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Hunter, Haunted

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by canisaries, Sep 16, 2018 at 2:59 PM.

  1. canisaries

    canisaries *blocks your path*

    One full year after uploading the prologue of Hunter, Haunted to Bulbagarden Forums, the story is making its debut here on Serebii. I am beyond excited to finally bring over my biggest and most beloved project yet to a new audience while revising it to bring out more of its potential. Thanks to everyone who gave me critique on the first version of HH, and I hope you Serebii folks will like this second one.

    So, what is this story? This is another chapter fic in the same series as Seiren, Vivarium and a few oneshots not posted on Serebii. And yes, this does mean it's another Twitch Plays Pokémon fanfic, but knowledge of that is not necessary or expected - just like Seiren, I'm trying to make this accessible to all, and really all the TPP in this fic is limited to a few characters and concepts. Not that the characters themselves are too much like one would expect. In summary, blah blah blah pls no go away jus becaus tpp.

    With that boring stuff out of the way, let's get to what this is all about. Hunter, Haunted is a story about a young cultist murderer whose latest victim happens to come back as a Yamask. Thus, he must find a way to capture and destroy her before she can expose him for his crimes - but as you can imagine, dealing with ghosts isn't quite so straightforward.

    Now a word or two about the content. Let me be clear, this is a darkfic. And when I say darkfic, I mean this is gonna get gruesome and do so right from the prologue on without hesitation. In more detail:

    CONTENT WARNING!
    The following story contains:
    - extremely detailed depictions of violence and gore
    - disturbing concepts and imagery such as intense body horror, cultism, torture and cannibalism
    - psychological (and perhaps in places existential) horror
    - themes of mental illness and suicide, especially towards the end
    - strong language
    - no explicit and rather little implicit sexual content, but some non-sexual scenes can be vaguely reminiscent of sexually charged ones.
    - also there are spiders

    So all of that pretty much makes this story rated mature and me posting this near Halloween very fitting. (Note: at least prologue has been looked at by a mod and approved, and the prologue's gore is likely the most detailed.)

    Alright! If you're still with me by now, thank you, and I hope you enjoy Hunter, Haunted. Feedback is welcome and much appreciated, as I am in the process of revising the story, anyway. Read on, my edgy children, and prepare for a surreal adventure through the eyes of one evil bastard.

    ---

    [​IMG]

    H U N T E R , H A U N T E D

    Synopsis:
    Red, after a successful sacrifice, is shocked to find his victim reincarnated as a ghost. He must kill her again before she can expose him - but can ghosts even be killed?

    Genre:
    Drama, Horror

    Started:
    18 Sep 2017

    Status:
    Finished (17 April 2018)
    Being revised as of 16 Sep 2018

    Length:
    72 000~ words
    (measured 17 April 2018)

    ---

    PROLOGUE

    ---
    Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out…

    My lungs drag the soft air in, squeeze it out. Repeat. Repeat. The air tastes so good. I switch to breathe through my nose. An explosion of sweet aromas hits my nasal cavity, yes, it’s wonderful, wonderful… but I have to switch back. I need more air.

    I’m so warm. My skin is hot, throbbing to the rhythm of my rapid heartbeat. Beneath the heart, a full, heavy stomach. Satisfied.

    Blur… black at the top, brown at the middle, orange at the bottom… all I see. These colors, they pulse with every contraction of the pump at my core… or… do they flicker on their own, too? They do.

    Popping, crackling. It’s not quiet here, there’s something beside my own heart and breathing. It’s like fire. Is it fire? Yeah, it is. Something’s hissing, too. I can’t tell what it is.

    The heat is stronger at my left leg. It’s so hot it almost burns. Whatever the reason, it should stop. I try to draw the leg away, but a swarm of aches pull on it with more force. The leg is tired. I force it to move. It hurts. Why does it?

    My back isn’t the best, either. The higher part of it, along with my head, is leaning onto something uncomfortable, strangely shaped, hard-edged. The lower part is supported by ceramic tiles. I can recognize the texture by the way my sweat glues me to it. Ugh… sweat. Sweat, everywhere on my body. I’m not clothed. Am I safe?

    With shaking eyelids, I blink. The sweat gets in my eyes. I blink to squeeze it out. Doesn’t get it all. I need my hand.

    I try to curl my fingers. Twitching, they obey. I contract my arm. It aches, but it works. I raise it to my face. Something red enters my vision. My fingers. Too much blood on them. I wipe them on my cheek, on the other, then they can be used.

    Rubbing the irritation away from my eyes, I bend forwards to sit upright. I take the hand away and see that my sight has improved. Still simply colors, but now they have shape. Oh, oh, I feel gravity. It’s strong. I have to support my head with my arms, bury my face in my palms. Eyes closed, I wait for my thoughts to clear, senses to sharpen.

    At some point, I become a person. A man. A being interacting with his surroundings, not a mere slave to them. I finally dare to remove my hands, open my eyes, enter reality.

    It’s a room. My room, my secret room. To my right, a fire has been lit, a bowl of water placed upon it. It’s boiling. There are also candles, a whole lot of candles around the space. Their orange glow illuminates the gray walls, the taupe bookcases, the floor… the floor has many colors, strange colors.

    Wait! What's that? Beige-red shadow, human-shaped figure, doesn't move, over there. The feet don't touch the ground, something keeps her up. Her?

    Her, yeah. I know her.

    I jumped on her, drugged her, transported her here, came home and stripped her, washed her, fastened her to the board. I set up the candles, the bowl, the knife, everything, everything was ready. I waited for her to wake up, and she did, and then… then I looked at HIM.

    HE came and showed HIS acceptance and I felt… so happy. HE liked what I'd brought HIM. HE liked me. I was warm and at peace and I thanked HIM so much. Everything was good, everything was right. Then I… I… can't remember.

    From that moment to this wake-up… everything is blank. I couldn't have fallen asleep, I couldn't have fainted, those things just don't happen to me. So maybe HE…

    ...yes. Yes, yes HE did! HE finally did it!

    The corners of my mouth, in spite of how exhausted they feel, drag themselves towards my ears. I’ve never had a grin this wide on my face before.

    HE took over me! HE can do it, HE is now strong enough to do it! And -- and HE chose to do it! With me! My body! HE accepts it, which means, it means I am the Bringer! It's official now!

    I laugh, despite the action hurting. I have to laugh, I'm so happy. If I don't let it out, I'm gonna burst.

    I'm gonna merge with a god! I'm gonna live forever, doing whatever I want! Feeling how I want! This is… great doesn't even begin to describe it!

    I spend ten breaths in and out just letting the fact sink in. On the eleventh, I remember my job isn't quite done yet.

    Right. HE still needs time. I have to keep living a mortal's life until HE is fully ready.

    I look at the stone above the altar. The spiral on the triangular rock base remains just a spiral, a mere shape. HE has left for now, as I pretty much expected.

    Okay. Back to real life. Ascension's not here yet, so I should act like it. Be an organism in an environment. So let's see what we have here…

    I turn my attention to the human figure from before. She's...

    ...absolutely ripped up. Thoroughly ravaged. I still can't see quite right, but those big, shiny blotches of color don't lie. Red, pink, yellow, gray, purple, dark green. Only her feet, hands and the upper half of her face still seem to be intact. Pretty pale, though… for understandable reasons.

    That is magnificent. I have to take a closer look.

    My joints bend sluggishly as I wriggle to a position from which it’s easier to get up. As I rise, knees trembling under my weight, I catch glimpses of my naked body. Covered in blood. Just like my fingers. HE certainly wasn't shy.

    With every step I take, a loud slap rings out from the foot hitting the floor. I survey the ground, wary of anything to trip on, and notice it’s rather crowded. On the white tiles, there lie large lumps and shreds of various tissue types from muscle to fat to even bone. It’s almost as colorful as the corpse. Hell of a mess to clean up, but I can’t lie, most rituals do end up requiring a session with the mop afterwards.

    By the time I reach the body, I’m ready to collapse - whatever HE did, it really took the juice out of me - but my curiosity overpowers it. I grab the board for support and finally survey the woman fastened to it up close.

    She’s dead, alright. The entire front of her torso, neck and lower face is basically torn off, showcasing the organs, muscles and fat that didn’t end up on the floor or.. inside me, I guess. The anterior side of the ribcage is absent. Big chunks of the lungs and heart are missing, and what remains looks deflated. It still leaks blood and other fluids. It looks sad, in a way.

    The abdomen is in a slightly better shape, if you’re even able to say that in this context. The greater omentum and liver may be completely gone, but the digestive tract is intact, even if it has a few scratches here and there. Maybe HE avoided it because of the smell. For that, I thank HIM, as I can’t say I’m a fan, either.

    There seems to be something odd in between the pink, glassy loops of the small intestine, though. It’s dripping, viscous, lemme get a better look… oh.

    Okay, moving on.

    On proceeding to the limbs, I unfortunately have to acknowledge that the straps normally holding down the arms and legs by their bases have been broken, as well as the strap for the neck. I’ll have to replace them. It’s not the only damage done to the board, but the rest is luckily restricted to superficial scratches on the wood. The straps for the ankles and wrists are perfectly fine. That’s good.

    The damage to the actual limbs lessens the farther down it goes. The wounds go as deep as the bone at the shoulder, but by the elbow, only a few tiny, red crescents can be seen. I check my fingers. Bloody gunk is situated beneath the nails. Matches up. Not sure why HE would use the pitiful natural weapons of the human body for even a moment, but maybe HE liked the primal feel of it.

    Speaking of weapons, where’s my knife? It’s not on the floor. Is it on the… yep, it’s on the table. Just where I left it. Clean. What?

    But that can’t be right. Did HE use some other weapon? I glance over the board, but nothing looks out of place. I really doubt HE would be the type to clean all equipment and put it neatly back where it came. Did HE only use…

    I lick my teeth. There are fibers of flesh stuck between them. I glance at the bowl on the fire further away. Just like the knife’s blade, it’s spotless. The boiling water within is colorless.

    HE ate the flesh raw.

    The realization disturbs my previously peaceful gut. I hope HIS powers protect against disease as well. Or should I just try to vomit? I think that’s my best bet. I can’t risk harm to this body if I want to keep being the Bringer.

    Ughh, it still hurts to move… but I have to. I guess I should start wrapping this whole thing up, anyway. After I get my stomach emptied, I’ll take a shower and put some clothes on. The blood on my skin’s starting to dry up and get kinda itchy.

    As I stumble to the door, I scan the floor with a sorrowful eye. There were probably some organs there I still could’ve sold if I was fast to freeze them and offered a discount. Gods, they’re not gonna be happy that I gave them that blood to test but no organs in return. I’ll deal with that then, though - for now I have my health to worry about.

    ---

    Oh Gods, did it smell this bad in this room the whole time? It's like something died in here. Oh, right.

    Now with shoes covering my feet and rubber gloves on my hands, I bring the garbage bag to the mess on the floor. My raincoat crinkles as I crouch to pick up the clumps of flesh and stray organs. I hum a quiet, directionless tune to ease the monotony.

    I still taste a bit of acid at the back of my mouth, regardless of drinking water and eating a sandwich to fill up the upset stomach even a little. Can't wait until raw flesh becomes as safe as cooked when I reach godhood.

    With the floor cleared of tissue chunks, I pick up the small bowl normally meant to be eaten out of and scoop a bit of the boiling water in the far larger bowl. I chuck the liquid at the fire and repeat the process a few times until all the flames have been eradicated. Sorry, fellas, you didn’t get to cook anything this time. Much like I didn't get to do the killing. Of course I'm way gladder about the advancement of my life plan than I'm sad about missing out, but… I was looking forward to performing the ritual. All of it, not just the start and the cleanup after.

    No, it's fine, it's fine. Like I've said, all that matters is the ascension.

    I decide to leave the emptying of the water bowl for later, when it will have cooled down, and move on to the body. While I was showering, I had time to ponder the lack of instruments used. Looking at the ribs now, I’d call my hypothesis confirmed - by the ends of their remnants, it seems they've simply been bent off.

    HE didn't only take over my body. HE brought some of HIS own strength with HIM. That explains how HE managed to do so much damage with my nails and teeth alone. A god is a terrifying thing.

    Oh, right, I should…

    I separate the corpse's jaws. The tongue, too, has been ripped away. I sigh. Well, I guess it fits - HE is the one who killed her, not me. HE gets the trophy. Even if HE probably just threw it on the floor or ate it.

    I still want to keep count, though, so I'll just put an empty jar in with the rest. I think this one’s the eighth. Eighth sacrifice I've hunted down, and I still haven't been caught. Is it merely because of the spells and tutoring HE has provided me, or am I a natural? It can't be said.

    Occasionally I wonder what my life would’ve been like if the Twitch never came. I wouldn't have met Him and, by extension, HIM. Would I still be free and killing? Caught? Dead? Happy? Psh, good one.

    Knowing the smell will only get worse if I keep waiting, I open the straps holding down the body’s ankles, then the left wrist. She begins slipping, and upon freeing the right wrist, collapses onto the floor tiles. I dodge back before the impact, not wanting blood on top of my shoes.

    Alright. Think I’ll cut off the head first. Won’t have to bear her staring at me for too long that way.

    I fetch the bone saw and a wooden plank from their wall. I grab the woman’s hair to lift up her head and place the plank beneath her half-eaten neck to guard the tiles. The hair’s black and bristly, like mine, but a bit longer. Not unusual for a Tohjoan, and neither are her dark eyes.

    As I saw away at her neck, hand on her forehead to keep the head still, my gaze lingers on her face. Aside from the missing flesh of the lower half, it’s rather pretty. Symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing proportions... smoothly curved bridge of nose, almond-shaped eyes, widow’s peak. Pure, healthy skin, although without the majority of its original beige color as a result of fear and blood loss. Stylized dark eyebrows, but not too stylized - she knew what qualities of her natural state worked and preserved them, but fixed the imperfections. I stroke the eyebrows. Silky. As much as I can tell with gloves on, anyway.

    Weird how she lived alone and seemed to have no friends. No one would assume that based on her beautiful face and energetic walk. Well, it was all the better for me - smaller chance of getting caught, bigger chance of HIM finding her pleasing.

    What was her name again? It was on the tip of my tongue. If I couldn’t have her tongue or be the one to kill her, I should at least have a name to go with her face. Was it… no, it wasn’t Maria, that was the one before her. It was… ah, now I remember.

    Joanna.

    ---
     
  2. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    Yeah, you weren't kidding about the story being dark, haha. Certainly fits that bill. Nice piece of art btw.

    Intriguing start, although I feel the brief sypnosis author notes may have given away a bit too much on what I can expect in the next chapter or so. Nonetheless it'll be interesting to see how you take on the Yanmask idea. I wonder what HE is as well.

    Description is fairly solid, and I have no real qualms there. On the one hand I liked that the demeanour of the narrator changed when he realised the success of the rite or whatnot, but then seemed somewhat detached, or altogether too successful in calming down and going "back to real life". This isn't necessarily a complaint as it may be just a reflection of the deranged character we have here, more an observation to maybe consider. I may have expected a bit more glee in the latter half of the prologue about the prospect at hand, is all.
    This sentence felt a little bit awkward to me - it's understandable but it just feels a touch... off. It may be better just split into two sentences to aid the flow.
    Maybe even more nitpicky - 'It can't be said' also sounds a slightly odd way to put such a statement. Something like "I cannot say" sounds better to me.

    I'd say good luck but you've already finished this fic, haha. Be sure to include warnings before each chapter given the direction the story has like you did in the prologue. The rules do mention that some content should be approved by a mod before and perhaps you had asked another fic mod (saw no mention of it in author notes however) - if you hadn't then just keep that in mind in future, please.
     
    canisaries likes this.
  3. canisaries

    canisaries *blocks your path*

    Thanks! It's one of my favorite banners I've done - represents the fic well and even foreshadows a few events.

    This is partly intentional, though this makes me wonder if I didn't get it quite right for what I want to do. Thanks for the heads up.

    Oh, I did mention that the prologue was looked at by a mod in the notes, but I didn't give the name, I suppose. It was Dragonfree.

    Thanks for giving HH a look! I can say that the whole fic won't just be grim on top grim, and that can be seen when I've revised the first real chapter and posted it.
     

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