If you follow the blog posts, then you know that I’ve been sharing the ‘dead files’ from my computer. Stories that I lost interest in but at one point thought was a good idea. They’re raw, unedited, unproofread, unpublished.
When I penned the Hunter Trilogy, I was actually yelled at by the lady who edited it (yes, Sheila, I’m talking about you!). She thought I was nuts for not continuing Sven’s adventures. I was ready to move on to other projects…but I had the idea of possibly doing a trilogy of Sven’s child. At the end of the Hunter trilogy, he and his beloved were expecting a child and since Thor knew that it would be a demigod, he shared his power with Sven to give him a fighting chance in raising said child.
As a twist, Sven had a daughter. Every bit as brazen as her father, she was tasked with hunting demigods. The old gods couldn’t suffer a demigod to live as most demi’s powers would eventually exceed that of the gods themselves. They simply couldn’t risk it.
What follows is the first chapter of that story.
And don’t worry, there are more that I’ll share later. I have to keep dangling the carrot or you won’t come back, right?
For my twin girls. Know that emotions don’t make you weak and that young women need only do what’s right to be the hero of any story.
Keep the faith girls.
I am a Huntress. Like my father before me, I hunt my own kind. Not because I want to. Because I was created to. I kill with speed and efficiency.
I am quite good at what I do.
I am Erica Svensdottir.
My pedigree is…muddled.
My mother is a shapeshifter. She prefers to shift into a feline form, but she can assume other shapes as well. She comes from a long line of pureblood shifters. But that only describes her physical attributes. If I had to describe my mother in one word, it would be ‘loving’. She has the biggest, softest heart of anybody I’ve ever met.
My father on the other hand, is the Yin to her Yang. He is large, brutish, unrelenting and a natural born killer. Yet he loves my mother and me with every fiber of his being. He taught me most everything I know.
He is also a Norse god.
Before you shake your head in disbelief, understand that my father was born of Viking stock. He was taught the old ways by his grandfather. He was then conscripted to the Swedish navy and sailed to the new world before it was rightfully claimed by any other nation. It was here, in the new world, that he was transformed into a creature of the night. A vampire.
For centuries, he stuck to the shadows. He lurked along the outskirts of humanity and preyed upon those who wouldn’t be missed. He survived by killing and he was quite good at it.
As the centuries passed, he adopted new ways to survive. He also began hunting and killing his own kind. He became the lead enforcer for the ruling council of the vampires and still holds that position today. Yes, he is a god, but he uses his powers for good. And, as he says, the council has ways of doing things that he couldn’t. Things like creating a valid birth certificate for me. I was born barely five years ago, but I am physically that of an eighteen or twenty year old. That’s difficult to explain to the government.
So how does all of this play out in my pedigree? Well, my father stole Loki’s powers and impregnated my mother. Technically, he was a god when they…created me. After he surrendered his power back to Loki, Thor interceded. When Thor discovered that my parents were expecting me…he ‘shared’ his power with him.
In time, that power grew. He is now equal in power to Thor. He can travel to the nine worlds at will and has taken me many times to meet my extended ‘family’. Thor is…large. He’s also my favorite uncle. I’ve yet to meet my grandfather, Odin, the Allfather, but I hope to one day.
My father trained me from birth how to use the weapons that I now wield. When I surpassed his ability to teach, he took me to the nine worlds and I learned the fighting techniques of the dark elves, the light elves, the trolls and eventually the Valkyrie. My uncle Thor finally intervened. He tested me at the age of five and declared me ready for the tasks they expected of me.
You see, besides being part shifter, part vampire and part human…I’m a demigod. Thor confessed to me that there have been few demigods in history because their power can surpass the gods. Odin refuses to suffer a demi to survive. I think that’s why I’ve never met him. They didn’t want me killed. Or him. I’m not sure which.
Regardless, Thor tasked me with a mission. My father endorsed it so now I hunt my own kind. No, not just demigods, though I would terminate with extreme prejudice any who crossed my path. Rather, any that the gods choose has earned death.
It is not my place to question why.
I had no qualms in taking a life. If they had worshipped their gods properly they would have an eternity to relish their rewards. If they didn’t, they didn’t deserve to suffer this world any longer anyway. Either way, if the gods proclaimed them dead, they were. As efficiently as I could deliver the verdict.
I just didn’t expect what was to come. Nobody ever prepared me for…this.
I had at least a half dozen kills under my belt. I always chose the most effective and most humane way to remove the offender. I sported dual battle hatchets, a short sword and a recurve bow. My father made certain that I was prepared for whatever creature I may encounter by ensuring that one of my hatchets was infused with silver, the other with gold. My arrowheads were forged with both metals. My sword was hardened silver allow with gold inlays. Quite beautiful and extremely deadly.
I loved watching the trolls smith my weapons. I was barely waist high to my father when he took me to the realms and I got to watch them be crafted. They were made specifically for me. It was the best birthday present ever.
I had learned how to sense others before I ever saw them. A vampire causes a cold chill and the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end. Were’s cause a similar reaction, but instead of a cold chill, I feel heat. Angels and Nephilim I can smell long before they are visible. But I had yet to meet another demigod.
Thor had called me to him and I answered. I sat under an oak on the edge of Asgard while he spoke. Although I love him dearly, he still awes me when I’m in his presence. Not just his size, but his voice. I can almost feel the thunder in the air as the words escape his lips. It is both exhilarating and frightening.
“There are rumors, Small One.” I warmed at his nickname for me. There were many over the years, but Small One was one of my favorites. When I was little, I thrilled at ‘Princess’ or even ‘Melonhead’, but he first called me Small One when I nearly bested him in battle. I still think he went easy on me.
“Rumors of what, Uncle?”
“Another. Like you.” He stood over me, his piercing blue eyes searching me for comprehension.
I can’t hide my feelings. My face is as expressive as my mother’s and I know he easily read my shock. I slowly came to my feet.
“Another demi? A Norse demi?”
He shook his head and that great mane of hair flowed in the breeze. “No. Not Norse.” He turned and stared off into the sky. I don’t know if he was looking for something or reaching out with his feelings. When he turned back to me, his face was unreadable. “We cannot tell from hence he comes, but he comes.”
“He?” I gripped my bow tighter. “Do you know what he looks like?”
His massive hand rose and he touched my forehead with his finger. Instantly a face appeared in my mind and I was dumbstruck.
Although the transference only took a moment, it seemed like an eternity as I stared at the most beautiful face I had ever seen. Amber eyes framed by dark curly hair, olive skin and a smile that threatened the sun in its brilliance. The pure joy painted across his features warmed my heart and, although I hate to admit it, caused an ache in a place that I didn’t know I had.
“He is of age and his power is growing.”
Thor’s voice shook me from whatever spell I had befallen and brought me back to my reality. I stared up at him and I wanted to beg him to allow the boy to live. A creature of such beauty couldn’t possibly be evil.
I opened my mouth to speak and my throat was dry. My voice nearly cracked when I spoke. “Do you know where he may reside?”
Again he shook his head. “But be cautious Small One.” His giant hand gripped my shoulder and I felt the power flow between us. “He is a demi and whether he knows it or not, there is great power within him. He is dangerous.”
I nodded absently. “I will find him Uncle.”
I love his smile. Especially when it’s genuine. His eyes glimmered as he nodded. “You are ready. Go. Make us proud.”
He vanished and I allowed the wave of power he left behind to wash over me. It’s difficult to explain in words, but imagine being wrapped in a warm blanket and cradled by one who loves you infinitely. That is similar to the feeling I get when another’s power washes over me.
At least, here in Asgard.
I arrived home and went to my room. Although I always carry my bow to Asgard with me, my battle hatchets and short sword were kept in my closet.
I quickly changed into my black hunting clothes and walked downstairs, my weapons tucked away under the long coat I wore. My mother was waiting at the bottom of the stairs.
“Where were you, young lady?”
Crap. There was that tone. Father had warned me about that tone and I chose not to heed his words when I was younger. Now I know better.
I cast my eyes downward. “Thor has another mission for me.”
I may not be as sensitive to body language as my father, but I knew mom’s all too well. Hands on her hips, foot tapping. She wasn’t happy.
“I would appreciate it if you’d let me know where you’re going to be before you just take off.” She pulled her cell phone from her pocket. “How many five year olds do you know of have these? We gave it to you for a reason.”
“Mom, I’m almost six.” I couldn’t believe we were about to have this argument again. I decided it was best to do what my father always does. I bit back what I wanted to say and instead, simply apologized. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
I watched as her face softened, but then her eyes narrowed.
“Why do I hear your father’s words coming from that tiny little mouth of yours?”
I shrugged. “Because he’s wise beyond his years? Some of it rubbed off on me.” I gave her my best innocent smile. It did little good.
“I made you breakfast. I don’t know what Thor has in mind for you, but you need to eat.” She practically dragged me to the kitchen and pulled the chair out.
I did what any self-respecting huntress would do. I listened to my mother. I sat. I ate. I made small talk.
Mother knows better than to ask details about my ‘missions’. The first time I returned from a successful hunt and shared my exploits, she nearly fainted. Father, on the other hand, was just as excited as I was. He urged details until my mother walked out of the room.
Apparently, in her mind, I’m still a child.
I stand nearly a foot taller than her. I can lift the Jeep they bought me for my fourth birthday with one hand and I can out-fight my father. Yet, in her mind, I’m still a child. She just can’t accept my position as a hunter of gods.
She leaned against the counter and watched while I scarfed down the huge meal she had prepared. My mother is many things, but a bad cook is not one of them. She is used to mine and my father’s appetites.
Being a demigod is hungry work.
She sipped her coffee and watched me. I felt her hand sweep an errant strand of hair behind my ear. “If you’re going out, you should really put that mess in a ponytail.”
I should have thought before answering her. “I’m thinking of cutting it short.” I swallowed and wiped my mouth on the back of my sleeve. “It falls out of a pony tail too easily and it gets in my way…” I saw her, mouth open as if in mid-scream. “Did I say something wrong?”
She shook her head adamantly. “You are not cutting your hair.”
I cocked my head to the side and studied her. “But it gets in the way.” I shoved another fork full of food into my mouth. “Father keeps his hair short. Sort of.”
Uh-oh. That eyebrow just hiked up. Here comes another, ‘you’re not your father’ speech.
“You are not your father, young lady!”
I didn’t know that hair was that important. I tried to speak, but my mouth was too full. I knew better than to spit it back onto the plate. Mother hates that. Almost as much as she hates it when we talk with our mouths full.
I chewed as quickly as I could and swallowed. “I know, mom, but…”
She thrust her hand out. She held two pony tail bands. I sighed and leaned back while she pulled my hair into a pile and strapped it in with both bands. I hate to say it, but I think she pulled so tight that it was difficult to blink.
I turned to her and smiled. “Better?”
She huffed and poured more coffee. She doesn’t know it, but I love her coffee. I’m not supposed to drink it because it might ‘stunt my growth’. If humans really grow so much more slowly than I do, you’d think she’d want my growth stunted.
“Where are you going on this ‘mission’ of yours?”
The fork hovered in front of my open mouth. I knew better than to load up when she expected an answer. “I’m not sure yet. He only gave me an image.” Insert fork.
She walked around the table and stood in front of me. “What are you hunting this time?”
I gave her that look. The one that asks, ‘are you sure you really want to know?’ and waited. She didn’t budge.
“A suspected demi.” I sat my fork down and waited for what I was sure was going to be a chastising. Instead, she surprised me.
She stepped close and wrapped her arms around my neck. “Be careful honey. If things seem…different, in any way, step away and call your father. You know he’ll back you no matter what.”
I nodded, unsure how to take her sudden reversal. “Of course.”
I stood and set my plate in the sink. The look on her face was one I couldn’t really read. Fear? Pride? Worry? All of the above?
She gripped me in an embrace. “Be careful.”
“Always.” I gave her a peck on the cheek and walked out the back door. I don’t know why, but mother doesn’t like seeing father or I vanish. She’d rather us go outside first.
Maybe it gave her a feeling of closure?