Combat Zone

The Hunt reemerges as a means for students to combat fall semester slump via mass murder

For those of us from the states with actual weather, falls in Washington are the Eeyores of what is otherwise a merry albeit blustery college adventure in the Hundred Acre Woods: there’s a lot of raining, there’s a lot of crying, there’s a lot of pooping and everything in your house breaks.

But what you don’t know about is Washington’s long-standing tradition of the Hunt, one of this fine state’s many ways to combat the winter blues, the death of the sun and the annual influx of dumbasses into the general area. That, and Starbucks’ red cups.

As you know by now, Puget Sound is a long-established locus of magical happenings.

From our vampire president to the time machine on the fourth floor of the library, it’s pretty much a freaking Halloween every day.

And so, of course, those of us with the know-how know that the next best thing between barfing on Green Man and curb-stomping pumpkins and trying not to kill all your relatives during the December holidays is the University’s own version of the Hunt.

I was lucky enough to get the Erlking, the leader of the Hunt, before he and his goblins went after their afternoon snack (a hapless liberal studies major with an attitude problem, poor bb).

“I’m over a million f***ing years old, what the f*** do you want puny human?” he snapped.

Or at least, that’s what I think he said. Word Reference isn’t set up for Ancient Sumerian, so I had to guess a little, okay?

I, of course, being the brave, stalwarthy reporter that I am, did not squeak like a scared chipmunk whatsoever.

I gathered my manly courage around me like a motherf***ing shield and dared to ask, “How will the Hunt compare with last year’s? How will you attempt to conform to the University’s policies of diversification, inclusion, fairness, rainbows, unicorns and leopluridons?”

“We hunt everyone regardless of ability, race, gender, national origin, immigrant or refugee status, sexual orientation, current medication, hair color or shoe size,” he recited in a bored tone.

“Well, shit,” I said elegantly. “Sounds like you’ve got the spiel down pat.”

He rolled his eyes.

“After last year’s fracas, Mab had all Sidhe go through sensitivity training. We’re a lot more careful about whom we select to join the Hunt, and of course, whom we hunt. Last year, some upstart came late so she decided she’d hunt her professor instead.”


The Erlking sniffed, “My baby girl. I was so proud.”

“Where is she now?”

“State penitentiary.”


“Right?” The Erlking burped. “Apparently the Washington State Judiciary system won’t accept testimony from kelpies or hire defendants who are redcaps.”

“Is there anybody in the Pacific Northwest that ISN’T a part of the fairy world?!!!”

“Norm Dicks.”


“Hurry up mortal, I’m hungry,” he said as he took his sword out of its scabbard and started to use it to get at the blood under his fingernails.

“Okay, okay, okay. I just have one more question.”


“Do the Sidhe bosses really appear if you say their names three times?”


“Can you give me an example?”

He put away his sword, “Candlejack, candlejack, ca—”

Interview thus finished, I then tracked the lone gunman to her cell in Taco Time, Tacoma’s new criminal rehabilitation center, which reforms its inmates through the absolutely merciless trifecta of exercise, group therapy and Americanized Mexican food.

By way of explaining her actions last year, the student (who preferred not to give her name but I can tell you that it starts with a B and ends with a ritney) said, “The Erlking gave me a piece of his plan, except it was a piece [here she made a gun with her hand] and so I shot my teacher.”

After I picked up my jaw from where it had fallen to the floor, I told her, “I can’t condone your actions, but I relish your wit.”

“Well I salsa your face,” she said as she munched obnoxiously on some blue corn tortilla strips.