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Demon Hunters

BOOK: Demon Hunters
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Demon Hunters

By Jason K. Melby

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2014 Jason K. Melby

ISBN 9781311373465

This ebook is licensed for
your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or
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Part 1
Chapter 1

In The Beginning

My name is Jake Corba and I spent my
twenty-fifth birthday baking away along Ventura Boulevard in
Sherman Oaks, California. I wasn’t homeless, as such, but it was a
lot more pleasant for me to camp out along the street than be at
home, which was nothing more than a glamorized roach motel which
enjoyed frequent visits from bill collectors and repo men. My
creditors had become aggressive in their attempts to squeeze the
last bit of blood from my veins and I didn’t want to make their job
easier by being a stationary target.

I sat along the street and begged for change
when the mood struck me, but mostly I just sat there and thought. I
tried to keep my thoughts away from the past. I realize many people
reflect fondly on their histories, but I’ve never found any comfort
in mine. I never could see any point in dredging up a painful life
in order to figure out exactly where it all went wrong, when I
already knew. I could pinpoint my first and biggest mistake to the
day I was born.

I didn’t remember much about my parents, as
they didn’t last very long. There was a fire in the church on the
night of my baptism. A fire, I have come to understand, that I
started after I was possessed by some otherworldly force. A demon
to be exact.

A demon had infiltrated my small, fragile
body and I was filled with its power. I didn’t know what I was
doing and I don’t recall much of the experience, but apparently I
caused the death of my parents and nearly every single soul in that
church. That’s about all I can remember from my childhood. I have
flashes of growing up, being tossed from one foster home to
another. I didn’t have many good memories to hold onto so I never
tried.

Over time, I learned to control the demon on
my own. It became a part of me and I learned that I was a lot
better off on my own than with any family. No one could possibly
understand who I was or what I had become. The demon inside me gave
me strength. It helped me to survive on the street.

I saw a wealthy looking woman approaching me
on her way to one of the boutiques along the boulevard. I looked up
and mumbled a request for some spare coins. I expected her to just
walk by but to my surprise she stopped and dug out some coins from
her purse. She dropped them into my backpack and hurried on her
way. When I was sure she was out of earshot, I rifled through my
bag and found the money; a couple quarters and a penny. I shoved
the coins into my pocket to join the others I had collected that
morning. I almost had enough for a small cup of coffee. Happy
birthday to me.

The day dragged on. I sat and watched the
usual parade of life pass by. I walked along the block and mingled
with my fellow street people. Once you get past the crazy, they
have some real interesting stories to share. As I was heading back
to my usual spot, I stopped in my tracks. I could see him across
the street.

There was a very weird looking dude who
seemed to have gotten into the habit of stalking me. He was a big
guy too. Built like a brick wall. I had seen him staring at me a
couple times over the past few months. At first, I just thought he
was a local. I’ve seen a lot of people more than once around here.
It wasn’t that unusual, but when I realized every time I saw him,
he was looking at me, I began to worry. His gaze was penetrating.
It was as though he were expecting me to do a trick or something. I
turned away from him. When I looked up, he was gone. I was rather
surprised by my reaction. I’m not the kind of guy to scare easy. I
wasn’t sure why this freak was making me feel so uneasy.

I decided then was as good a time to pack it
in. I could feel my skin burning, but I didn’t mind. The demon
inside of me helped to keep me healthy and well. Any wounds I
suffered, it would heal. Any ailments I had, it would cure. The
voices in my head were a small price to pay for that kind of
coverage.

I could tell it was getting late. Nearly
time to eat but I didn’t have enough to get anything. I went over
to a nearby trashcan and did a quick scan of its contents in case
someone had tossed some leftovers or a half full soda cup. Nothing,
but I had a theory that I did have some stale potato chips in my
pantry back at my dump. I grabbed my bag and threw it over my
shoulder and headed down the street.

The next day I came out at my usual time and
camped out as always. It was a bit cooler and I was able to stake a
claim on some sidewalk that had some good shadow coverage. I sat
just watching for a few minutes, but I got bored. I went to my bag
and pulled out a pen and paper. I started to write. Nothing deep or
profound. I would sometimes just write down what came into my head.
I wasn’t always sure if it was coming from my head, of course, but
that wasn’t the point. It also helped to have something to focus on
other than myself. It really helped pass the time.

I was tearing through the pages for what
seemed like only a few minutes, but when I finally came up for air,
I saw three hours had passed. I felt my stomach begin to rumble
loudly. The potato chips from last night weren’t quite as filling
as I had hoped they’d be. I set the paper down and considered my
options. It wasn’t even noon yet, and the foot traffic was
unbearably light, so I didn’t have much more than the money I had
collected yesterday. I double-checked my bag in case I missed
something. I then decided to drown my hunger in my writing. I
grabbed the paper and went back to my words.

The shade I had been luxuriating in for most
of the morning was fading and I could feel the heat spreading. My
forehead was moist with sweat. As I was starting a new line on the
paper, I thought about taking a break to find a new spot when
suddenly, the shade returned. I looked up and the brick wall freak
was standing right over me. He had never gotten so close before. I
could smell something coming off of him. Either his cologne or
soap. It was subtle at first but soon it was all I could smell.
Some sort of mix of animal musk and Old Spice.

“Hello.” His voice was like thunder. I
snagged my bag and tried to slide away as slowly as possible.

“Hi.” I said.

“Jake Corba?” I felt a shock come over me.
It had been so long since I had heard someone say my name. It
almost seemed like hearing a foreign language. I wasn’t sure how to
respond. I had made ducking creditors into an art form, but I
wasn’t getting that kind of vibe from the guy.

“Yeah.” I said as I got to my feet. I began
inching away, just in case.

“It is you, isn’t it?” He sounded relieved
somehow. A smile, or what I thought was a smile, began to form on
his lips.

“It’s me all right. Do I know you?”

“My name is Ivar.”

“Ivar? Ivar what?”

“For now, just Ivar. I have come a long way
to meet you, sir.”

“Sir?”

“I am what some might call a student of the
universe. I have traveled the world studying from the greatest
religious and Philosophical minds on Earth. Holy men from every
corner of the globe.”

“Okay, that’s great. Your passport’s full.
Congrats. Can I go?”

“I’ve come here to study from you.” His tone
was so sincere, I nearly believed him.

“From me? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m
not a holy man. I don’t even go to church.”

“But you are a Corba.”

“Guilty.”

“The day you were to be baptized, you were
taken by a demon that still dwells in your soul to this day.”

“How do you know that?”

“I have insight.”

“That’s great,” I had thought he was creepy
when he was just looking at me, but hearing what he had to say
raised his creep factor by a million. By the look in his eyes, I
could tell he really believed it all. I knew I had to get out of
there and fast. “This has been interesting, but I think I need to
get home now. Bye.” I said and turned away.

I took the long way home but as I was
walking, I could sense someone behind me. I turned and saw that
Ivar was following me. He wasn’t chasing me, but keeping pace with
me. Clearly asking him to leave me alone wasn’t going to work. I
turned a corner onto a small street a few blocks from my apartment
and spun around to face Ivar as he approached.

“What is your problem, man? I don’t want to
talk to you! I don’t know how you know so much about my life, but
it doesn’t impress me. Just leave me alone! I’ll go to the cops if
I have to.”

“I realize how strange this may seem to you.
I have come to learn from you because I feel my teachings have
become limited. It doesn’t matter how many religious leaders and
figures I speak with. They are just devices chosen to deliver a
message, but you are as close to the very essence of the living
energy of this universe as any living thing can get. You are not a
representative of a higher spirituality. You are a part of it. You
have experienced a higher plane of existence and became one with
it. You have knowledge that I could never hope to attain. I want to
know all I can learn from you. I want to know how you came to be
and why and...”

“Hold on there, dude. You want to learn
about me from when? When I was born?”

“That’s right.”

“Well, you know about as much as I do. After
that church thing, it’s all a blank until my first day at my first
foster family.”

“Surely, you have more information than
that. Your soul is bonded to a demon. Your family has been hunted
and persecuted by demons for centuries. You are a perfect example
of the functionally cursed.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Don’t you know about your family?”

“No, I don’t. I never really cared to look
into the whole family tree. Being stuck with the demon has been bad
enough.”

“You don’t know the story?”

“Don’t know it. Don’t care to.”

“Come with me then. I will share with you
what I have learned.”

“Thanks, but no thanks. I never knew my
family, and that’s been a fine arrangement so far. They seem to be
too much trouble. Especially if they’re cursed. This has been
freaky and disturbing and I think you need to go. Now.” I said and
turned away from Ivar and continued on my way home.

“Don’t you even want to know why you live
under this curse?” He barked at me as I got further from him.

“Not interested!”

“Even if I can help you cure yourself.” I
stopped. The world stopped. His words echoed in my head. I had
heard the word cure thrown around carelessly. Before I learned to
control the demon, I tried to expel it. I talked to everyone I
could about it. A few offered hope and promised they could save me,
but they were all wrong. I decided it was better to just live with
the damn thing and close the door on any hope of being cured. I
wanted to turn back to Ivar and agree. I wanted him to show me some
miraculous procedure or remedy that all the others had overlooked.
The one silver bullet that would finally free me forever, but
before I could utter a word, I remembered the disappointment I felt
each time one of those saviors had let me down. I couldn’t do it
again. I wouldn’t. I braced myself and continued on down the street
without a word. I could hear Ivar behind me, begging me to come
back, but I kept forward.

Chapter 2

Ivar’s Story

I reached my apartment house. It was one of
the few true dumps that could be found within my zip code. The
buildings on either side of mine were pristine and fresh, as though
they had been built the day before. Stuck between them was my home.
The tiles on the roof were cracked. The paint was faded and worn.
The security door, if it could be called that, was intact save for
the lock. It looked condemned, but the no vacancy sign on the front
assured those who walked by that people did live there
occasionally.

I pushed the door open and walked into the
courtyard. It was even worse on the inside. The pool water was
black and bubbling. There were a couple of deck chairs next to it.
They were broken with rusty hinges and sharp edges.

I breezed by to my unit and shoved my key in
and pushed the door open. I had grown accustomed to the smell but
once in a while it would sneak up on me. I felt it burn in my nose
as I forced the door shut. I headed to my bedroom. The stink was
less intense in there. I only had a mattress and a small black and
white television, complete with wire hanger antennae. I threw my
bag onto the floor and flopped onto my mattress. I cursed Ivar a
bit for ruining my usual daily routine. I considered just going
back later, after I was sure Ivar had gone to his cave, or wherever
he lived. I sat up and crawled over to the television. I switched
it on and after some fiddling with the antennae; I managed to get a
clear signal. It was some news program. I thought of changing the
channel but I didn’t want to deal with the antennae any longer so I
left it where it was. I tried to absorb what was being said, but I
couldn’t get my head calm. Talking to Ivar had riled something up
inside of me and I didn’t like it. Just as I was finally beginning
to calm down, I heard a loud knock come from my front door. I still
had the receipt for the money order I used to pay my rent with. I
fished through a pile of papers and retrieved it. Mr. Ochmulan used
to pull scams on me, claiming I missed my rent and suckering me out
of an extra payment, but I was ready.

BOOK: Demon Hunters
9.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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