The following is very loosely inspired by real events.
The hunter stood against the corner of the threshold, arms crossed, fingers outstretched. His fingertips brushed against his ribs, causing him to wince not out of pain but rather out of incredulity, disbelief. He taught a kid from Rajasthan how to incapacitate an attacker wielding a knife, broken beer bottle, or baseball bat. This kid claimed to be quite green when it came to self-defense, swore up and down that, “No sir, I have never learned how to disarm anyone” and the hunter believed him. The kid was no Ip Man but there was inherent grace in the speed of his motions that the hunter was caught unawares — took a fist to the side.
The hunter shifted his weight from left foot to right foot. Forty more minutes and he was finished with his first shift. He uncrossed his arms and put his hands behind his back. At ease. But not really at ease. His superior reminded him to keep an eye out for the woman with burgundy hair and a rose-colored Venetian mask. She’s a party-crasher more enigmatic than notorious in her modus operandi who still manages to aggravate with her unsolicited presence. She slipped into the yearly mid-autumn festival last year, was caught on many attendees’ cameras over the course of the evening, but she was long gone by the time the party hosts realized that their self-driving car prototype was no longer secured in the garage.
The hunter couldn’t wait for his second shift to begin. He would be going to the interior gate to the indoor pool. Very few people would wander that far onto the grounds, but that gate didn’t lock so someone would need to watch it. He longed for some quiet and a hamburger. He wasn’t supposed to eat anything while on duty, especially something that couldn’t be tossed in the mouth, chewed, and swallowed faster than he could retie his shoes, but he was famished. Julie-Claire would pass by in a few minutes with a tray of mini-burgers. She would save two for him and leave them where only he could find them. If he gave her the right kind of smile, there’d even be a piece of dark chocolate waiting for him too.
The hunter looked at his watch. Thirty-seven more minutes to go. Let’s pretend for a moment that the hunter is the guardian of your most esoteric secrets and only you have the cypher. Would you want to know what’s inside? How deep would you burrow into the tunnels of your marrow to uncover everything?