Jessica felt the heft of the blade in her hand, pleased with the balance. She stashed it in the leather sheath strapped to her thigh, in plain view. Her act of defiance marked her as a hunter, not one of the sheep. The promise of a confrontation hung in the air. Good. Bring it on.
Tales of the Overlords filled her bedtime stories as a child, living in the communes, raised by the sheep. She’d lost her parents as a babe during those months of conflict, twenty years ago. The swaths of destruction in the city beyond lay fallow, silent graveyards attesting to the absolute power of the diabolical soldiers. The bleats of mourning for missed conveniences had been her education about the world of yesterday. Let them lament what they’d lost; it had been their world, not hers.
The raiders had left enough infrastructure in place to subsist in a rudimentary fashion, even improving it on some levels, from what she’d been told. No one wanted for food or clothing. And if they were forced to reside in groups, what of it? Jessica didn’t see the allure of living by oneself. The old ones were crazy anyway, wanting what they no longer had.
A few of the Overlords remained, determined to hold that which they’d so brutally taken. Their two species were quite similar; at a glance, the Overlords could blend in well. What set them apart were the uniforms they were so fond of wearing. That attitude of superiority sparked a budding hatred in Jessica as she grew up, convincing her to become a hunter.
The assholes could be killed, just as any mortal man. A swift plunge of steel in a well-chosen spot would silence the organs that kept them breathing. Only death would stop the advance of their tyranny. Let the sheep huddle in the safety of their comfortable cages. She, and other hunters like her, would liberate the planet…or die trying.
Stealth brought Jessica up behind a lone Overlord, taking his ease in the sunshine behind a building…sunshine forbidden to the sheep, because of the anti-congregation laws. She withdrew her blade with the slightest whisper of sound, the snick of leather just loud enough for a casual turn in her direction. The thrust held true, his eyes widened then closed forever.
Jessica pocketed his uniform patch to add to her growing collection of souvenirs. Perhaps she wouldn’t kill the next one as quickly, have a conversation with him instead. She’d been wondering for some time now as to where their home world was located and what ‘United Federation of Earth’ meant.
"Hunter" Copyright: © 2009 Laura Eno
Laura Eno (http://lauraeno.blogspot.com/) lives in Florida with her husband. She has written two YA fantasy novels and a paranormal romance, but lately has felt compelled to write in the dark fantasy/horror genre. Her flash fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Twisted Dreams, The Monsters Next Door, Flashes in the Dark, 10Flash, and MicroHorror.