What’s going down tonight, Chelsea Childling?


This is a series of short stories, detailing the adventures of Chelsea Childling. You can start with her origin story or pick any story from the index.

***

Bald, pale, red-eyed, and razor teethed, the vampire blurred out of focus as it ran across the dimly lit parking lot.

Chelsea pushed the gas pedal of her car all the way to the floor, aiming for where the reaver would be. She hit the vampire in the back, sending it flying into the brick wall of the condemned apartment building.

Before the car fully stopped, Amber was already out of her door ax in hand. Chelsea went to hurry after her girlfriend and stopped short. Cursing at her seat belt, she watched Amber rush into the semi-darkness.

They hadn’t planned this hunt, however, neither of them were about to let a reaver go. Well, Amber had wanted to, but Chelsea wouldn’t let her.

Reavers were dangerous. Not just faster and stronger, they were extra deadly. One bite or scratch and an unlucky hunter ended up dead, or worse, turned into a reaver.

Luckily, ramming one into a brick wall with a car equalized the playing field somewhat. This reaver had a broken arm, and couldn’t seem to walk properly.

Chelsea freed herself from the care. She unsheathed her hatchet as she closed the distance and swung. She wasn’t as strong as Amber, so her ax merely stuck in the reaver’s neck. The vampire hissed as it spun around, leaving it open for Amber to swing from the other direction. Her aim wasn’t perfect, but she reached Chelsea’s blade and together they severed the spine.

Instead of a hiss, a deep rattle started in the reaver’s chest. It rumbled only long enough to be heard, then the vampire’s smooth, pale body wrinkled and turned to dust. Their axes clattered on the cement, as the reaver puffed away in the sodium arc lights.

Grinning, Chelsea grabbed Amber’s shirt and pulled her down for a kiss. “And you said we couldn’t kill a reaver on our own.”

Amber rolled her eyes as she picked up their axes. “Yeah, we still shouldn’t have even tried.”

Chelsea fought down a laugh. Amber didn’t run from fights, exactly. She didn’t like to fight unnecessarily. According to her, living to fight another day was smarter. She’d never failed to back Chelsea up though. Even if she did bitch about it incessantly.

Amber held out the ax. “Can we get a drink now?” She flounced back to the car. Chelsea bit her lip watching Amber’s very round ass in her jeans. Chelsea had drawn the hunter in various states of undress the last few weeks. And she had nearly a full portfolio of just Amber’s ass.

Upon reaching the car, Amber tossed her ax inside and turned. Hands on her thick hips, she glared behind her curtain of black hair. “What are you staring at?”

“You.” Chelsea smiled as Amber rolled her eyes again. However much Amber might protest and poo-poo now, she’d shown her devotion and love over and over.

And she’ll start purring as soon as we get home.

Chelsea fought not to giggle as she hurried over to the car. They’d spotted the reaver on their way to Boney’s haunt.  Amber said they might have a job. In fact, she’d been very insistent about them checking it out.

Not that Chelsea had protested. The exact opposite in fact. She lived for killing monsters. Yet Amber had been particularly emphatic about this job. She still seemed a touch edgy.

The drive to Boney’s haunt took about fifteen minutes, but Amber switched radio stations four times. Once they pulled into the gravel lot, Amber nearly stormed over to door.

Her finger jammed the call button. “It’s us.”

The door opened to the smoke-filled, dirty, and eclectic bar. Amber beelined to her contacts, but Chelsea sauntered through the heavy crowd of people. She’d gotten to know people since quitting college to hunt demons, but there were a lot of strangers in the bar tonight.

Something really big is going down.

She studied the crowd again and found a friend at the bar. Dark-haired and good-natured, Keegan sat on scuffed wooden chair with a high back.

Chelsea settled in a red pleather bar stool beside him. “Hey, dipshit.”

He dropped a wink. “Whatever, psycho.” He waved to Boney. “Please beer the woman.” Keegan nodded to her. “This one is on me.”

“Ooo. Treating a lady?” Keegan passed Boney some cash. “Saying goodbye to a friend.”

She sat upright. “Goodbye?”

Slim shoulders lifted and fell. “Yeah, I got a job down south.” He punched her arm lightly. “You should come with me, help me blend in the locals.”

She let her natural accent drawl past her throat. “Teach you how to talk to people.”

“That is so hot.” He laughed when she rolled her eyes. “Seriously though, you and Amber are welcome to come with me.”

Chelsea froze for a moment in surprise. She knew hunters traveled, but she and Amber had an apartment…

And we’re happy.

Keegan flashed her one of his rare smiles. “Do me a favor. Prove me wrong and stick around here. Start a clan of monster hunters.”

Chelsea stuck her tongue out at him. “That might be a touch difficult for me and Amber.”

He gave a little bow. “I’m more than willing to stand at stud.”

She laughed and punched his arm. Then she stood and hugged him as fear opened a pit in her stomach. “Be careful out there.”

His arms tightened around her. “As careful as I can.” He pulled away, only to bend over and plant a kiss on her forehead. “Take care of yourself, Chelsea.” He waved as he walked out the door.

Chelsea took her free beer from Boney with a nod and headed towards Amber. She stood in a crowd of regulars, hands on her hips, and a scowl on her round face.

Scott held court. Dirty, with a distinct smell, his belly stuck out of the bottom of his stained t-shirt, he was gruff but fair. And planned a good hunt. Chelsea slipped up beside Amber and tried to get caught up on the situation.

“…blood trails led to a cave. They didn’t go in, but they think it’s an oni. Which is no good. It’ll start going for people sooner rather than later.” Scott scratched at his neck, flaking off dead, dirty skin. “Now the good news is that everyone here could net some serious cash because we’ve got a rich patron. So it’s dangerous work, but it’s well-paying, dangerous work.”

Amber glanced down at Chelsea, a question in her dark eyes.

“Yeah, we’re in.” Chelsea sipped at her beer and wondered what the hell an oni might be.

***

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