Short Story: Deadly Target

Written in response to the Inktober prompt #5: Raven.

~Deadly Target~

Raven black hair, topaz yellow eyes, a crescent burn scar above the left elbow.

Target found.

He lined his sight to put the woman in his cross hairs. His fingers pressed on the trigger and he braced for the kickback as he fired.

The woman dropped without a sound.

Was that it? The unkillable lady with a bounty large enough for any successful hunter to retire for the next two generations, felled by a single shot?

He watched for a few minutes longer, finger on the trigger as he observed the unmoving chest. It was only after he was certain that she was dead that he released his breath. He shuffled back under the cover of the trees and rose out of his prone position.

“Not bad, but not good enough,” a voice said behind him.

He jumped and swung his rifle toward the threat. His weapon almost fell from frozen fingers when he saw the very woman he thought he just killed.

“Let’s make a deal. You don’t try to kill or harm me again for the rest of your life, and I’ll let you live. How does that sound?” she said, completely relaxed despite the gun pointed at her.

If she hadn’t spoken up, she could have easily killed him before he realized she was behind her. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, he was hopelessly outclassed.

“Alright,” he grunted.

She pulled out a small branding iron. With a flash of her golden eyes, the crescent head burned red hot.

“Give me your arm,” she said.

He bit back a yell as she pressed the heated iron above his elbow. When she pulled away, he had a matching mark to hers.

“If you ever attempt to kill or harm me, that mark will immediately take your life. Am I clear?”

“Yes ma’am.”

* * *

She watched as the sniper disappeared from sight. Only then did she allow herself to grimace as she dug his bullet out of her heart. Immortality had its perks, but the inability to feel pain wasn’t one of them.

Well, that was one new bounty hunter she didn’t need to worry about. She used to kill them in self-defence, but that didn’t stop others from coming, only increased the bounty on her head. This method still didn’t stop the attacks, but at least the larger organizations now ignored her in favour of other more deadly targets.

She stepped into the shadows and vanished.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Inktober attempt:

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