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Another Bedtime Story

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They have their stories. More than enough to fill book after book. Enough to keep their own offspring shrieking in terror, rocketing out of a different nightmare every evening. They tell them of oogly booglies in the cupboards, creepers on the stairs, those things that hide under beds and in closets, the shadows in the corners. They tell them tales of scratches at windows and claw treds in gardens. Howls at the moon and all the things that wander the night.

But they tell them as just that. As stories. The children grow up and laugh over their childhood terrors. They make films and revel in the invented fear. They make sport of the horror that keeps their children alive, fresh and flush with adrenaline at every... Single... Noise...


They actually believe their stories are nothing more than stories, that their legends were never real. This is why we always win. We have our legends, too, but we know. We know that they have basis, that they have truth. Our stories are about the same things theirs are. Individuals cut down in their prime. Families slaughtered. Entire infrastructures collapsed, beaten down seemingly over night. They're the very worst kind of predators.


You'll remember Colt, the very first here, in this land. The first I've ever heard of in the West not involved with the church. They had called him the man that could kill anything. Even that scum, the demons, feared him. My parents spoke of him in disgusted awe.
You would have too. He subjugated the demons for one hundred and fifty years after his own death. Made the world a much easier place for things like us, without them flitting about, pulling schemes and trying to end the world. You wouldn't know it, living like we have to today. Feeding used to be easier. As long as we all spread out, there was always enough people to go around. There were other hunters, of course. Hundreds of them in this country alone. Like gnats, they'd buzz around, asking their stupid questions. I swatted a few, myself, over the years. None of them even came close to Colt. Just men playing with forces beyond their small existence, begging for their lives, bargaining like any man.

You can spot a hunter from a hundred yards, once you pick up the tricks. They've got a certain way of asking things, move around with this assumed sense of authority. None of them are really worth a second thought, much less actually mentioning by name.

Well... In the last few years, there've been a couple. A pair of brothers. Some say they're worse than Colt. Actually, that's pretty much what everyone says, now. Anyone that thinks different are still stupid enough live it up, feed on whatever they can get their mitts on and make a regular menace of themselves.

They don't last long, anymore.

Now, the time after Colt was great. A good long stretch of lawlessness. Barely any demons, not a competent hunter for over a thousand miles, and cities full of booming populations, the people getting less and less superstitious and so much easier to disappear. These hunters ruined that. The thing that put them on our radar? They freed the demons. The best devil's trap in the sorry history of human beings and the go and break it, ruining it for the rest of us, screwing over their fellow man and leaving themselves one hell of a clean up. Before we knew what was happening, there were demons swarming all across this country and hunters on the tail of every last one. Those demons don't have a lick of sense. They spread omens everywhere they go and if you want to live through the week, you'll get the hell out of town. Your general hunter is just a dumb as the demon he's chasing, but you don't want to chance them actually having a brain.

The brothers concentrated on the demons too. Felt responsible, I guess. I used to have a real nice set up in Pennsylvania. I was born there and so were my own parents. Since the demons got out, I've had to relocate seven times. Those damned demons...

And then... Then they freed the God damned devil. You've never known a pair of men that did more harm to their own kind than those brothers. And worse than that, they tried to fix it. They brought the heavenly host down on us all. They were here to fight the demons and Lucifer, but the angels don't discriminate. Or, I should say, they discriminate against absolutely everything else. A touch is all it takes them and something like us? Gone. Incinerated. Mind, body, and soul.

We thought it was finally over last year. They all just... vanished. Angels, demons, those damned Hardy Boys. I heard one was in retirement. Most of us had sense enough to leave him be. Far less dangerous to leave the safety on a gun than try and destroy it and all. Besides, I've heard killing them doesn't do anyone any good.

What? Oh, the other one? Something big went down there. Not too sure of the details, myself. He became a machine for a while, but by himself, he wasn't as scary. Easier to notice, too. Just look for the boy that's not right. Can't miss it.

And then they finally did something right. Some of our oldest brethren figured out how to open the door to our afterlife, how to pull our Divine Creator onto this rock. I saw her, once. Even in the skin of a human, she was beautiful. Their god is still MIA but ours was here. Ours was walking the earth and trying to save us. Trying to protect us from the likes of heaven and hell. And those filthy little bastards ... they killed her. They killed her and it only got worse from there and... well, you know the rest.

There are a lot of rumors about these brothers. A lot of stories that no one really knows if they're true or not, but that's the thing about legends. They all start out as stories.