(A short teaser to the next story after Bullet ends.) 


Solitaire was seated on the couch in her living room, curtains opened, sunlight filling the room. It was deceptively beautiful for such a cold winter day. There was a sheathed kirpan dagger on the coffee table in front of her. She looked down at the dagger with a thought. 

“Do you think I’m any closer to ending all this crap than I was two years ago when all of this started?” She waited for an answer, no one spoke. Turning her body to where she could better see outside she stared at the snow that covered everything. Her face showed the strain of her question. 

“That’s a silly question don’t you think dear?” The voice had a British accent. It was a voice only she could hear, and it came from the kirpan dagger on the table. It was an ancient enchanted dagger from a Sikh ancestor long ago, over a thousand years to be precise. It now belonged to Solitaire. Solitaire put a finger to her mouth nibbling at the tip of her nail, something she did when she was upset. The dagger spoke with a British accent because Solitaires father did, although he was from Pakistan originally his second language was English and he learned it so well his accent was barely recognized. She was fond of that accent, and since she unknowingly gave the voice to the dagger it was what sounded and made her feel comfortable. It made it more like she was talking to her father, although she never really had such a delightful relationship with her father, this made up for it; or so that was the inside joke.

“Librarian by day, demon hunter by night.” She laughed loudly, the lines forming on each side of her mouth curving inward up to her pronounced nose. Her cheekbones always protruded outward when she smiled. “I liked it better when I was just a librarian. The mundane was sooo much better.” She joked. 

“See… It really gets old when you start feeling sorry for yourself Solitaire. You know the bloody drill, what it is you have to do. There is no time limit for that. When the job is done, it’s done. Only you can do it. And if you don’t? Then all of humanity will be cut down by them! The demons will ravage this world!” Iggy didn’t hold back hoping his words would hit home. Her childhood pet, a black lab named Iggy was how the dagger got his name. Another source of comfort for Solitaire. She closed her eyes, the tip of her finger slightly in her mouth, she bit down gently. 

“This could go on forever, and forever I’ll be alone. I wanted a husband, children, a nice home in the suburbs! None of that will happen now! I really think my father knew what I would become. That’s why my first name is Solitaire, and my middle name is Venus. Solitaire Venus Kirmani, yea that sounds really Indo Pak doesn’t it Iggy?” Tears started to flow down her face, the tip of her finger remained in her mouth. She always had that theory about her name. Her father was always poetic, and she thought this was another form of his poetry. Her first name meant alone, her second was tied to love. Her thoughts were that it meant alone from love, so far this ringed very true. When did a demon hunter ever have time for love? Why would a demon hunter ever think it would be safe to even be in love? Common sense kicked in, she opened her eyes wiping the tears away pulling her silky long black hair away from her serious looking and determined face. 

“I’m good now Iggy, thanks for the pep talk.” She said sniffing.