Jack of Many Trades

On the Hunt

Originally posted: 2015-09-29

There are many Hunts, and they vary almost as much as do their Riders. Some rode for vengeance and some for justice, some ran from the gates of Hell itself, some rode searching for a Heaven that would never be found on the roads they were on. Some rode the horses they’d ridden in life, or strange, dark beasts that nonetheless acquiesced to be carry them, or themselves took the form of wolves or giant cats or other predators. I was not the first to choose a motorcycle, with a headlamp streaming through the twilight, but the image stuck to me.

When I took point, berserker and valkyrie alike in my wake followed suit. No hounds or howls announced our arrival, only the low thunder of perfectly-tuned engines. We’re still a motley crew, riding everything from crotch rockets to cruisers to naked bikes. More often than not, mine is a 1934 Indian. It doesn’t really matter; they run on whetstone sparks and shining wet teeth and gunpowder and fear, not petrol.

Some years are better than others. Some years the picking is ripe and there’s no second thoughts, no bitter taste in the blood of our prey. Some years are strange and the prey sickly-twisted. Some years virtually all we hunt are humans, and some years almost none.

The Hunt is never clean.

No matter how insubstantial the riders, no matter how little is left behind when the Hunt continues from one target to the next, it’s not a clean job. Viscera sticks more in the darkness of the Mists than it does on the battlefield, and the smell… well, when your targets are already rotten inside, there’s little to be done about the disgustingly sweet scents we tracked, each one a unique blend of dying flowers and burnt sugar and greenish meat.

Some of them were human, some of them monster, but all of them were messy.

I would tell you not to bother running if you’re prey, but it doesn’t matter.

Please, do run.

It’s more fun.