hunted 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
a first chapter that was just meant to be a short story that spiraled

Submitted: February 05, 2012

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Submitted: February 05, 2012

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Hunted

 

He hears it every so often, circling him, slowly moving closer, hiding within the dark depths of the forest causing an uneasy silence which gives away its presence. It had somehow sensed him in ways that were beyond imagination and although he couldn’t see it, he knew it was there from the gut wrenching smell of death that flowed towards him when it was upwind. Permanent darkness under the treeline here as the density of the forest only lets in a few shards of natural light, that were more like puncture wounds on this unholy place. There was no way out, no escape from here or from the unknown terror that stalks him now.

For two days and nights (though there was no visible difference here), he had lain silent, waiting, for the inevitable encounter that he faced. He had been in this state since it had stormed through their camp during the night, relentless fury, clawing ripping, a pure unseen evil ending everything in its path, this thing whatever it was, had both stealth and precision in its attack, an unfair but clever advantage for it. Within this chaos he realized he had little time left so he ran, he ran for his life grabbing whatever he could, and luckily on his way out he had managed to pick up his rifle, and a backpack. Through this terror he ignored all the screams around him as he headed straight for the darkness, being splattered with the sprays of blood from his friends that had come with him to this place, he then slipped into the silence and kept on going, scarpering for his life deeper, darker, till only darkness and silence surrounded him.

Time and distance were both hard to judge in this place, he was alone with nothing, no communication, nowhere else to run, dark thoughts ran through his mind as he realised that this must be how fearful it is for his usual prey, the stag, the ultimate prize that his hunting party aimed for each time they set out on one of these weekends. They usually ventured beyond the trails in the hope of some kind of ‘different’ experience, and with this thought he pictured his friends lying dead now, and himself now the prey of this creature. This wasn’t the different experience they had hoped for, realising this, an icy feeling of fear stabbed at his core. At least where he was now gave him a slight chance; he had come across a good vantage point, if not the only one since the forest floor seemed very flat, not many places secure enough to either hide or to face this creature from. What he had found was a raised rock formation about ten meters high, a strange and almost out of place form for here but useful nevertheless. Circling it he looked for a way up which he realised was going to be very difficult as there was no grip, no footholds to climb as it was so smoothed; an advantage though was how open the approach to the front was, along with a higher back with a sheer drop behind, this was a perfect vantage point as anything that did approach him would only be able to come from the front, which he would have covered anyway. Looking round for ways up he noticed something else that seemed odd or out of place, something he never noticed when he first approached it, there was a clearing round this structure, a near perfect circle with no trees, no plants just the forest floor along with a couple of areas that were lit up with the light shards that managed to poke through, it was a surreal setting almost stage like. As quick as he thought this he brushed it off, stupid thoughts brought on by fear and the unknown, hurriedly he figured out a way to get up there, searching he found one, there was an overhang much higher up that he could drop from onto this rock, risky but manageable.

He started his ascent towards the overhang which was at least thirty meters up, halfway on some of the trees here; when he looked up they seemed to on forever towards that small pinpoint of light that breaks through the forest canopy. ” He wished he could just keep going up towards this, to reach the light escaping the darkness below, a false escape but a breath of hope which he didn’t feel he had now”. As he got near halfway he stopped, “footsteps below” he could hear the forest floor giving up the distinct individual steps, the unmistakable pattern of two legs, not four as he would have imagined. He near cried out as this might be help, maybe a survivor, there could be no other explanation could there? Before he even got the chance to fill his lungs for the yell of help, the smell came to him, the disgusting same deathly smell he had encountered from two days ago, it was here below him, stalking searching him out. He hung tight to where he was and didn’t move, he didn’t even breathe, tears ran down his cheeks as the smell made him want to vomit but he couldn’t, his life depended on it as he couldn’t get to his gun, it was strapped securely round his pack for the climb. He hung there motionless for what seemed like an eternity, listening to the steps circling below him. Sometimes he could see ‘something’ or was it more sense something? For the darkness didn’t give up much except for the crunch of dead forest underfoot, but there was something there, touching, shadows skimming on the very edge of the circles that were spotlighted areas below.

This all went on for a while “too long” as his grip was getting weaker and he was finding it hard to keep still, holding himself in the same position for so long, he was scared to move, to reposition himself for fear of being noticed. Out of nowhere it came, the silence, footsteps in the distance leaving this area giving him the chance to move at last. He hurried himself up to the overhanging branch, moved along it and got ready to drop, there was no telling what he was going to land on, the top of this formation was in darkness. ‘He let go’, the fall was endless it seemed, he had visions of being cut in half on sharp edges but landed with a soft thud , sinking into the forest lair. Confused ‘how’, ‘why’, thoughts instantly that he had missed his target, thoughts that were very quickly gone as he rolled from his fall and just caught himself before he went over the edge. He knelt feeling his way round and realised that this formation whatever it was, had at some point raised itself up out of the forest lifting with it the lair he now stood upon, lair how relevant this thought was as he realised exactly where he stood now.

This thing had not followed him this time, it had come back to whatever it was it had here in this place, this clearing, the strangeness of the rock structure, and how it never sensed his presence here, all explained now, to his horror. The realisation was too much for him, he made a place to lay, camouflaged his vantage point best he could, made his peace to God and laid there for the next two days, waiting for its return. Many times he had drifted in and out of sleep now, the strain of mental and physical exhaustion eventually catching up with him and placing him in a very mixed up dream state at times. Darkness, light, bad horrible feelings along with great uplifting moments, a very troubled mixture that just made him more confused and afraid when he woke from this, though this time when he woke he had plenty of reason to be troubled.

Through the darkness and the depths of the forest he could see something coming, a dim light moving slowly and steadily weaved through the trees towards him, it was heading home straight back here to its lair, but he was waiting, aiming down ready for that one shot, that one chance, payback time. As it approached he could not pick out any physical form just a soft glow, almost warm and inviting, the darkness itself seemed to fill the space that approached, a storm within the light but nothing showing to explain the footsteps it carried. He made aim and fired straight through the centre of its space, no effect, he could feel it sense where he was now and any other attempt would only be a futile one.

He hung his head in shame now, at failing, failing to get the revenge he sought for his friends. He blinked his eyes, raised his head and came face to ‘face’ with this thing, what happened then was both unexpected and miraculous, for the very thing he was in so much fear of showed him his dreams, his desires and everything else in life that he had seen as beautiful, images flashed before him holding him in a heightened state of happiness, he was in awe of what was before him. A face appeared within these images, one of beauty that only he could describe to himself, his ultimate desires before him till the image changed. A twisted smile appeared across it, peering eyes started to look through him tearing a path to his soul, and fear had started to overcome him now though he couldn’t move, he couldn’t break free from the image continually distorting before him, holding him captive.

The area before was a storm now, clashing darkness, rolling thunder, flashes, fire and evil, an evil beyond comprehension surfaced from this, it struck at him, slicing him open. He knew this was happening though he could not move, he could feel it all, every cut, and gouge, every drop of life that escapes from his open arteries, and the coldness of the air as it stung at his mutilated body. A strange calmness came over him now, he was cut off now from all this, the last thing he sees is the pinpoint of light up in the forest canopy fading as he gradually falls with it into eternal darkness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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