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In this story, I tried to looks at Rake Hunting ALOT more darkly, as you will be able to read. It is based around the old RP were we would all live together in one house (Dawn's). Also, it takes two years after the main RP ended.
The Rake Hunters
Heh…yeah, well, time for some backstory I suppose. You see, I am an Elemental, a being of nature devoted to destroying abominations to nature, and those include…well, radiation mutated beings, virus infected beings, and Eldritch beings. So, yes, zombies DO exist, we just kill ‘em off before you can find them. And radiation mutated beings are fun, some come from Russia, others from France a few from Japan, they tend to be the more brutal ones. Yeah, well, I don’t deal in those kinds very much. I tend to deal with the real threats.
The Eldritch Beings. You got your Fears, Half-Fears, Eldritch Abominations, like things out of H.P Lovecraft. Heh…yeah, anyways. My most common targets are members from a species known as Rakes.
Rakes are humanoids, most are around four feet long, hunched over, and they have MEAN bone claws, sharp enough to cut through cast iron and be okay, most of those nearing the two foot mark. Yeah, well, they fall easy. Mostly just a shot to the side or head will bring them down. The biggest I have seen was a REAL abomination. I could barely handle it. 200 feet tall, 137 foot long claws, three heads and tendrils enough to feed millions with nothing but Calamari for a week.
Then there is my buddy, Dark Storm. I don’t know if that is his real name or not, I just call him Dark or, sometimes, Darklek, in reference to Doctor Who, one of my favorite shows. He has never seen it. He should, I reference it so much you would think he is a Whovian himself from how many jokes he gets from it.
He is also a demon. Yeah, an abomination. A useful one, though, and a friend. He can create worlds in dreams, he makes nightmares and so on, and I, I can control nature, make flowers grow instantly, make water turn to ice, rock to lava, and so on. My favorite and most used power…hehehe…Vines…I can summons vines into existence like tendrils, flail them around and even make them fireproof if I must. I have killed SOOOOOO many people and Rakes and more than a few Fears that way. We loved to hunt together.
I hated rakes, I HATE RAKES! Why? Because, guess how you become an Elemental? You have to DIE, and then you can choose your fate which is then decided, or, reincarnation as an Elemental. Heh…I was 5. I was five when they struck me down. FIVE and I became food for a Rake…see why I hate them? Not everyone can be reincarnated, only some, I am told. I was lucky enough to get that choice.
Enough intro and explaining. Here is what happened.
I am 15. I had not seen Dark for TWO YEARS. I looked at my phone, and then, at Dawn, one of my best friends, she was baking cupcakes. She loved that, making cupcakes. I looked at my gun, Ol’ Reliable. 12 gauge double barreled oak and steel shotgun, made in Italy. IT had my name proudly emblazoned on the side, on a plaque.
“Jared” Yep…that was my name. I picked it up, and I looked at the phone. Dark’s number was right there. So close, so in reach. I looked at my chest, at what had been stopping me. Two years ago, me, and some of my friends went and wiped out near any Fear in existence, save a few. The few we liked as friends. I sighed. I had too many scars from rake hunting, it was insane to go on another one. On my second one, my chest was torn open like a clamshell, you could see my heart beating and the lungs failing. Dawn sewed me up. The scar was long, from the top of my chest, like a lighting blot, to my gut. I felt it, the scar tissue was hard and red. I looked at the phone, and the phone number.
It was insane. Go on a possibly lethal hunt, against my best friends wishes, and bring back scars to show for it? Or stay in a house where I got bacon, eggs, and toast every morning, went out for lunch and something always better for supper and cupcakes for dessert? And DAMN could Dawn make cupcakes. They were always moist, and tasted like little bits of heaven compressed into a cake. I looked at the phone, and the number, put the number down and sighed.
“Dawn?” I said, my voice somewhat shaky and nervous...I waited for her reply.
“Yeah, Jar Jar?” I sighed, looking at the cupcakes she was now frosting.
“What would you say if I went on a Rake Hunt with D-“ She instantly interrupted me.
“NO! NO! No no! JJ, we talked about this! No more Rake Hunts, they are dangerous!” I was about to raise my voice to her in anger, I needed to do this, Dawn did not understand.
“WHY NOT!?” I yelled. I wanted a legitimate explanation why I could not do it, it was fun, it gave meaning to my life…it was my life!
“They are dangerous! Stay here, with me, and Fob, and Kiba and Dae and Bubbles and the rest of the gang! No more Rake Hunts!” Then we heard a British voice yell out at us.
“Shut up you lot!” Dawn rolled her eyes, Kiba was trying to nap, I guessed. She stood firm, Dawn. “No. More. Rake. Hunts!” I decided to do the one thing she hated the most. I grabbed a cupcake out of the pan, still burning hot, smashed it on the table. She stood there in silence. I walked calmly over to the phone.
“Yo, Dark, it’s me, JJ.” He half-screamed
“JARED?!?!?! It’s been two YEARS!!! How’s my Rake Hunting Pal doing!?”
“Bored. Up to a hunt in the woods? Just south of down, the Deer Cams are picking up on some Rake Activity.” Three things happened.
“HELL YES!!!! LET’S GO!!” was the first. Then me screaming “HELL YEAH!” in response. Then…
“JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!!!!!” I laughed and ran as Dawn chased me. She was mad. I was not. I ran as fast as a could around the house, banging up and down the stairs, hooting in joy.
“GET BACK HERE YOU LITTLE-“ what she said could be summed up in one thing [String of bad words]. I ran, Kiba yelled “ENOUGH! JUST STOP!” I laughed, throwing a bit of crushed cupcake at Dawn. Daemon…I don’t know where he was, and Fob was out on a jog.
I felt a tug on the back of my shirt, looked behind me and yelped a bit. Daemon was there, all fallen angely and stuff. We were an odd “family” a cupcake obsessed mother figure, a half-Fear half-Angel, a Fallen Angel, a normal human who was caught up in Black Eden plots to end the world as we know it, and an Elemental. Also, there was a Towerborn I don’t remember much about once.
It was fun living there. But Daemon looked mad as well, his hair was flowing behind him, his red eyes glaring down at me. He spoke to me, his voice booming and dark
“What did you do THIS TIME?”
“…s-smashed a cupcake…” He smirked, and became a lot less…crap your pants if you see himish. He chuckled and let me go.
“You…idiot…heh…” I ran , jumping past Dawn, running down stairs and running to the woods. First, though, break to buy root beer and listen to some music. I like Classical, not Dubstep, but I must say rock and metal are growing on me…like a fungus.
I ran to the woods, jumping and skipping as the mature surrounded me, I felt more powerful, like something had awakened in me. I was in my element (no pun intended).
I greeted Darklek, his familiar face peeking through the bushes, holding his rifle, as always. He had an odd look, hard to describe, human, but off in some way. He laughed and we hugged, overjoyed at seeing each other, tears flooding my eyes.
“Alright, enough. Let’s kill some Rakes, Darky.” He nodded, smiling widely. We walked through the dense bushes and the trees, I was silent and he was like a big, stomping, monster. I shushed him, we stopped, we had an unspoken language. There he was, a small guy, but a Rake none the less. I aimed Ol’ Reliable at it.
DEAD AND IN THE BAG MOTHER[REDACTED]!! I LOVED THIS! The recoil, the rake falling, EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME!
Dark looked at me.
“I was going to shoot that, Jar Jar.” Heh…too bad for you Darky. I was overjoyed, I felt something AWAKE in me, SOMETHING I NEEDED to be awake had just woken up. Dark looked around. That gunshot signaled we were here, and we were known in this area by the Rakes, They hated us. I hated them. It was a hate hate relationship.
I looked at the Rake, and at the two that had come to their fallen comrade. They nudged it. They wanted him back. They needed him back. He was their friend, or their mate, or whatever, he was their friend, at least. A pack member they would share with. They looked at us, a fierce intelligence and sadness I had never noticed before burning in their black eyes. Our reflections burned in their eyes, they just stared at us, and I know what they were saying as their mouths opened and closed, even if it sounded like shrieks, it had MEANING.
MONSTERS! KILLERS! MURDERERS! TAKER OF FRIENDS AND ENDER OF THE INNOCENT! WE. HATE. YOU!
I stepped back as they stepped forwards. MURDERS! MONSTERS! WE. DESPISE. YOU!
I raised my gun in defense, sweating, Dark raised his, chuckling.
MONSTERSMONSTERSMONSTERSMONSTERS! TAKER OF FRIENDS AND RUINER OF PACKS!
Boom, boom, bang, boom. The eyes and the screams were silenced. I looked, a tear welling up in my eyes. They did not deserve this, they were content eating deer and fish and competing with the wolves. These were not the Rakes I hated, these were not the monsters I despised. These were animals, with human feelings and emotions, they were almost human, they wanted the same we humans did, a family, peace, food, shelter. And I took all that away simply by pulling the trigger of the gun.
I walked away. Dark looked at me, confused and worried.
“JJ? Hey, JJ, tell me, what’s wrong bro?” I scowled. I half-growled, half-spoke.
“The hunt is over, Dark. Take what trophies you want and go. I have enough.”
I felt evil, unclean, I realized how wrong Elementals are and were. We were wrong, they were not abominations with no intelligence, they were nearly human. I walked home, back to the house, Dawn’s lectures about cupcakes would be better than the guilt I was under. I walked past a narrow stream of water, a humanoid shape forming in it.
“Not now Elly, I love you, but…I just need to be alone.” Elly…my silver eyed, brown haired, wonder of an elemental. She was always there for me. No one could cheer me up right now. Not even her. I walked home, ignoring everything, Dawn greeted me at the door angry at first.
“You…little…” she looked at me “Jar Jar, what is wrong?” I sighed and I walked to my room, a white and blue room, a bed, a mirror and a dresser all inside, my laptop on the dresser, plugged in and charging. Two shrubs, one a raspberry bush, another for blackberries, grew there, in pots, as per my request, so I could have some nature here. Aloe Vera grew on my window sill, and I had a little plant, a Silver and Gold flower, known only to the Elementals, and it was meant for someone I loved to be given to. I already gave one to Elly…I just grew another one, intent on giving it to Dawn, until I forgot about that and she said it looked great in my room.
I didn’t love myself, that is for sure. I sighed, and I took off my shirt, a long sleeved black one, button up, like always. I looked at myself in the mirror, a vine curling up and around my waist, just in an attempt to show to me what I was. An Elemental. My job was doing Rake Hunts and other things. Heh…well I quit.
Dawn knocked on the door, I didn’t answer. I just did not want to talk. She opened the door, and looked away from me a bit. “Jar Jar, put a shirt on.” I still looked in the mirror, and had said it jokingly, in an attempt to cheer me up. She placed a single cupcake on the table, it had a frosting version of a Rake on it. Heh…Oh Dawn…I looked at her, and tears welled up again…I looked at her and I wanted to tell her EVERYTHING. But I couldn’t find the words to speak. I opened my mouth.
“JJ…what’s wrong?” She looked at me and I lost it.
“I am nothing but a monster, ending the lives of Rakes, they did me no wrong and any who did are killed and dead a long time ago! I am nothing but a killer of innocents, a monster, a murderer, and I enjoyed it all, I SAW! They are intelligent, thinking, feeling beings and I treated them with complete disregard, as if they were nothing but animals and I can’t TAKE IT ANYMORE! I just want to curl up and DIE Dawn! I just can’t take this anymore! Every life I have ended, every Rake I have killed was the friend of another Rake, or the Mate or the Sister or the Brother or Mother or Father to another Rake! To another thinking, breathing, feeling being! I FEEL LIKE A MONSTER!”
She looked at me, shocked by my rant…I could see a small tear welling in her eye. I had reduced a 18 year old woman to tears? She held them back and left the room and I felt worse then I already did. I looked at my shotgun, the spent shells that lay in a neat row on my dresser and they Rake Claws that adorned my wall, of many shapes and sizes. My two swords, made of Rake Claws…heh…Justice and RakeBane. I fell on the bed and I tried to shut my eyes and fall asleep and I could not.
I looked at the cupcake. The eyes of that frosting Rake stared back at me. Dawn, you wonderful, cupcake obsessed genius. You could see the black eyes, they had a reflection of me in them eve, frosting, of course. I remember my catchphrase, in the screechy Dalek voice: EX-TERM-I-NATE ALL RAKES! And I would…it was “fun”…I had become a monster, nothing better. I stared back, at RakeBane…it had ended so many Fears, it should have been called Bane of Nightmares…Fears…they used to be human, just like me…I sighed. I was evil, worse than Rakes or Fears or anything.
And the Hunt still would go on, in every Elemental, hell, Dark may still be hunting as I stared at the sword…I couldn’t do anything. I sat up on my bed and ate the cupcake. It was amazing, chocolate and vanilla and strawberry all mixed together…heh…well, I thought, I could go downstairs. I put on a shirt and went downstairs. Kiba, Daemon, Fobar, and Dawn all sat there, Each of them looked at me saddened, they had heard me yell at Dawn. I just sighed and sat down with them. They tried to offer me words of comfort, trying to make me feel better, but every time they did it fell on deaf ears and every time they tried to show it fell on blind eyes. I looked at them, they looked back, and I just wanted to die. I had made my Rake Hunting buddy feel like crap, myself like crap and all my friends like crap.
I knew the “drill” we would all recover in a few days and move on. In a week no one would mention it. But life just went downhill for me. Everything tasted bland, everything seemed uninteresting, I would just lie in bed for hours, doing nothing, not even playing a video game. Just lying there, crying or silent, whatever.
Life had no meaning to me anymore, save maybe my friends, who had all moved on, they tried to cheer me up, but no one could. I still lived with them, and I guess in a few months I would feel better. It was just a matter of waiting.