked with arrows. Perfect.
I whip out an arrow and cock it, taking aim at the officers. Well, close by them. I don’t want to kill them, I want to scare and distract them. The see me ready to fire. Now they’re scared. Letting loose the arrow, I prepare for an amazing show. Nah. The thing fizzled out a yard in front of me. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
I duck again and feel around for another arrow. The next one is different, the end is sort of blunt instead of the normal aerodynamic tip that usually works. The arrow shoots and causes an explosion of dirt and sand from its contact with the ground. My aggressors fall.
People move aside for me as I run down the boardwalk. As soon as the shooters went down, I booked into the streets. That’s where I’m at now. “Move! Get out of the way!” A large, metallic contraption on wheels backed out of a spot and of course, I ran into it.
Street lights flicker above me as I come to. A woman kneels over and gets close to me. “Miss, are you okay?” Instinctively, I reach out and put my hand on her cheek. The kind woman becomes a small critter, probably a badger.
“Huh?” I’m not really sure what just happened.
“Get her! She turned Audrey into a squirrel!” First of all, that’s clearly a badger. Second of all, I didn’t mean to! A group of men jump onto me and bury me in raw masculinity. Gross. “Aagh!” I struggle, but am able to overcome the people. Throwing people off of me, I stand and scope the scene. Then, I’m out cold.
Lights. Voices. An angry group of people shouting to get to me. “Huah!” My eyes crack open suddenly. My head hurts badly and I’m chained to a chair. Someone outside confirms that I’ve awakened and joins me in the room.
“Well, this is awkward.” No comment. None is necessary. “My name is Officer Shaw,” she says. “You’ve made quite the mess haven’t you?” She sits down. Now, I care to take in her appearance.
She’s a brunette with perfectly straight, white teeth. Shaw is also young, maybe 30 years in age. Something about her face is wrong, though. This woman’s a liar, I can see it displayed in her eyes. Her eyes…They’re gray. What the hell? Is that where I am at? “Who are you?”
“Lindsay Shaw. That’s all that’s relevant.” Lindsay opens a folder in front of her. “Shot explosive arrows, broke a man, destroyed a family-owned business, and turned a woman into a skunk.” A badger. “That sounds like what you’re capable of alright.”
“I need to get out of here.”
“Awwh, leaving already? Why so soon?” I shake my wrists, but the chains don’t come off. “You’re not leaving until I get some information.”
“Let me go.”
“No.” I rip my right hand up and the cuff is broken. “We haven’t even started.” Lindsay waves her hand and my arm slams back onto the arm of the chair like a magnetic object.
“What do you want?” I feel heat surfacing in my face.
“Answers. Where is she?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” My heart sinks and a wave of Depression comes over me. The world is black, for a brief second. “What was that?”
Lindsay clears her throat. “A glimpse of Pain. Where is she?”
“I don’t know!” PANG. Everything disappears for a second. Saliva froths at my lips.
“Very well. I’ll do this the hard way.” Lindsay stands places her thumb and pointer finger on my forehead. I feel her searching through my memories, every feeling, every thought. The pain becomes unbearable and I scream. “Hang in there. After all, we are family.” She says my name, but I don’t register it.
I hear her leave and talk to other officers. A man comes in. “Where is she?” I ask, defiantly.
“Shaw. Lindsay Shaw.”
“I don’t know who she is.” My mind freaks. SNAP! SNAP! My hands break free from their bondage. With a hard toss, I throw my chair into the wall and watch it shatter into hundreds of pieces. “Miss, I am going to have to-”
Tired of listening to this man speak, I punch him straight into the ceiling. I catch the body and toss it through the room’s glass window. “She’s free! Somebody take her down!” An officer popped into the scene.
“Get out of my way, Bitch.” He stood no chance as I smothered him all over the wall. More round projectiles rain down the hall when I exit the room. I see looks of fear splattered across the officers’ faces.
The broken door flips up when I stomp on it. Ingeniousness and sheer brilliance tells me to storm the shooters, using the door as a shield. I do and the men practically scatter as I approach. “Freeze!?” I look. It’s a young rookie trying to get me to calm down. I can’t. Shaw brought up family.
She stands no chance as I press her into the desk. The officers bring in reinforcements and I know my time is up. Breaking through the wall, I cause another panic – this time, it actually is my fault. Anger flows through me, no time for pity. I’ve been triggered and it’s time to release.
I jump high enough to vanish in the sky and come roaring down. A massive hole erupts and the earth quakes. An older man, one who’s probably seen many generations, shakes, unable to move away. He blinks and I’m in front of him. “Please,” he pleads. “I want to see my grandkids again.”
“See them in Hell.” Surging with hate and anger, I break his back and throw him aside. Someone shoots behind me. Casually, I reach out, pluck the pellet and hurl it into the soldiers neck. Another soldier rushes my way.
“It’s time for you to go.” Really man? That’s your quip? Let me do you one better.
“Pray to your god.” Sliding to the right, I narrowly dodge the attack. The soldier stumbles to my side and I disable his weapons. Next, I slice down and knock his spine free. As I finish up with him more authorities come. Why are there so many soldiers all of a sudden? Is there a war?
My bow appears again. I cock three arrows and let them free. Three soldiers fall to their deaths. A soldier came up behind me. Without a second to waste, I bend over and kick up. Then, I spin around and send my other leg into his face. He falls and I start running down the boardwalk. The urge to destroy intoxicates me.
A buzzing hum streaks through the air and a house beside me explodes. More hums and more explosions. This isn’t about me anymore, it really is war. A fleet of certain machines I would call aircrafts came into sight as the haunting glow of fire lit them up.
I need to get up there. Wouldn’t that be something if I were able to take them down? More destruction. Thinking of what I wanted, I pulled an arrow out of the quiver and shot it at an aircraft. A long rope extends from the back of it, growing longer and longer the higher the arrow got.
When it latches on, I grab the end of the cord and swing into the sky.
“Was zum-?” I hear the pilot say when he sees me jump onto and walk down the nose of the plane, towards him. I rip the shield off the machine and take in as much as I could. On his bicep is a bold, color-contrasting cloth that signifies his allegiance. He tries to eject the seat, but I grab it as it releases.
Violence is still the answer for me as I fling him into the plane close by. Then I make a small leap and come down directly behind the aircraft. The tail provides a safety net for me to hold onto and I perfect the move in a sweep of my arms, launching the aircraft into the next one. The two things explode and I fall through.
I shoot another grappling arrow and land on another aircraft. Two of my arrows are all it takes two penetrate its shield and take the pilot out. I jump, more confident this time and as I’m nearing the surface, one of the flying things tries to shoot.
Of course, I responded by latching an arrow on it. As my feet land on a ship, I spin the thing around like a toy and release it into the water. Some sailors on the ship panic and try to get me off – the hard way. Angry, I jump one last time into the sky and bring down my full force upon ship. It cracks in half and I’m left in the water.
What have I done? Am I a violent person? No, it was her. She took advantage of me. All of those innocent people… A whale comes up underneath and swallows me into its mouth.
Bored of this insignificant being, I leave the bed. This woman has begun to decay my enthusiasm for her and she must be dealt with. “Honey, what’s going on?” Lindsay asked.
If only she knew. “You are wearing on me. This volcano has given me a powerful place of residence, but hasn’t provided me with a woman. A real woman.”
“I am as real as you want me to be ba-” My hand raises and she shuts her mouth. It wasn’t out of respect, but instead, she just couldn’t open it. The irony of how this is one more thing she can’t open amuses me.
“You’re time here is up. The dead soldier I have guarding the door has already gone down to select a new female.” Lindsay’s eyes widen as she realizes this is it for her. Her skin begins to shrivel and soon, she’s a lifeless, gray corpse with every sign of life drained from her pruned body.
The door opens and my zombie guard drags out the woman’s body. In comes a new female, this one likely a girl. Her body’s full and mature, but her face is still girlish.
“What’s your name?” I ask it.
“Grace. Grace Fire.”
“How old are you?”
“Do you value your life?” Now, this is quite the question. She knows I can dispose of her easily. She’s also aware of what it takes to stay alive. Slowly, but surely, Grace nods. “Very well. Take a seat on my bed.” I remove my robes and she panics at what she sees. How many times do you meet a blue being with a large one inbetween their legs?
“What do you plan on doing to me?”
“Roll over. Bare your behind.” She’s tough. Grace knew what it takes, but she didn’t think it would start immediately. Next, she’s on her belly with the rags we give her resting on her back. Her butt was amazing, probably the best of seen yet. “Spread your cheeks.”
“Sir, you can’t be-”
“Do as I say or you will become what that other woman is right now,” I try to say in my calm voice. Her hands reach around back and pull her cheeks apart. Pleased now, I enter her with a second to lose.