The Death of the Predator

The Death of the Predator

Status: In Progress

Genre: Action and Adventure

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Status: In Progress

Genre: Action and Adventure

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Summary

Mother nature has come to reclaim her land from the predators. Now creatures known as ghosts wander the ruins of human civilization and carnivorous kind. There are humans left, but how long will they last?
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Summary

Mother nature has come to reclaim her land from the predators. Now creatures known as ghosts wander the ruins of human civilization and carnivorous kind. There are humans left, but how long will they last?

Chapter1 (v.1) - Initial draft

Author Chapter Note

I'm not a fan of adding chapters before completion

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 24, 2017

Reads: 43

Comments: 2

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 24, 2017

A A A

A A A

Wolves travel in packs.

Not this one.

The brush parted as the beast darted through. A consistent but violent hush echoed through the forest as branches snapped back and forth; leaves being stripped from their limbs. Trees were but passible obstacles as this animal sprinted past, giving no mind. This wolf was not to be stopped. She was chasing something.

Legs springing into action with each stride she took. Individual leaps, with a carpenter’s confidence. She breaths with effortless precision and focus. Eyes forward, scanning the space ahead, seeing the way forward as clear, and the rest; irrelevant. Predicting each action before executing without deviation nor delay. She was a master of the hunt. An apex predator in close pursuit to prey. The chase covered a considerable distance from where it started. Until she stopped.

A deer in the clearing. Another majestic being that inhabited the forest. Standing tall and innocent, with pitiful eyes that gazed into the distance. Not being as heavy as its brethren but could hold pace to this point. The trade-off with youth. Breaths were slow and heavy, it was exhausted. With no predators in sight it bowed to eat, the grass being all it needed to replenish its stamina. It thinks itself safe, for now. But not even that was true.

This wolf was ready to kill; this was a difficult puzzle. Any slip and her food would simply bolt. Not knowing where the next meal may come made this critical for survival. The wolf circled until it was perfectly downwind, making her scent blow away from this cautious deer. She stalks ever closer; hidden from peripheral sight. The time to attack was nigh.

Darting to the deer’s left flank, the wolf took it by surprise. As the deer turned its head, she struck the neck. Her paws dug into the deer’s shoulders, engraving wounds as they shredded skin and fir. The deer franticly bounced randomly, to shake her off. Reaching desperately, she clutched its throat in her jaws. Every ounce of strength went into grasping the biggest chunk she could muster; she bites down hard. Flesh ripped as the deer lost air, eventually falling from the weakness. One last dying cry let out before she tore out the airway, leading to a quick but bloody death.

Circling the lifeless animal in contemplation. Mouth and paws red with blood, standing out from its grey fir. The wolf planned her next move. A catch this large wouldn’t be very mobile with one wolf. The toil hadn’t ended it seemed. There was no use time wasting; even she knew that. Biting down on the ankles and pulling was the only option. A rustle in the distance released the wolf’s grip on the deer.

A tall figure emerged from the forest, approaching the wolf. An entity compiled of snakelike appendages slithering across one another infinitely in a slim, jet black bundle. Each limb had teeth and whispered to the rest. It’s head of pure light illuminating over its shadow body, orbited by six black spheres. That is until the light went out, leaving seven jet black orbs above. Truly chaos.

The wolf had no pack for help. But she had territory. She snarled at the approaching enemy protecting her food. Positioned between the entity and her food, she prepared for a scrap. Growling didn’t deter the oncoming threat; a fight or flee approach was needed and she wasn’t going to flee. She charges. The clearing was an arena and the wolf; a gladiator. Adrenalin pumping and pace increasing as the space between them dissipated.

The wolf made her attacking leap into battle. She clutched an appendage in her teeth before being engulfed in this monster of snakes. Confused, she struggled to get free. Teeth embed into the wolf at all angles, making small but painful wounds. Her eyes glazed with fear as she blead into a weakened state. Her struggle fading as she whimpered in pain. Giving up, she let go of her captured limb and went limp. Relentlessly, the attack continued in silence until it birthed the wolf onto the blood-soaked ground and approached the deer.

The centre sphere lit pure white once more. Each orb following with different colours of blue, red, yellow, orange, purple and green. The chaotic body tied into itself and lit up, forming a white sphere. This from was a more welcoming image. Smooth and clean. Not a spec of blood or dirt. Glowing like a celestial being it floated with ease. The air was calm as it looked at the limp deer. The light fleshed bright; hiding the body as it quickly decayed into the soil. The light simmered down and the figure left the clearing. No skeleton was left behind. Only the wolf, that lay still and limp.

Silence swept the forest and over the clearing. A calm river of coniferous trees, with the odd oak and birch, flowing through the valley. Hills hidden under this blanket of life as it accompanies this death within. Knowing now what patrols the forest takes away the ongoing sense of peace, otherwise it would’ve made a comfortable death bed.

The wolf rolls from her side without making a sound. This wolf was strong. She picks up her dying self and heads back into the woods in defeat. She had lost her food and most likely; her life. Limping through the forest, she had no more regard for her safety nor strategy. She had deemed herself dead. Then why go through more pain by limping back into the woods?

She was a mother. Hours passed until she returned to her den. An old oak tree hid her five pups from outside threats. She lay at the entrance and let out a quiet howl. No reply or sight of her pups. She let out another, still with no response. Concern set in with the third, of which was also unanswered. She was too weak to enter the den so, after laying quiet for a few moments, she tried a fourth and fifth call. No answer. She let out a final whimper in a desperate lack of hope. Nothing. Silence continued after.

Time past before the still wolf perched her head up. A pup finally emerged from the oak tree. Relief appeared as the other four emerged. They were four weeks old only able to make short trips from the den. Grouped around their mother they licked her face with welcoming kisses. The mother couldn’t return the gesture, but she was happy to see her children once more. A family one last time. She embraced the moment before passing away quietly. The pups cuddled up to their mother, uncertain whether they’d survive without her.

A man approached from the brush. He had been following the injured wolf and observed the scrap. Perhaps he was also hunting the deer, except he knew the dangers that the forest hid and kept clear and observant. This place wasn’t safe for predators any longer. An interest in the resilient wolf had him intrigued, which led him here to the pups. He seemed calm and treated the situation as if it wasn’t a big deal.

His face; hidden behind scruff and plenty of dirt. Equipped with a crossbow, machete and a spear; he was prepared for violence. Although, he wasn’t hostile towards the pups, quite the opposite. He placed his rucksack on the ground and took out a leg of lamb. His head darted back and forth whilst hurrying the pups to his company. The pups were frozen in fear and uncertainty, but eventually tucking into the piece of meat. The man relieved; got the pups into his bag to begin the journey home.

Laying low, the man surveyed the area with each step. The strange creature could be anywhere. Even though they were easy to spot, one could easily sneak up if not spotted. He darted from tree to tree looking out while keeping pace. The pups had a bumpy ride to endure. His boots made little noise with the ground despite his weight. He had done this before; regularly.

He spots the light creature ahead. Hiding behind the tree, he observes it. Not moving, but it seemed to be watching its surroundings. To the man, this was nothing new so a plan wasn’t difficult. Dropping the bag, he steals the half-eaten leg from the unimpressed pups; shaking them off back into the bag. Clutching the leg and with the bag back on, he chucked the it at the creature. As soon as the creature let of its bright flash he bolted past. It didn’t last long but once the light had settled the man was gone. Now the man and his newly found pups were on their way home.

The sunset had arrived over the farm. Sheep settled down as the cows headed to the barn, with the horses, to rest. The breeze was calm and mild going through the wheat field. A dry evening set a complacent mood across the farm. The glow from the farmhouse atop the hill was a welcoming beacon to its residents. A young man and his baby sister sat at the dinner table waiting for their farther to return for supper. The dining room was warmly lit by candles as electricity was too dangerous to use. The lighting was soothing and kept the atmosphere tranquil.

“I’d wish he’d be back sooner,” sighed Jeremy impatiently.

Jeremy was raised as a farm boy ever since the world was taken back by nature. Kept safe from the invading ghosts, he was taught the traditional life. His father, John, was a solicitor in the old world, but was forced into farming and hunting due to the circumstances.  Losing his mother, a couple years back, has left him hating the ghosts that took her. He had recently turned 18 and was raring to be part of the resistance. Of course, his father had no clue.

His little sister Faye, was 3 years old and was still getting used to the world. They refused to feed her meat: Both to honour Jeremy’s mother and in hope that she won’t be killed by the ghosts. The ghosts don’t kill herbivores, so maybe she’ll have a chance. She didn’t mind vegetables either. Her innocence was the main thing worth protecting in both Jeremy’s and John’s eye’s.

John, the father of both Jeremy and Faye, was 43. He’d lived through a lot, but losing his wife had become a burden. He had Jeremy as a son since he was 25 and the attack started when he was 28. Promising that he’d protect the kids until the end, he patrolled the woods behind the farm and keeping tabs on the ghosts. Loss is his greatest weakness.

The sun had set just as John clambered through the doorway. He rushed to the living room to release his rucksack after the long hike. Excited, he called out “Jeremy, I have something for you.” His voice calm but jollier than usual as he gestured Jeremy over to the bag. He brought out each pup one by one, setting them onto the rug. A couple of the hyper ones ran across the room to explore whereas the others were preoccupied with John’s sleeve. Jeremy kneeled beside his father.

“Pick one, I’ll look after the rest.” John wanted his son to learn responsibility beyond looking after Faye. These weren’t dogs that can be trained; they were wolves that needed respect and true companionship. No pet dong tricks for its master.

There were three girls and two overexcited boys. It was a tough decision. That is until one scampered over to nip his hand. The pup had made Jeremy’s mind for him. One of the girls which had a white coat. The two boys where charcoal black and the rest were grey. Jeremy sat petting this wolf pup in his arms. The potential friendship was promising.

John put Faye to bed early before returning with a leather satchel. “Keep her in this. Don’t lose her now.”

Jeremy looked the pup in her eyes and replied, “I think I’ll call her Luna,” as he released her back onto the rug.

It takes a while before the pups were settled, but they eventually cuddle up to rest. Luna formed a new but friendly bond to Jeremy as she slept on his lap. With the other cubs in a bundle on the rug, it was time to get some sleep. John patted his son, on the back. “A lot of work to be done in the morning.” Jeremy nods in reply and takes Luna to his room.

Now alone, John opened an old bottle of whiskey and poured himself a glass. He took out a pen and small sheet of paper and began writing.

“02/06/2025 Northern forest,

One ghost close to farm. Livestock at risk and help is needed. Keeping tabs until help arrives.”

He puts the pen away and reclines opposite to the sleeping pups to explored his thoughts with his whiskey. To what end would he have to go to protect his children? To what end will he be able to? Can he protect them himself any longer? The questions circled his mind with torment. Fortunately, the glass was then empty and it was time to sleep. He called it a day and closed his eyes.

 John sat comfortably. Another mundane day ahead for him. Football was the only good thing on TV and the apartment was too quiet to watch nothing. He enjoyed the moment while Jeremy was asleep in his cot. A clunk of the door ruined the lounging he had started. But everything was fine. It was Sarah, home early. John is suddenly hit with a wave of emotion. Ecstatic to see her, not knowing why. He embraced her noticing tears in his eyes. While pulling himself together, he stepped back. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” He chuckled, confused.

Sarah hushed him as she held his hands in hers. The exchanged intimate eye contact. That of a long love. “Join me,” she whispered as she begun to glow. Then she shone bright. John stepped further back, blinded by her light. Sarah slowly approached him. Her figure shifting as she backed him into a corner. An echoed voice calls, “John! Join me!” Sarah wasn’t there anymore. Only a ghost in her stead. The body began turning dark and its appendages started to form. The orbs went jet black and the being stopped. John tries to call out to her, “Sar-” It struck. Everything went black. John jumped up in a cold sweat and holds his head in his hands. These nightmares were getting too frequent.

The following morning was filled with promise, as Jeremy was up and ready for anything. Shame he was on feed duty, which can get out of hand on occasion. With Luna in his satchel and Faye holding his hand he set out. The pigs and horses were easy, but the chickens weren’t as controllable. With a bucket of feed, he set out into the chickens’ territory. A group of chicken charged over, relatively tame until the rest arrived.

It only took their presence for a flood of chickens to surround Jeremy and Faye. Luna tried to escape the satchel to get at these chickens, to no avail. Faye pet the rowdy chickens, without holding back. They eventually kept their distance from her. With the animals fed, they headed home.

For John, sending off the message was a priority. But leaving the pups alone wasn’t wise, the rug had only just survived the night. They’d only been there a day so having them follow him around was also a sketchy idea. Options were frustratingly slim and compromises had to be made. He decided to set off without them. His bedroom was rarely used, so locking them inside with some meat was a decent plan. It wasn’t much of a walk to the pigeon cage, and all he had to do was attach the note with string and send off his pigeon. The rest was hope and head back home to plan his next steps. It was a tip when he returned, but the pups didn’t seem to mind.

With the other chores completed, John sat on the decking out-front with his pack of pups. Relaxing outside was the only surviving pastime of his old life; thankfully it was the most enriching. Luna and Faye were in the distant field, running across the field in play as Jeremy watched over the two of them. They played for hours, as if they were sisters. It had only been a day, but a bond had formed between them.

The day progressed as usual, and John was just about getting ready to set off into the forest once more. He’d normally go there twice a week, but with the ghost around he couldn’t let it get any closer to the farm. Packing his equipment, from binoculars to spear, while Jeremy had Faye and the pups in the living room after their evening meal. John entered the living room with his rucksack hanging from his back, which was surprising to the others.

In a calm but energized tone, he notified Jeremy directly. “I’m going to the forest again. Have supper without me, I’m gonna be pretty late tonight.”

“Why? What’s happened?” Jeremy stops before taking a guess, “Are they in the forest? Are we gonna be ok?”

“I’ve got it under control,” John raises his hand in gesture, “There is a ghost in the forest, but don’t worry. It’s not close enough to be a problem. Just keep an eye on these lot until I come back.” He then went to the door and left the house to carry on without him. Hopefully this wont become the norm. 

The air had cooled from the long summer day, but sunset was still a few hours off, leaving him plenty of time to find the ghost once more. Finding them wasn’t something unheard of by the surrounding strongholds, but they were relatively new to the northern forest. John had gone on enough ghost hunts to know his way around tracking them and staying clear. John had an optimistic outlook on the situation in front as his farm was regularly visited and relied upon by the strongholds during wintertime. After taking over from the farms original owner, he has learned that farms are less expendable than the strongholds themselves. The job was relatively easy.

 With map in hand he wandered into the treeline with a soft spring in his step.


© Copyright 2017 Jay.W. All rights reserved.

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