Lord, save me.

Zachary the hunter.

I’m a redeemer. Most would take a look at me and think, he’s a killer. A murderer. Or they just see the clerical shirt and think why has God forsaken me, maybe he knows. I don’t know more than the next person. I know too much. This world is too much for me, but I wake and trudge through it, finding small things to keep me moving. It just takes a step, a non-spoken thank you, but those I save are soon running the other way.zach-church

Like last week, Larissa Maria Garcia Jimenez wouldn’t wake up. Nothing could force her to see the people around her. The doctors checked on her, but something about the blood work and a lack of insurance sent them packing. Cops couldn’t blame the parents r drugs, she was a model student and hadn’t touched a dimebag. So they turned to religion. That fucking Catholic shit head took a piece while she laid there. I hope he wore a condom.

So before the religious wackjobs could make things worse, I came in. The smell of the fiend nearly tossed me into a corner to puke my guts up. There was nothing left of the girl, just some bane writhing away in the flesh and bone the soul was torn from. Thank god she was dead and couldn’t feel or see that priest rutting into her. But now it’s my thankless task to deal the killing blow. She’s gone so far, mind questionable, body on the verge of sweating shit, and the needler would soon open those eyes and eat the family.

I’m a redeemer. I’m supposed to find those I can save, question the monsters. I found one.

It wasn’t the girl. Larissa was beyond saving. But this one Sister, taking the name of her station as her own, wearing a habit, miniskirt, and fishnets. She could walk around in whore’s garb all she wanted. Something pure remained, a soul not on a spar.

I didn’t go to save the girl. I went to save Sister. She needed to see and understand the way I did. You can hear people tell you about the shit in the night. Even vampires and wolves don’t have a clue how deep the pits of hell go. Not until it stares back. She came and helped, like I hoped she would. Peeling back the eyelids, white orbs yellowed jaundiced, and flies buzzing over everything.

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven…” She gave me a weird look. Maybe expecting the bible. “It’s Milton. He was a blind man, had to listen to the words, really hone in on them. Without sight, he saw more than his peers. Whatever happened to Larissa, she invited in. It just takes a single chink in the armor. Maybe the girls at school pushed with their hate. Maybe she wanted to vomit her food nightly to be skinny enough for the boys. Maybe the only way was death.” I turned over her thin wasted arm, old marks of cutting criss-crossing like a fucked up google map.

“They can even enter you. I don’t know what’s luring so many here. I don’t think it’s your people.” I could swear she jumped a little. Hell, most hunters call vampires some of the most foul things. If it wasn’t for divine blessings and keeping an eye on each other, hunters would and could fall first. I know some fucked up killers passing themselves off as protectors. “You need to be careful, Sister. Most people I find, I can only help into death. But there are a few…that I do save.” I think I smiled at her, but with this job, it’s hard to know. Larissa died without fanfare, easy into the night. That’s what her parents were told. The battle was brutal, and Sister even gave me a shoulder to lean on when I thought I would pass out.

I’m a redeemer. But sometimes, I need to be redeemed. The old pancake place smells of burnt grease and coffee. Smoke is thick above our heads. The pie doesn’t have a single real fruit in it. But for the first time in a long time, I feel pretty good about things.