So, a good friend of mine offered to do weekend writing prompts with me. It’s a great exercise to keep those creative juices flowing. We pick something out for each other and then the task is to write at least 500 words from that prompt. Here’s mine. Warning: strong language.
Where the fuck did I put my knives? I remember cleaning them after the last hunt. Ogre bile has a way of melting steel if left on too long. Too bad for me that my neat-freak ways don’t translate into putting the fuckers away properly. My weapons cabinet is empty. Maybe my good-for-nothing apprentice knows where they were. Come to think of it, isn’t it his fucking job to pick up my shit?
That’s the problem with Frank. No respect. Other hunters have apprentices who jump when called. Bow and scrape. Stay up all night cleaning weapons, whittling stakes, and generally being useful. My apprentice is a lazy asshole who hides in the damn basement all day like a freaking vamp and never shows an ounce of respect.
I should feed him to a ghoul. That’d show him.
“Where the fuck are my knives?” I yell down the basement steps.
If my fellow hunters could see me, I’d never hear the end of it. Brought low by a pimply-faced kid barely old enough to shave. Being treated like an unwanted parent instead of his fucking mentor.
“How should I know?” he shouts back.
Don’t kill the kid. He’s not worth the council’s censure. Or the fucking paperwork. Deep breath.
“Because you’re supposed to keep my weapons prepped and ready.” You dumb fuck.
Frank’s clomping steps echo up from the depths. He steps out of the stairwell looking like a zombie. All sallow skin and baggy, red eyes. Kid looks like he needs to eat a sandwich, drink a protein shake, and get laid. In that order. Might make him resemble a human.
“I need my fucking knives. Go find them.”
Frank grumbles, but moves to comply. Finally.
“I can’t find them,” he shouts from the storage room after only a minute of searching. “Why do you need them anyway? You suck at knives.”
Number one . . . I abso-fucking-lutely do not suck at knives. They just aren’t my thing.
Number two . . . it might not be worth the paperwork to kill the kid, but maiming him could be a workable alternative.
Number three . . . he definitely lost my knives. Hell, he might’ve sold them on the black market. Being an apprentice doesn’t pay shit.
“I need them because I need them,” I shoot back at him.
Frank rounds the corner—hands empty of course—and folds his arms across his chest.
“Please don’t tell me you’re bringing her,” he says, frowning at me like I’m somehow disappointing him, when it’s the other way around.
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” Yeah so, maybe I do, but it isn’t any of his business.
“You’re taking Tilly on this hunt, aren’t you?”
I squint at him, try to make him feel like a bug, but it does nothing. Frank’s immune to most forms of scrutiny and judgment. That fucker isn’t wired right. Most people squirm like worms on a hook when I glare at them.
We have a staring standoff and I’m shamed to report I lose.
“She’s harmless!” I stalk off to the kitchen to grab a beer.
Matilda—Tilly—McEntire is a fellow hunter, known for her talent with sharp objects. She’s also the thorn in my side, the wrench in my works, and the only woman this side of eighteen I ever loved. She and I have a checkered history.
Frank follows me into the kitchen, nagging me the whole way like a fishwife. “She shot you. Twice.”
Like I said, checkered history.
“It was an honest mistake.” I twist the top off my beer and shrug. “Besides, we’re talking knives here. No chance of getting shot.”