Be mortal or god, the quest for power and the willingness to destroy all that stands in its way is a strong pull to resist. For humanity the threat of death can bear heavy upon decisions made, however when one is a god incapable of dying? Not so much. In an effort to keep the warring factions of gods from spreading their influence on humanity which would lead to the destruction of both the Heavens and Earth, The Department of Justice for Mythological Entities was created to ensure there would not be any supernatural interference in humanity. Kuan-Ti, head of the department, chose to recruit a mortal bounty hunter. The god found his hunter, a man called Jared Club. Club, who can accept the existence of an entity without the inclination to question its validity, though there are contradictory factors involved—a person who has given up on his own humanity to the same degree that society has. Jared is a man who believes that in finding solutions, two heads are better than one—with both heads belonging to the same person, and that does not think that opportunity only knocks once—he prefers to think that opportunity has two knockers.
From the snow-laden woods of Northern Alberta to the sand laden desert of Egypt, Bounty hunter for the Gods, Jared Club travels to stop the rise of an ancient power from taking his place as the Truth. Will Jared stop a chain reaction that will lead to the implosion of humanity? Or will he have mythed his mummy...by that much?
It was nice to straddle an actual stool, even if, from the creaking objections of the legs were any indication, my enjoyment wouldn’t last. I shimmied my shoulders to loosen the last bits of the snow that I had brought in to this old western style saloon. It had about twenty-five tables, a little stage, and of course a thirty-foot mahogany bar with ten stools, one I was currently parking my ass on. The place was empty, just as the rest of the small town that surrounded the saloon, save for a lone man sitting at the opposite end of the bar on the server’s side.
“Northern Alberta and April snow,” I grumbled under my breath then spoke to the native gentleman that sat in the corner on the other side of the bar. “Hey, set me up with something that could stop a charging bull moose, please.”
The bar keep gave a single abrupt nod, seemingly irritated that my presence had interrupted his heavy schedule of examining the back of his eyelids. He had done a good job of making sure his saloon was patron free as he was the only resident in the old mining camp I had walked into with my heavy fur-lined boots.
I looked straight ahead to the line of bottles that offered a person liquid oblivion along the wall, and noticed I could see my reflection staring right back at me. That image wasn’t a true portrayal of the man inside, I realized. That person, with the short brownish hair, deep hazel eyes and rounded face covered in a couple of weeks’ worth of beard didn’t look like he had been alive for forty-six years. The reflection looked more like one who was maybe just pushing thirty at best. The ruddy cheeks were from the cold minus ten temperatures outside rather than the over excess that up until six months ago I abused my body with every moment that I could steal for myself. The puffiness of eating overly well had disappeared, too. I had gone to an overweight barfly to a semi-well-functioning machine of health. My new job that I had started ensured this metamorphosis had taken place. The leg work alone made me shed off my extra pounds. The only thing my new job hadn’t done was add an extra couple of inches to my five and a half-foot frame, but I wasn’t complaining. I had to leave my Stetson at home on this particular mission, trading my trench coat and the hat for a thick parka to hinder the chill. I had a toque stuffed in my pocket, but my hair had been coming back in thicker than it had when I was a kid, and the cold didn’t reach my scalp as easily as it would have before when I was going bald. Another quirk of the job, my hair had started to come back. I almost broke down and cried when I had first noticed the phenomenon. With that growth five months ago, I never regretted making this my career choice since—no matter what kind of shit my handler decided to place in front of me.
The bar keep set down a tall splotched glass in front of me and poured a thick and dark amber fluid into it. The bottle’s label had fallen off a while back I suspected, as where he grasped the bottle left his fingerprints in the dusty covering of it. The man had been rather generous in his pouring of that liquid, not measuring, but filling it about half full with a good four ounces of alcohol.
“That’ll be a dollar,” he said gruffly with a thick Inuit accent.
I pulled out a two-dollar coin from the breast pocket of my bearskin parka and handed it to him. “Keep the change.” He took the coin, looked at the side with the polar bear on it, bit down on it and seemed satisfied with its authenticity because he gave a smile. He walked back to where he had been sitting, brought back his stool, and sat across from me at the bar. He stood beside the stool as I quickly drank down the drink without a second thought or any delay.
I set my empty glass down and he filled it up to the half way mark again. I gave him another coin. This time, I sipped the bitter fluid trying to savour the flavour rather than greedily gulping it down. He sat down and I looked at the man that was before me. From the lines etched into his face and hands, and the grey that streaked through his collar length black hair, I pegged him for being around fifty-ish. He had almost the same build and height as me, though his facial features were decidedly sharper than mine. As with the custom, we made small talk. He asked me what brought me out to the middle of nowhere, so I told him I had an asshole for a boss. The other thing was that the quad I had been using had run out of gas a kilometre off and I lucked out when I saw smoke rising from his roof, otherwise I never would have found the place.