The Collector

Book One

by Mathias G. B. Colwell

The world was nearly consumed by chaos and madness during The Great Transformation, a time when myth and legend were given form overnight. Nearly half a century later, The Collectors Guild, a sect of humans tasked to search and control the supernatural, are still trying to clean up the mess that was made of society. Vampires, werewolves and so much more come to life in this darkly gripping tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and most of all freedom.

Philip is someone who is known as a Collector. He travels around the world pursuing evil/dangerous creatures or beings and capturing or killing them to protect society.

He is in New York when his ship full of captured creatures is attacked and the whole cargo hold full of them are set loose. He is forced to try and piece together the mystery of who killed his partner and attacked his ship, and what the villain's motives are.

Philip discovers that there is something more sinister than usual afoot as he realizes a dark magic is being used to leech the different creatures strength and supernatural powers away. Philip is on the task of fixing this situation when the villain kidnaps Philip's love, Alayna. Philip must go try and fix the problem and save the love of his life all at the same time.


Chapter One

A knife thudded into the wooden doorframe near his head just as Philip started to peer around the corner. Coattails swirled behind the knife thrower as he ducked into the next room. Watching the weapon quiver from impact so close to his head, he told himself he’d be more careful next time. If that was ever possible! Ripping the blade out of the wood, he hefted it in the palm of his hand before following the youth inside, ducking instinctively at the low ceiling. This dingy apartment was not unlike the usual places where he pursued riffraff. He'd seen places like it hundreds of times.

As he moved inside he traded the foul night air, smelling of refuse and chamber pots emptied from second story windows, for a somewhat different, but no less abhorrent, scent of spoiled food and stale sweat. Philip paced quickly across what was a barren living room and followed the lad through the next doorway.

The skinny youth stood at the other end of a hallway. The lad called out with an odd grin and dangerous glint in his eye, “I’d stop right there if I was you, that first knife was just a warning. The next one I throw will be far more deadly.” He wore a mismatched set of clothing with a mess of necklaces and bracelets of all varieties. His faded red tunic, although it had once been bright, now bore the marks of greasy fingerprints. The tight fitting velvet coat appeared a decade or two out of style, flaring out slightly over narrow black trousers. A hooknose and thin features were sheltered, under a shock of unkempt brown hair. All in all, a typical gypsy lad, come to America from the Isles. Only he must be so much more since Philip had orders to bring him in.

Philip raised his hands in a peaceful gesture and didn’t make a move down the hall towards his prey. “I just want to talk.” The lie rang as false on his lips as it sounded in his head.

The young man threw back his head fearlessly and laughed in derision, then spoke in what sounded like an Irish brogue. “You Collectors never want to just talk. Your definition o’ talk always comes with a heavy price and we both know that’s the truth.” It was true. As much as Philip wished it were not, talking to his quarries just never seemed to accomplish anything. Besides, by the time he was pursuing them, they’d almost always crossed a line too far past the restrictions of society to make talking even an option.

“Surrender quietly and it’ll go much easier on you.” Philip patted the small cord of rope coiled on his belt as he abandoned the ruse of wanting to talk to the lad. “There are no windows in this piece of dirt apartment and there’s no back door. You’re trapped.” He tried to make his voice sound more reasonable, less harsh.

His foe laughed again. “You think that rope can hold me?”

“It will if I feed you some Nightsleep.” Philip patted a small jar of the sleep-inducing substance he kept holstered on his other hip. For the first time Philip saw a flicker of fear dance across the lad’s eyes. But quick as it had been there it was gone, with only a smirking face left in its wake. The kid was brave and confident. It would be wise to go carefully at this one since his abilities were somewhat of an unknown.

The youth began advancing slowly down the hall towards Philip. “We both know I’m not coming in peacefully, so let’s drop the charade.” All trace of friendliness had vanished from his face and only a focused expression remained. Without warning, he rushed along the narrow corridor toward Philip in a clatter of bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. The lad was fast! Philip tucked the extra knife he’d just acquired behind his belt and made ready for a take-down.

The youth dodged one way then the other, quick as lightning, and tried to squirm his way between Philip’s right side and the wall. Philip jerked his right arm up in a clothesline action and knocked the lad clean off his feet with one blow. He took a step back as the gypsy-boy popped back up, wiping blood from the corner of his mouth and looking at Philip with a newfound respect.

A fight appeared inevitable and Philip cracked his knuckles in his best menacing fashion. Unphased, the youth rushed him again, this time whipping out a new knife from somewhere on his body, and slashed left and right with swift, sure movements.

"The Collector" by Mathias G.B. Colwell


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