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Prologue: Hunters Stance

Max, Maggie, Angst and I stood outside the cemetery. I didn't know where it was, some hick town in some backwater county, but to me all cemeteries looked the same. It didn't matter if we arrived in the dawn or the middle of the afternoon, for some reason it always transformed into a dark night.

Maggie had said something about the demonic manifestations and the aspect of negative energy which caused the unnatural phenomenon. I had been through this several times before but each time it gave me the creeps.

Now here I am staking out another demon. A demon that is terrifying a small town.

Max's long coat flutters open with the wind. A cigarette is in his mouth as he glances down at his watch. 1:11 pm.

"All set?" he asks.

"I always am," Maggie tells him.

Max glances at Angst who blows him a kiss and then over to me.

Maggie draws her katana. Angst has two uzis primed and ready for action. I make sure the crossbow has a bolt ready and give a nod.

"Let's earn our keep," Max says.

We spot the demon. It's perched on a headstone. A comely-looking women with the wings of a bat. Its skin a pale gold colour. It sees us but doesn't react; it is apparently waiting for someone like us to finally arrive.

"So, here come the heroes," it says with a slight rasp. "Fighting your lost cause."

"It's better to fight on your feet than to kowtow to the likes of you," Max tells her.

Maggie smiles; she has dealt with this type of demon before. Just a low goon in the echelon of demonic beings.

"Well heroes, which one of you wants to die first?" the demon asks.

"I think it's your turn this time," Maggie turns to me and says, then she gives me a wink.

I step forward.

Thunder rumbles across the sky. The demon looks at us all standing there. No one doing anything. Just waiting.

"Arise my minions," the demon says.

The ground around us begins to erupt as zombies crawl out of the wet dirt to face the world through undead eyes.

"I thought so," Max says and draws out his guns and begins firing. Angst lets out a hoot and she pulls the triggers, letting the bullets fly. "The hard way."

The demon takes off into the night, but Maggie intercepts the beast. She leaps up and swings her katana, catching the demon by surprise. It lets out a scream as the katana slices it in two and then it disappears in a puff of smoke.

The minions have barely made it out of the ground and they fall lifeless once again.

"Piece of cake," Maggie says as she sheathes her blade and lands like a leaf on the ground.

"Whose turn to buy the coffee?" Max asks.

"I got the last round," Angst says.

"I think it's my turn," I say.

In fact, I think I bought the last round as well.

Angst was lying and she knew that and gave me a wink.