Harley stepped into the dank bar, the smell of stale beer and cigarettes filling her nose. The exclusively demon scene consisted of the typical strobe lights, and neon signs along with green skinned, leggy dancers on the bar. She strode through the bar, her head held high, exuding confidence, hoping that no one would recognize her and give her a hard time tonight. She was there on business not for a social call.
She took a seat at the very back of the bar, making sure that she could see the entirety of the locale, thinking that maybe she would recognize the man whom she was supposed to be meeting. He should be here any time, she thought.
Soon after she spotted a man with dark hair, cropped short and spiked on top, that must be him. He headed straight for her table and sat down with a sly grin on his face.
“I’m assuming you’re Harley Obermeyer.” He still had that stupid grin on his face, and Harley wanted nothing more than to smack it clean off his angled face.
“You’d be correct. Let’s get down to business. Who’s the target?” She wasn’t one for niceties.
“I see you’re not one for small talk, any way my name is Darius.” He handed her a file. “He goes only by Arden. He’s kind of small time, but he’s been wreaking havoc on Grayson’s business, and he wants him taken care of.”
“How much is he paying me?”
“Wow you don’t beat around the bush, do you? He’s willing to pay five grand, and he said if that’s not enough he’ll look elsewhere.”
“That’s fine, I’ll start Monday. Is there anything else I need to know?”
“Yeah there’s one little catch.”
“Great, there’s always something with these people. What is it?”
“You have to take me with you, I’m in training, and I need practice.”
“Hell no.” She immediately felt her anger bubbling to the surface. She’d never taken anyone on a job, and she wasn’t about to start now.
“You have to, or he’ll find someone else.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Harley stormed out of the bar and walked the mile to her apartment. She unlocked the door and was welcomed by the coolness of her dark single bedroom, undecorated home. She had the blinds drawn and the curtains pulled. Dark and empty, accept for a couch, table and chair, and a television that she barely watched. She sat down on her couch and began to brood. There was no way she was taking a lower level demon who had next to no training with her on a hunt. She didn’t get along with people, and she hated other demons. She’s kill them all if she could.
She flipped through the manila folder he had given her and searched over the files. The man who’d hired her had left a number for her to call in case she ran into any problems. She thought about it, I’d say this is a pretty big problem. She decided to give him a call.
“Grayson.” He answered the phone with a gruff voice, and she instantly thought of a big burly man with salt and pepper hair.
“This is Harley Obermeyer. I’d like to speak to you about my mission. There’s no way I can take Darius with me on this hunt.”
“You will, or I’ll give the job to someone else.” He sounded very rough.
“I can’t do it. What if he gets killed, that’s on me, and you.”
“He’s expendable, miss Obermeyer. He’s in training. I need my own personal hit man, and I expect you to teach him the ropes. It’s five thousand dollars. I hear you haven’t had a job in a while.”
He was right, she hadn’t had a job for a while and she was desperate. She had bills to pay, and she was beginning to run out of supplies.
“Fine, you win, but if he dies it’s on you, not me.” She hung up the phone and decided that that was that. She wasn’t going to worry about it anymore, not point in it. She went to the bathroom, took a hot shower and headed for bed with a clear conscience.
With the help of Arion, the local tracker demon, Harley was able to pinpoint Arden’s location at his lair in the Underworld. She wasn’t thrilled about going back to this place, but she had to do her job, so she had no choice. She called Darius and planned to meet back at the bar, there was a doorway there that led to the Underworld. That night Darius and Harley met at the bar and headed into the underworld for a trip they would never forget.
“Okay, demon boy, here’s the deal. I don’t want any issues with you so stay out of my way. Got it. This should be an easy enough job, and I don’t want you boohooing because you got hurt.” Harley didn’t bother to keep the disdain out of her voice.
“I’m helping whether you like it or not, Harley. What if we run into danger down there, it’s bound to happen. I’m not going to let anything happen to you just because you don’t your pride hurt.”
“Just stay out of my way, Darius.”
With that they stepped through the doorway and made their way along the winding path toward Arden’s lair. Not long into their trip trouble found them, as it always did.
“Hey cutie where do you think you’re going?” A beefy demon with long fire engine red hair, and a long angular face approached along with a shorter stouter purple skinned demon.
“First of all, it’s none of your business, second of all, you’re in my way.” Harley snarled at the two men.
“Come on how about a little fun” the stout one said.
“I’m not here for fun, I’m here on business.” Harley was beginning to get angry.
She began to walk by them and the taller one grabbed her by the arm, she wasn’t about to be man handled so she grabbed one of her Chinese hook swords, and things got very serious. The stout demon formed a fireball in his right hand, and Darius stabbed him with his long sword. Harley then began hacking at the taller demon, she continued to slice at him until he was lying on the ground in a heap of blood and meat.
“I heard you were crazy.” Darius cringed. “I didn’t realize you were crazy enough to rip a man to shreds for grabbing your arm though.”
“I don’t take well to being manhandled.” She left it at that.
They continued to walk and happened upon Arden’s lair, it looked like it was time to take care of business. They slowly crept along the wall and looked inside, he was sitting in a chair counting money. He had probably stolen it, or hustled someone out of it. He was a very well-known crook. They took their time getting inside, they didn’t want to spook him, she hated it when they tried to run right off the bat. She stepped inside, and he looked straight into her eyes.
“I know why you’re here demon hunter.”
“Well then I guess it’s time for you to stand up and take it like a man. Might as well get it over as quickly as possible.”
“In your dreams demon hunter.” Arden stood straight, he was short, shorter than Harley’s 5’4”.
Harley pulled out her swords. There was no pretense, no point in wasting time. Suddenly the air shifted and for a few seconds everything went completely black. When the lights came back on Arden was gone, the room was empty.
“Where in the hell did he go?” Harley let out a frustrated cry.
“I didn’t know he could phase, but I do know that he has another hiding spot deeper in the Underworld.”
“Great, just where I want to go.”
They began to walk deeper into the Underworld only to run into more trouble. A horde of demons came rushing them and they were left with no choice but to fight. Harley swiped at some of them with her swords, taking out most of them. When she got bored with that she pulled out her flame thrower and began burning them to ash, she decided a long time ago that that was a lot more fun than fighting with the swords. When they finally escaped the horde, Darius decided it was a good idea to start playing 21 questions.
“Why do you hate demons so much?” Darius asked out of true concern. “Aren’t you half demon yourself?”
“I am, but I didn’t choose to be. Besides why do you care?”
“I’m curious. We’ve been working together for two days now, and I know nothing about you.”
“I was raised by a demon, he made me hate them.”
“What did he do to make you hate them?”
“He raised me, trained me to fight, just so he could drop me off in the Underworld at the age of 16 to fight my way out with a long sword. He was supposed to be my father.”
“He doesn’t sound like much of a father to me.”
The conversation finally ended when they found Arden’s hiding place. This time Harley had a plan. She edged her way toward the opening of the hole, he had his back to the opening this time. Thank the gods for small blessings. She grabbed her flame thrower and walked very quietly inside. Just as Arden turned around she blasted him with flames and watched him turn to dust right before her eyes.
“Sayonara you little prick. I knew I’d get you eventually” Harley let out a maniacal laugh that rang through the space.
The hunt was over, neither of them had gotten so much as a scratch, and she had gotten a chance to kill multiple different demons. She felt great about this little adventure, and she couldn’t wait to do it again.
“That was awesome” Darius exclaimed. “I could get used to this life.”
“Don’t get to use to it or it will consume you. Now let’s go get my money.”