Just a Job

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The rain faded and a chill settled in the air. It's the kind of weather that, penetrates. It's cold, but good too, makes us aware, helps me to, home in on my prey. When I was human, I'd have been listening to the radio on this sort of day, but that was then, and the music in my head is almost always better. An imaginary drumbeat pulses through my brain and the scent of my prey fills my snout and mouth. I open my maw, just slightly, tasting the air and her fear, sweet, like cheap wine. Her screams pierce through the silence and the music in my mind. I pad around an alleyway corner just in time to see a man with a bloodied knife counting a wad of cash. His victim is still breathing. It's my turn now. I wait in the shadows, my black fur blending in easily. He leaves after a moment, his dull human senses unable to sight me or notice that the woman still lived.

***

What had she done to deserve this? Cherish lived a humble life as a desk jockey with a crappy apartment and a pet cat to her name. Was it because her life was considered so dull that she was to have such a fate. Was she to be one of those 'other people' that other people talked about, before forgetting that they really were people? The man had been big, about six foot two. He wore a mask and heavy clothes, so she didn't know what he'd looked like. She did know that he'd had a large jagged knife and that he'd slashed her throat to get at her purse. As she slid down against a brick wall to sit on the alleyway concrete, blood pulling around her, he dug through her purse. Then, he left, just as soon as he came, leaving her to bleed to death on this cold, wet day.
Though thoughts were suddenly a chore, she knew she was dying and many unfinished prayers went through her fuzzy mind as she heard the steps come around the corner. The clicking of talons on concrete was followed by the deep growl of a dog-like creature. Through her blurry vision, Cherish looked up and saw the monster. A large wolf, with fur as black as night, except for it's white skull of a face. Instead of eyes, it had pinpricks of star-like light in the depths of its skull and it had no ears, just ram-like horns, curling back from its dead face. Cherish had thought the man was scary, but this creature. What was it?
Her eyes widened in fear. How was she still alive in the first place? Judging from the blood pool around her, she should've died by now, or she was already dead. It must've been the latter and this creature was some emissary of the dead. She tried to speak, but nothing came out. A slit throat was no good. Instead, the creature spoke.

***

The smell of blood was teasing. There she was, practically offering herself to me. "Hello m'lady. I'm a hellhound and I'm just doing my job," I said and words felt strange. Talk was useless. I lunged for her dead throat.





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