He who walks alone at night

It's a dark night, with even the moon itself dim in the sky, its light incapable of piercing the veil of darkness that hangs over you. Your heavy boots trudge along stones as you stroll up the path to the old log cabin ahead of you. A pump-action shotgun sits in your hand, a solid determination clear in each of your steps.

You survey the cabin, eyes watching for any movements ahead of you. The cabin looks run-down, and you'd have guessed it'd be abandoned if you didn't know better. The cold air prickles your face, so you grab your balaclava, pulling it up over your mouth and nose.

You reach the old wooden door at the front of the lodge. Quickly checking your safety and checking you have everything for the third time, you loosen your shoulders and take a deep breath. Raising your hand, you rap your knuckles against the door. A few moments later, you hear a raspy voice call out through the door, as an eye peers through the eye hole at you.

"Minski Kuzkin?" you ask.

"Hello?" a thick Russian voice answers.

You step back, raising your shotgun and blasting it through the door. You hear a horrified scream, and have to actively suppress any trace of empathy that peaks through. You pump your shotgun, the shell flying to the ground as you blow away the door hinges, before booting the door. You step through the door, finding a pathetic looking figure in tattered, filthy rags, blood soaking through them and pooling on the floor around him. The stench hits you then, the air so heavy with rot and pestilence that you have to gag. The man seems to be in his mid-to-late forties, although you know he's barely in his thirties. His ogre-like frame, no doubt intimidating normally, is now huddled up as he desperately tries to stem the bleeding. You stroll forward, pressing your boot against the man's neck as you aim your shotgun at his chest.

"If you have any weapons on you, it'll be a lot easier if you tell me now."

"You twisted fuck! You goddamn...!"

You pump the shotgun, a shell flying to the ground. The noise quietens Minski's complaints to a pained whimpering.

"I don't," he answers, his voice a mere whimper.

"Good," you answer, grabbing a pair of silver handcuffs from your belt. 

You grab Minski's arm, forcing them behind his back as you cuff him. He screams again as you roll him onto his stomach, but a quick knee to the head quietens him again.

You stand, taking a deep breath, your resolve in your duty strengthening.

"Wh-who are y-you?" Minski asks.

"I hunt monsters, Mr Kuzkin. Vampires, banshees, werewolves, wraiths, changelings, demons... you get the drift."

Minski lets out a cold, cruel laugh, his demeanor changing.

"Aah... I see. You've finally found me, after all these years. You've sensed my presence. You're after the demon that burns inside my soul. I've been waiting for someone like you."

You don't even bother to look at the man, instead taking a step into the lounge kitchen, your fears confirmed. At that moment, you're glad you're wearing a balaclava.

A badly burned body lies on the kitchen table, its face mutilated beyond recognition. The body's small, the victim not much older than fourteen. The smell is unbearable, filling the house. You look away, the sight burning into your retinas even after your years of doing this.

"You twisted fuck," you mutter, gritting your teeth.

You blink long and hard, trying to regain a semblance of your cold, methodical, professional demeanor, before looking down at Minksi.

"The demons tear at me, scream at me to do it! It's how you make them stop!"

You sigh, fingers dancing on the trigger as you aim it at the man's head.

"Demons are real, Mr Kuzkin, but they're rare, and they don't plague you. I thought they might've. It's why I investigated you. But you're not one of the poor souls cursed to deal with them. You're an animal. A pathetic creature so wracked with insanity and hatred that you take it out on the world. You're a mental case, an animal that needs to be put down, a... a..." you pause, looking to find the right words. "A monster." 

"No, no, they're here! They talk to me, they tell me things, they...!"

"Quiet," you say, your voice barely above a whisper, but still controlling the room.

The man's lost in his deluded fantasies, he's not worth talking to. Even though you doubted you would, you'd hoped that you could find some traces of demonic possession here, so you could help the poor man, but no, unfortunately you've only found yourself on the trail of another psychopath rather than any real supernatural presence.

"I... I didn't want to! I tried to fight them, but they wouldn't let me stop! I couldn't sleep, couldn't... couldn't eat, couldn't... I... I just..." 

The pathetic figure breaks into sobbing, as you decide what to do. A quick call to the police station, and an officer could come out here to find their job done for them, the evidence lying around the house with their suspect neatly tied up. Minski would no doubt escape with the insanity plea, where he'd be taken to an institution to see if his shattered mind could be pieced together over days and months and years and decades.... of course, with your rifle belies an easier, more just answer.