A Monstrum Venator Story
Starring Katey O'Donnell with Jensen and Jared Reese and Seymour and Cassandra Petrin supporting
As a teenage girl, it’s never fun to be woken up in the middle of the night. But as a hunter of the paranormal, I was used to it. It’s never fun, especially not when you just got to sleep a few hours ago. Plus, I was just getting used to the bed. We hadn’t been in town very long, but we had rented a small apartment. I even got my own bed. Not my own room, unfortunately, but I’d never had a room by myself.
Seymour burst into the room, which normally would have been out of the question, and startled me awake. I pushed myself up off the bed, blurry-eyed, and groaned when I saw the digital clock sitting on the night table.
“Go away, it’s 4 in the morning,” I mumbled, sliding my head under the pillow. I had been up late the night before finishing homework. Eleventh grade was a piece of cake for a smart girl, but the homework was a killer. The teachers always loaded you down with more than you could handle and still get enough sleep.
“Wake up,” Seymour shouted, and I heard the sound of covers being pulled of a bed. Thankfully, it wasn’t my covers he was pulling off. I lifted the pillow up enough to see the other bed in the room. Even though Seymour’s daughter, Cassandra, was almost 33, he picked on her the most. Probably because she was blood while the rest of us were not.
Cassandra groaned, curling up against the cold. She didn’t like waking up early either, which made her an excellent roommate. I flopped the pillow back down and tried to go back to sleep. I hoped that Seymour just wanted Cassandra. Then maybe I’d be able to wake up for school in the morning.
No such luck, unfortunately. A second later the thick duvet I was sleeping under disappeared and a shock of cold air replaced it. I squeaked and sat up, the pillow over my head dropping onto my legs.
“Get up,” Seymour said. I glared at him, then caught Jared watching through the door that connected the two bedrooms. He gave a sympathetic smile, but looked way to awake for someone who was fourteen. He should have been just as bleary eyed as me. I also saw Jensen moving purposefully around the room, but he was too busy to notice me back. Like always. He was the one in our eclectic family that jumped whenever Seymour said anything. It must have been because he was the oldest, or something.
“Come on,” Seymour said again, and I stretched the sleep out of my body before glancing around to see what he was still doing in the room. To my annoyance he had grabbed Cassandra’s duffel bag and was stuffing her clothes into it from the dresser. Which meant we were leaving again.
I climbed off the queen sized bed, aware that I was dressed, or rather not dressed, in very little. A small, light blue tank top and brown boy shorts briefs. While Seymour transferred jeans into the bag, I folded my arms and glared at him.
“What’re you doing?” I asked. He glanced up, not noticing that I was ‘concerned’ about what he was doing with Cassandra’s stuff.
“We’re leaving, a new job has popped up,” he said, returning to his work. “Get packed, we leave as soon as everyone’s ready.”
I shook my head. This had been going on all my life, so it wasn’t like I hadn’t been expecting it. But as a sixteen year old in high school, I just wanted a normal life. I wanted to have girl friends that weren’t almost 20 years older than me, I wanted to have crushes on the seniors, wanted to date. Can you blame me? If you were constantly on the move chasing after things most people didn’t believe existed, wouldn’t you want to have at least one year of normalcy?
“I’m not going,” I stated. This got Seymour’s attention and he stood. Of course, now I had to weather the storm he would unleash at me. He had been like a father since I was 6, and he probably never expected me to disagree, or disobey, him. In any other circumstance I wouldn’t have. When we’re hunting something I have to be obedient to the last letter or I might end up killed. But leaving only two weeks after the school year started, I was sick of it.
“Start packing, now,” Seymour said carefully. I shook my head again.
“Not going to happen, not until the school year is over,” I said.
I was taking an awful risk. He was more likely to explode and have me doing pushups and running five miles before we left, and I was just too tired for that. But I was sixteen. It was time to put my foot down about something.
“Fine, you can stay here by yourself,” Seymour said, catching me off guard. He knew I had a problem with being alone, and he was playing on that. Curse him. May a thousand demons eat his heart out.
I couldn’t disagree with him because that would ruin my argument. If I was so desperate to stay, then he challenged me to be desperate enough to stay alone. He was wrong. I glared at him for putting me in this situation. He gave me a wicked smile back. He knew I wouldn’t stay alone, and he knew he had won.
But before I could open my mouth and destroy my chance of actually staying, Jensen stepped into the room.
“I’ll stay with her,” he said, rescuing me. I gave him a surreptitious smile.
“No, you aren’t,” Seymour said. Now was the deal breaker. Would Jensen defy Seymour, probably for the first time in his life, or would he let me down? I silently prayed to anything holy that he wouldn’t let me down. If Jensen wouldn’t stay behind with me, I would have no choice but to leave with them. I didn’t have a car yet, unlike Jensen, and the last time I had been left alone I had almost died. I didn’t want a repeat.
“I’m eighteen,” Jensen said. “I can handle Katey and myself. Plus, I’d like to finish my senior year in one place as well.”
I was pleasantly surprised. Jensen was actually backing me up. And he made a good argument. He had turned eighteen in March, but still had to finish his senior year. He had a car, given to him by Seymour for his birthday, and Jensen was very responsible. In most respects, anyway.
When I glanced back at Seymour he looked like he was having a coronary. He was red faced and was glaring at Jensen. I felt a little bad. While it was natural for me to argue with Seymour, I did it all the time, Jensen was the most obedient of the three of us. Seymour probably hadn’t expected Jensen to say anything.
“Dad, you and I can take care of what ever it is by ourselves,” Cassandra said from the bed. I glanced over at her, and she was still curled around the pillow with her eyes closed, but I could tell that she wasn’t asleep. Seymour glared in her direction, but sighed.
“Fine.” Seymour huffed and went back to packing Cassandra’s bag. “You can stay with Katey.”
“What about me?” Jared asked from behind Jensen. Seymour looked up and glared at him.
“You too, I guess,” he finally said, and I let out a sigh of relief. I wouldn’t be alone.
Now that the argument was over, with me victorious, I gave another smile to Jensen, wondered at the blank expression he gave me, then dropped back into bed to finish the night asleep. Hopefully Seymour would be gone by the time I woke up again.