The Huntsman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 02, 2018

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Submitted: November 02, 2018

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The orange of dusk started to come out of the darkness of the clear night sky. The birds become alive again, and the moon went and hid from the sun. The giant orange and yellow glowing sun come over the horizon, filling the pines and oaks and bushes and shrubs with endless amounts of sunlight. The snow was heavy on the branches of some pines, causing them to wilt. Squirrels and ferrets and wolves came alive along with the birds, and the earth was awake again. There were no people in this land, only the animals, or that is what the huntsman thought. The huntsman was a solemn man who lived alone in a small, wooden cabin atop of a hill, overlooking the woods and all its things. He hunted everyday for his food, which became harder now that the snow had come. The huntsman wore a single brown coat stitched together by himself. It was made of mostly fuzzy bear fur, but the hood was simply hare fur. He grabbed all his essentials, including his rifle, matches, and a canteen of fresh stream water. And he sought out of his small cabin into the grand world outside. He had moved out here because of his mental illness, which was schizophrenia, making him heard voices that didn’t come from anything or anywhere. He moved out here to isolate the voices, so he would know which one’s were real and which were fake. Since the move the voices seemed to die down, making the huntsman hopeful he could return to society. The snow thump hard under his heavy feet, and he snuck up on a flock of duck. Aiming his rifle, he shot into the crowd, killing one while all the others flew away. He walked up to his duck, and put it into his bag. He followed the flock of duck to the stream, which wasn’t frozen over yet. Reloading his gun, he fired again, killing only one more and again, the others flew away.

The morning had turned to evening, as the sun was in the top of the sky now, but the huntsman still hunted. Following packs of wolves to deer, finding geese and even more ducks. By the end of the day he had one deer, three geese, and five ducks. Enough to last him through the end of the week. The huntsman turned and walked home. The wind started to pick up now, blowing hard against the huntsman’s shins. The huntsman reached his cabin at about five o’clock, and after dumping his catches on his large wood table, he walked back outside and around the cabin, finding his firewood he chopped the day before. He carried many stacks into the cabin and put a few into the fireplace. The fireplace was a dark square carved into the wall. The outside was decorated with a bronze body, which appeared to seem like a painting frames. As the wood was loaded into the fireplace, the huntsman went back into the kitchen and grabbed a match, struck it, and brought it back to the fireplace. He tossed it in, and began cleaning the birds.

As the huntsman went to bed, he heard a voice. This wasn’t uncommon for him, and he knew how to handle the schizophrenia at this point in his life. The voice started off as a whisper that he couldn’t understand, then got louder and louder. The voice spoke of how it was in the cabin, searching for the huntsman, wanting to kill him. But the huntsman simply laughed at this, he found the voices that threatened to kill him amusing because of the fact they didn’t actually exist, and he had control over them. He put his head down, and went to sleep.

As morning came, the traces of the voice started to disappear, and were gone by the time the huntsman had got a duck wing from the pantry to cook. He opened one of his many drawers in the kitchen to find a stake, which he then stabbed through the wing with a thump, and placed the stake in the holder over the fire. He left realizing he had left the pantry door open, but came to find that his painting of his great-great-grandfather, Sir. Aaron Charles, a king back in his day, had been defaced. The face of the king was scratched out, and red smears covered the painting. The huntsman thought nothing of it, because he was used to wild animals coming into his home and tearing up his belongings. He simply removed the painting from the wall and went down to the basement with it. Although the cabin was very small, it did have a very grand basement. The basement was the size of the cabin, but it had no separate rooms. It was just a large space decorated by the huntsman, and its only purpose was to provide safety and be a keepsake for all his valuables. The walls were lined with tapestries and paintings, bear furs and deer heads, and all kinds of gold and silver cups and plates, including some royal china passed down from Sir. Aaron. The basement did have, in a back portion, a workbench with all the tools the huntsman needed to survive in the woods. Extra guns, saws, axes, hammers, nails, wrenches and screws, and so much more. The huntsman decided that a saw was the best option for the painting, and began hacking at it. He chopped it up into small planks of wood and paint, and carried them back upstairs, along with another painting. This painting was of a landscape, with orange and yellow trees covering the foreground, and a beautifully painted mountain on the horizon. He hung up the painting in place of the old one, and threw the rest of the old one into the fire, it burned up quickly, but some of the frame maintained aflame for a little while. The huntsman then gathered up some heavier, warmer clothes, and went outside to chop wood.

A heavy axe was left in a stump in his backyard and a pile of branches, twigs, and other smaller stumps laid next to the large one. The huntsman picked up a few stumps that he would chop and put in the pile of ready-to-use firewood. As he held the heavy axe over his head, he saw a glimpse of something in his cabin. Immediately he thought it was bear, so, running inside, he hoped that the bear hadn’t destroyed or eaten anything that the huntsman may have liked or grown accustomed to. He charged into the house, where as the door was already open, and was ready to swing his axe wildly. But there was nothing inside. He then heard a loud thud in the basement and run down the steep steps to get there. He was caught off guard went he saw a black bear which, to him, seemed to have red eyes. Either way he attacked the bear, swinging the axe hard into its back, for it had turned around in a flitch. But the bear didn’t act like a bear, it seemed to act like a person, and soon it turned to face the huntsman, with a grin on its face. Then, suddenly, the bear hit the carpeted floor hard, shaking dirt from the ceiling. Then a figure came out of the bear, making the eyes return to a normal color, and greeted the huntsman.

 

“Hello, sir. I told you I was here…” The huntsman realized that this was his schizophrenia, for the voice was that of the one he heard the other night.

“Who are you I say?” But the figure didn’t answer the question.

“Hello, sir. I told you I was here…” The huntsman turned and started up the stairs, realizing this was getting nowhere, before he felt a cold sting, like getting stabbed by dry ice, and immediately hit the floor next to the bear. He cried out as the figure started to disappear and flow into his body. Then there was nothing. No pain, no voice, no figure. But something felt strange. The huntsman shrugged it off, realizing the episode was over.

The huntsman woke up in the basement, seeming to have fallen asleep on the cold floor. He rubbed his eyes and walked up the stairs. His head hurt, but everything else seemed to be fine. He finished his climb, and went to check the mail. He again put on his bear fur coat, and crunched over the snow to the rusty, metal mailbox. He opened the latch with a loud creak, and a yellow envelope was revealed, the sender was the city. The huntsman got very excited, and tore the envelope open. The letter plainly stated in large print-

 

The City of St.George

 

We are happy to tell you that you are able to come back to the city, so long as you feel you can. We will provide you a job and a small home, until you can get them yourself.

 

Congratulations, Mayor Stinson.

 

The huntsman thought he was well enough to go to town, his schizophrenia only bothered him last night, the first time in years. Then his head hurt again, suddenly and violently, and he heard the voice of last night in his head…

 

“Sounds like fun!”


© Copyright 2018 Jack Garvey. All rights reserved.

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