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Hopeless

LUTHER ANIMAL KING

Hopeless

In the Groves, Luther Grim hauls a cold, dead body. The crunching of leaves beneath his boots and sporadic whispers of wind through the foliage are the sole audibles amidst this macabre scene. Up ahead, the soft glow of Illumination Antiques beckons him, a smirk playing on his lips.

“I remember this place. Once a hub for the people of Arcadia, every soul from artists to outlaws found their desires here. I, too, was a patron. My knife, my trusted companion in these bloody deeds, was bought from this very shop. Even the spears, a myriad of choices, were presented to me with such enthusiasm. That was the beauty of Illumination. It catered to your needs, however dark or light they may be.”

“But you see, those were only the… good memories. In fact, I can still recollect the night it happened.”

The shop before Luther blurs, and in its place, a ghost of the past emerges. Flames lick the walls of the old building, smoke billowing from its basement.

The crisp night air is filled with the clamor of chaos. Paramedics rush around, their faces grim, while anxious onlookers murmur amongst one another.

“I remember walking by in the dead of night, watching as the fire consumed this building. The smoke seeping out from the cracks and crevices, choking the life out of what once was a bustling locale.”

Among the commotion, a small boy stands out. His face is streaked with tears, his eyes filled with fear and anger.

“I recall there being a little child. He was in the arms of the paramedics, his tear-stained face twisted in a blend of sadness and resentment. He yearned to rush into the burning building, to aid his father, but the reality held him back. His guilt was palpable – the guilt of not being able to shield his father from the fiery demise.”

“The sight of the man’s charred body being wheeled out, it was heart-wrenching. The child watched, helpless, as the life of the man he loved was snuffed out. There was nothing he could do to reverse the situation, nothing that could heal the wounds, nothing to erase the terrifying memories of his father’s abrupt end.”

Luther’s eyes refocused on the present, back to the antique shop before him. 

You were that boy, Albert – that feeble little child. All you could do was sit and watch as they rolled away the man that taught you everything you knew. Except now, time has passed and you have burgeoned. You have managed to piece your life back together, little by little.”

“But as for that feeling of hopelessness you felt? It still remains. It lingers in the corners of your heart, a constant reminder of that fateful night. And that same hopelessness is what you are going to feel once you come face to face with me, Albert. Because no matter how far you have come, or how much you have grown, you can’t erase the past. And similarly, you won’t be able to change this outcome. Because I am The Hunter, and you are simply destined to become my prey.”

“It’s hunting season.”

Luther Grim