Night of the Hunter --

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
As dusk fell upon this forest, I stalked my prey, an older man, who seemed to have taken on the role of leader. Several others surrounded him, curled in on themselves as they slumbered.
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Submitted: July 24, 2011

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Submitted: July 24, 2011



As dusk fell upon this forest, I stalked my prey, an older man, who seemed to have taken on the role of leader. Several others surrounded him, curled in on themselves as they slumbered. From here I could see one of the female's eyes, shining in what little moonlight had reached her through the thick canopy of leaves.

I aimed my bow directly at her, for a moment taking my eyes off the lead male.

A mistake on my part, seeing as his haggard form was now rising from his hunched position, spine cracking as he made an almost three-sixty turn in my direction. Across his lips a snarl formed, revealing teeth that had been rotting for several weeks; perhaps even months seeing as a few were missing.

At one point I'd have probably felt bad for launching that arrow through his narrow, baggine eye sockets. At one point I'd have felt remorse, but no more.

I'd been hunting in this forest for several months now, and had wiped out most of the deads' nests.

The creature stumbled for a moment, dazed and confused, giving me enough time to take down his pack members, one by one. Each fell to the ground with a resounding moan, their bones crunching and skin slapping to the ground, their age finally becoming apparent.

Some of these creatures could be hundreds of years old for all I knew, but the virus kept them alive. Kept them breathing and metabolizing just enough so they can lumber around at all hours of day and night, following the beconing scents of human flesh, still fresh on the bone.

Any of these creatures living in isolation will desemate their own population once the actual living human population has been completely wiped out in one area.

They never bother migrating, because they apparently have enough intelligence to know that if they even attempt traveling, their old corpses will just crumble and they'll starve to death, miserably.

I hide my scent with the various plants and herbs you can find in the forest, some I've gathered over the years, seeing as they're only seasonal. I wear them like a perfume, and they almost completely wipe out my scent and make me undetectable in the brush, but the moment I make even the slightest sound, one of them turns a head and moans, signaling to his pack members that a meal is right here.

Even being dead, they apparently sleep. At night they become dorment, unless aroused to life by the smell of human flesh or, like I mentioned earlier, the slightest sound on the forest floor.

This nest I've been tracking has grown in numbers recently, and has become a big problem for what's left of the living population around these parts. I felt it was my responsiblity to maintain the population at all costs, or, if it's small enough like this one seems to be, to completely wipe out local populations of the undead in hopes of just wiping out the virus.

After I've destroyed a nest, I don't risk touching their bodies. I don't risk infection. Even scraping a pinky on one of their sharp, ingrown nails can have you infected within about a half hour. A little bit longer to live than when bitten directly with their teeth.

I have about seventeen of the vile creatures down, and only about six more moan and trudge towards me.

Obviously, these ones haven't been able to completely rest their decaying bodies, and are much slower than they usually are.

When well-rested, they can move those legs almost inhumanly fast, and have the agility of a cougar.

Three more down...

Three more to go...

The alpha of the group is the last one I kill. I make my way to his moaning mass, a haphazard heap on the forest floor.

He grabs at me, obviously a futile attempt.

I simply grab my hunting knife and slowly decapitate him, all the while his moans becoming gurgled gasps for breath.

The stench of death becomes worse, if even possible, and I leave the heap that was once a man to rot in the forest until the next hoard settles in.

I'll be waiting for them.

© Copyright 2020 KN Shi. All rights reserved.

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