Chapter 1

Darkness gathered in the small wooden room, only the feeble light of  a couple of lanterns held by wooden beams and the feeble log fire kept night at bay.

Two men sat at the bar opposite the sturdy, bolted door, one was gruff and unshaven, his shaggy, greasy hair running down his thick, small neck, his eyes were hard and set, quite different to his shabby appearence.

Meanwhile the other man was tall and gangly, stick thin and smooth of face, his hair, bleach white, was slicked back with wax and his pale blue eyes looked secrets about the room, they were talking.

Here and there, drunken oafs sat on their sturdy wooden chairs, sloshing beer over the wood wormed tabletops, most of which were balanced on three legs.

The door squealed open. Arctic winds blasted like a gun into the room, the sudden maelstrom made everyone cower over their precious beverages. The door closed, the chill wind abated and all returned to normal, as if nothing had ever happened. Just how he like it.

Clad in his brown, brass buttoned, long cloth overcoat and hood, the tall, stocky figure crunched his way through the fragments of glass, making his way over to the familiar alcove overlooking the cliffside, at hills and lakes and dark forests.

In a moment, the decent, honest-faced barman came through a rotten door behind the bar and bustled over the sick smelling sawdust and blood-stained floor over to the dark corner.

"Usual lad?" he asked in a deep, friendly tone.

A gruff reply said "yes" and the barman with the brown hair and warm eyes shuffled over to his little counter.

Again, the door opened.

A small, muscly man, bald and weatherworn with eyes almost black swaggered to the bar, sitting on a stool at the far end. He ordered a tankard of ale, slouching over the counter with a dejected look.

"Anything wrong Wood?" questioned thhe barman. Wood shrugged his shoulders and grunted. The barman wracked his brain for a story and soon came up with one.

"Tell me, you ever heard of the Fell Hunter?" Wood scoffed.

"Hah! No but I bet it's an old wives tale," he laughed but the barman wagged his finger.

"No, no, why this Hunter is alive, right now. No one knows what it is other than it hunts people down, mauls them sometimes, other times very sly and cunning. Poison, burns, you know it-" again Wood laughed.

"Thought so, old wives tail if ever I heard one, spare me the drama, it's a load of-"

"It's certainly not rubbish," piped up the voice from the alcove, it was youthful, but powerful.

"look lad, keep out, s'got nuthin to do with you," Wood rounded on him.

Standing up, the lad drew a walking stick from inside his overcoat. he sighed, "I would appreciate if you did not raise your voice to me," his voice was lazy, as if he had been in this situation before.

"Look lad, what's your name-"

"Brakked, they know 'im as!" Interrupted the barman, "they say he's dangerous."

"Thankyou Mr lord, but I am completely able to introduce myself," Brakken growled.

"Show your face coward!" boomed Wood.

Brakken raised his hands to his hood, and slowly, deliberately, moved it down.

"ha ha ha! A boy, huh, tell me, where's your mummy and daddy, aren't they here? After all, the 'Hell-Hunter" might be after you," Wood snorted, patronisingly.

Everyone stared, shocked, especially the barman.

Brakken whipped his overcoat outwards, sending a gust across the room, fluttering the candles which battered out.

His hair was as dark as the night sky, his steel grey eyes were hard and cold, his face young with the start of stubble, yet hard and sharp as an eagle. Intelligence and despair lined his face which was sheet white, ghost like in the bar and around his eyes were red, puffy bags giving him a sinister edge, as if he had not slept in months.

The End

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