That was what the Elders of the Council called you. Not the most gifted they’ve ever come across, no, but certainly worth remembering. And there weren’t many hunters in the southern United States that could boast the test scores you got on your Hunting Aptitude Test. The HAT test determined what type of supernatural creature you would be best at fighting, and it was rarely wrong. It also allowed you to choose a set of skills that would best complete the job. Werewolf hunters got guns usually. Vampire hunters got crossbows. Rogue witch hunters were the most flexible, while the other supernatural creatures were highly specialized, depending on their area. Everyone received herb training.
After months of specialty training, you could finally hold the crossbow up as well as pull it back. Your younger brother, Seth, is extremely impressed with your progress. Though he’s only a year younger than you, he’s much quicker than you, testing into being a werewolf hunter.
The family dinner table is quite abuzz with excitement. Your parents own the largest hunting equipment store in town, outselling most of the mom and pop stores. They even gave your friend Victor a job selling the herbs he grows, and your friend Karen a job on the sales floor.
“Kasey,” Your father said around his porkchop. “You check out jobs yet?”
You nod. “I did, actually.” You feel a little nervous just talking about it, but you continue. You try to focus on the greenness of the peas while you talk to calm yourself a little. “There’s a few graveyard shifts with other newbies, but the pay is pretty crappy. Ten bucks per vamp, if you even get a vamp.”
“Well, we all gotta start somewhere. I’d start you at the store, but-”
“-you can’t play favorites,” you and Seth finish for him at the same time. You and Seth laugh, while your father tries his best to be stern. Your mother snickers into her napkin. A fork is pointed at you and your sibling.
“I love the two of you,” your father said, his brown eyes serious. “The last thing I need is two softies, though. The supernatural decided to stay away from humanity, it had its chance to become part of our world. If you can’t cooperate, you have to face the consequences.”
Seth shrugs and keeps eating. Your mother then chats about rude customers in the store while the rest of you eat. Your father interjects every so often to confirm a fact. Dinner was finished fairly soon by your brother, then soon after, by you. You clean your plates off and head to your own homes. Seth lived on one side of your parents, and you on the other. Your mother was pretty delighted to have both her children so close. Your father was satisfied.
The longer you thought about it, the more it bothered you. The Council called you gifted, yet refused to give you better hunting jobs. They claimed everyone had to start somewhere, but that bothered you for some reason. Seth was more than happy to patrol the fences of the Shifting Grounds, where all were-creatures that changed by the phases of the moons changed.
You got the short end of the stick, though. Seth’s job was guaranteed, government sanctioned. It came with benefits and a retirement plan. Yours was left to chance.
After an hour of tossing and turning you sit up, and wonder what to do. You could go for a walk, or stay home and keep trying to sleep.