11 months ago


it is going to be a

it is going to be a problem. We are in danger. Once a Chimera has your scent, it will never stop hunting you, and that means it’ll return. We need to take watch tonight, it will be back.” I said, “But your magic… I’m sure you could fight it, right?” Kelly interrupted, “No good, at least not in the long run. Not on a Chimera. No. Let’s face it, guys, we’re going to have to come up with a plan.” Although I, and Alicia too, agreed, I had no idea what to do. I said, “Kelly, do Chimeras have any weakness? You know, like how silver bullets can kill werewolves and vampires and while we are talking about the weird and freaky are vampires and werewolves real as well? “I’m sure they do have a weakness of some kind or a vulnerability… back home we have libraries with books on all possible creature’s weaknesses, in our training camp. But that won’t help us at the moment. And yes, them sort of creatures do exist, Davis they are not like your television shows portray them, they are much worse.” Grandpa has a decent gun collection, I’m sure we could get some silver bullets if that sort of thing works.” She chuckled to herself a bit and then she said, “Davis, we are outgunned. There is little chance that we could kill a Chimera by shooting it, trap it maybe… But killing one is nearly impossible.” Alicia said, “Didn’t Hercules chop off one’s head in a fable?” I said, “Yeah, but he had the strength of an Olympian God, so I guess we would lack the muscle?” “I think you, Davis, are that strong, but you don’t seem anywhere near ready to embrace what’s really inside you…” Kelly said looking at me dreamily. Alicia and I both looked at Kelly in disbelief. “You are kidding, right? I don’t feel like I’m all that strong. Besides, last I checked I was just human.” “There is something special inside of you, Davis, but if you believe you are human, then who am I to tell you otherwise,” Kelly said. This was getting weirder by the minute, and I hated when Kelly spoke in riddles, like was I really as strong as Hercules or not? Could I actually protect us from the Chimera? It was a welcoming thought, but I knew deep down I was only entertaining a daydream. No way could I fight a Chimera and win on strength alone (a rocket launcher, on the other hand, would do the trick, not that I own one). I looked over at Alicia, her eyes turned sad. I figured she was trying to wrap her mind around everything. I couldn’t blame her, I know how hard it is to accept that everything you believed to be true was nothing short of a fairytale. Our eyes had been opened to the real world, and nothing could ever take that back. I rode up to Alicia and wiped a tear from her cheek and then I said, “Sorry that I got you involved in all of this… I had no intention of pulling you into my mess. I came here for answers and I been getting more than my mind can grasp most days.” I stared at her. Alicia gripped the reigns of her horse so tight that her knuckles turned white before saying, “Davis, I came here looking for you… It was my choice to come out to the ranch, just the thought of everything Kelly said about werewolves and vampires and books on killing real monsters is a lot to take in. Like I would think she was crazy if I didn’t see the Chimera with my own eyes, I’ll be OK.” At the ranch we found Grandma tending an ugly bite wound on my grandfather. “Grandma, what happened?” I asked. “Grandpa was out hunting a wolf that had been stalking the chickens,” she said. Breathing heavy, she said, “He had caught up with the wolf and got a shot in, but his rifle jammed as the wolf came

lunging at him. Fortunate for Grandpa he always carries his pistol. The wolf got in a good size bite on his calf before Grandpa could get the pistol from his holster and shoot it a second time.” Grandpa coughed a spell before forcing out his words in a weak sounding voice, “Think that wolf be rabid, I’m feelin’ pretty damn sick or might be the bacteria from the bite. Either way, Davis I need you to go track the blood trail out behind the house and make sure it’s dead, if not, finish that critter off quick, nothing worse than a wounded animal.” Grandma and the girls stayed with Grandpa. Me on the other hand, I had a mission. I was about to have a showdown with death and was none the wiser. I took Grandpa’s 30-30 lever action rifle out of the gun cabinet and a handful of 150-grain bullets. I fed five rounds into the magazine tube and one into the chamber. Outside on the porch, I held the rifle up, the smooth wooden stock felt at home in my hands as I peered down the iron sight aiming at a buzzard circling the blush pink sky above the corral. It had been awhile since I’d fired a gun, but it was one of those skills you never forgot, like riding a bike. Out back of the house I spotted the blood trail, it was precisely where grandpa had said and appeared to still be somewhat fresh. Near a puddle of blood, I found a .22 caliber casing. I could only guess that this was where Grandpa was attacked and that the blood belonged to him, the wolf or both. I followed the blood trail some ways, not knowing what to expect. I lost the trail in dense aquatic foliage, leading into a large pond. So I circled the area looking for any sign of a wounded canine, but outside of spooking myself by kicking up some unexpected frogs, the trail went cold. I was just about to give up and head back to check on Grandpa and the girls when I spotted the Chimera. It was about a hundred yards out from the pond basking atop a boulder under the hot Arizona sun; it had a distinct red splotch of blood on its neck. I knew at this point that Grandpa was fooled by its magic as well and his biggest fear was a wolf. Something inside me went off like a bomb, my whole body trembled. I felt a desire for vengeance, a very unfamiliar sensation. I was acutely aware of what Kelly said about bullets being useless, but the immense anger growing inside me was overpowering my common sense and my newfound thirst for revenge was now beyond the point of return. It sniffed the air as I stared down the iron sight of the rifle. It must have caught my scent because it jumped up on all four paws and started charging straight at me. Puffs of smoke came out of its nostrils like a small locomotive and its goat shaped head reared itself forward, lowering its horns in a ramming gesture as it reached a full sprint. Taking dead aim, I locked my sights between its broad golden shoulders, squeezed the hair trigger and fired off a round of hot lead. The beast slowed and staggered a bit, before picking up speed. I ejected the round, and let off the next five, connecting each one to its golden flesh, painting its coat red. Just a few feet in front of me it came to a halt, before falling over on its side. There was no doubt that the beast was still alive. Each breath filled its lungs, and its massive chest heaved up and down. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my last three rounds, I needed these to count. So I loaded them into the rifle and walked up to the beast. Without even the smallest amount of remorse I took aim and discharged each round individually into each of the three heads. It was now motionless, rivulets of blood pooled to the fresh wounds, staining the hide. I tapped the beast a few times with the stock of the rifle, and it didn’t move. Then I made the biggest mistake ever, I turned my back on it, and the snake tail lunged at me, biting me on the arm. I tried to pull away, but it refused to let loose. I could feel a burning sensation going down my arm (I assumed it to be venom flowing through my veins) then something came over me. Some of the flashes I saw previously were no longer flashes but a memory.

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