I had only woken up when I felt them coming. My mam had told me things but on her death bed, she was going mad. First, it was the noise. The screeching sounded like nails on a blackboard. Then came the feeling. The shivering feeling along your spine. When I felt it, I knew they were coming. The Arlene Hunters.

I had a decision to make. Do I run? Will I call for help? I knew why they were here but I didn’t know they would come so soon. I had so much still to learn. I knew I wasn’t getting out of this alive. I grabbed a knife I had and waited. I still didn’t know what I was going to do, until someone unlocked my front door. It was my aunt. She said something in a foreign language and then it was only us. I ran down to her. She said she had to go before we went through and told me to grab my mam’s ashes. I didn’t know why but I did it anyway.

We left. She told me why they were there – to finish off the Thorn bloodline, my bloodline. I was the last one who shared the same blood as my mam. I didn’t understand why but my auntie told me that it was because of my granddad that this was happening. I asked her to tell me more but she said she would tell me later. Right then, she told me to rest.

Over the next few weeks, my auntie Kate told me a lot. She told me how she made a promise to my dad that when the time came, she would prepare me for the moment that would define mine and my family’s legacy forever. So, she trained me and told me what I was up against. The Arlene Hunters were an ancient group of hunters that always got even. The story went; my granddad made a deal with them that if they did him a favour, he would have to give up the one he loved the most to the Arlene Hunters, but when the time came, he didn’t. So, to get even, the hunters vowed they would end his bloodline. He thought they were being dramatic but when he seen his family drop, he knew he made a mistake. As a cruel joke, they left one alive – my mam. Little to her knowledge, it was just so she could continue the bloodline and they could do it all over again. Kate knew the time was coming. We could feel it. I thought I was ready but little did I know, I was not. She told me to take the ashes and smash the urn when I thought I needed to so I brought it with me.

It was time. There they were, five of them. I was intimidated. I doubted myself. It was my downfall. Swords came out of their hands. I had my weapon. It was a double-sided sword. I also brought a dagger. I was ready, I was able to injure one but they were too strong. Their eyes glowed green. They stabbed me and I fell to the ground. I knew I was going to die.

I rolled over and in doing so cracked the urn which was tied to my waist. Little bits of ash glowed. I knew then I had to get the last ounce of strength I had and break the urn. I tried but it wouldn’t break. In my darkest moment, I thought it was over. Then, it broke. The ashes came out and it sucked into me. I was healing. My mam was healing me. I felt a rush of power, something I never felt before and I knew then that I could do it.

I got up. The Hunters ran at me. I fought with everything I had left. I killed one and it just disappeared into a poof of smoke. I then thought it was possible. I took down another and another until there was only one left.

I could see the remanence of the smoke from the other Hunters go into him. His eyes glowed red. I ran at him. He blocked me. I managed to get a few scrapes on him but it was like he was healing. He managed to disarm me but I still had a dagger. I pulled it out and I jumped at him. He caught me by the neck in midair. I dropped the dagger and with my other hand, I caught it. 

I jabbed it into him. This time, it was like he was crumbling. I didn’t know what was happening. Right before he disappeared, he said “There’s more. More hunters. But, not just hunters”. I didn’t know how to feel. Happy? Worried? Threatened? 

It was here I realised I had won the battle but was nowhere close to winning the war.