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The Monster Hunter
A Very Short Story
Kathy was born under difficult circumstances. Her mother went into labour while hunting a vampire in Marseilles (vampires were not extinguished in Europe, like somebody believed) with her husband. Kathy was born at dawn in a back alley close to the port, under the screech of albatross. Her parents could not head to a hospital, covered as they were in somebody else’s blood.
Kathy’s parents were the famous monster hunters known, for reasons which are debated to this day, as Ms Six and Mr Hasta. Their daughter could throw a knife before she was five. She made her first kill at seven, a lycanthrope pup.
At fifteen tragedy struck. Her Dad was killed by a multi-dimensional monstrosity that was haunting a village in Gloucestershire. Kathy’s Mum went after the monstrosity, to avenge her husband. She died too.
Kathy decided to sit this out.
She went on fighting other monsters, and making a name for herself. She ended vicious poltergeists and exorcised demons, she destroyed vampires and disbanded one ancient cult in Iceland before they managed to call down the Old Gods (which would have been bad). She courted controversy too: when she killed what is widely believed to be the last dragon in Wales, some people said that dragons are not monsters, only arcane animals, and what she had done amounted to genocide. She told them they could argue that with the human bones the dragon had collected in its cave.
At twenty-five she fell in love with a math teacher, Luisa Cunningham, who hadn’t had a clue that monsters were real and magic too, until a scorned lover had cursed her. Kathy managed to reverse the curse and send it back. She and Luisa got married the next year.
In her forties, and with two kids, Kathy returned to Gloucestershire. The multi-dimensional monstrosity was acting up again. The monstrosity never saw Kathy come: she had spent almost thirty years researching this thing and its weaknesses. She went back home, where Luisa was marking homework, and celebrated bringing the family to their favourite Thai restaurant.
Kathy tried to get her kids excited about monster hunting, but it was useless. One of them grew up to become an accountant, the other a gardener. She did find an apprentice though, a skinny, clever, boy called Eco, coming from one of the most remote corners of Italy. Kathy and Eco were the horror story monsters would tell.
She died in her bed, after a brief illness, at seventy-six. Quite young; but she was a little tired by then. Her last thought was that she was lucky that she was going before Luisa. A selfish joy, but joy nonetheless. Eco would carry on the flame.
Kathy, the legendary monster hunter, had a good life, and a good death.