The Hunter or the Hunted?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Summarizing a story this short? Nonsense.

Submitted: July 17, 2012

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Submitted: July 17, 2012

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I stopped and closed my eyes. I deafened myself to all but my own breathing and heartbeat, letting them dominate my senses. Slowly, surely, I pushed these senses out. As this aura expanded, I began to feel other faint heartbeats. Some were small and fast while others thumped ponderously, coursing the life essence of large beasts through their bodies. Focusing intently on a moderate beating, my quarry was selected. With skill, and some luck (for there is always luck in a hunt!), perhaps I'll bring home food enough for days (and a good trophy, of course!). With a deep breath, I let the aura recede whilst leaving a link to the prey I marked. As I open my eyes, all is black at first, but my vision clears while my ears catch the graceful notes of singing birds. Occasionally amidst the songs of the graceful birds is a dark and ominous howl of a blood hawk; never a good sign. Nervously, and with pride, I ignored the apprehension I felt as I set out to track my mark's beating heart.

 

I focused on the pounding I heard obsessively, my stalking steps mere whispers on the wind as I glided through woods and meadows. The day was coming to a close, and every gleaming ray of sunlight seemed more and more faint. Am I too deep in the forest or is it already this late? I was pricked by stabs of fear, but I trusted my senses to keep me safe so that I could end this beast's life with an arrow. I followed the beating I heard as it grew louder and louder. I slowed my steps and quieted my breathing as I fell upon a lake in a meadow.

 

The pounding in my head was drowning everything else out now as I glanced upon a large, grizzly, four legged creature. Bones protruded from its joints and head, each forming gnarled and splintered spikes. I was almost envious of its form, slender and graceful, yet filled with power. The only thing disagreeable were the ugly and almost unnatural bones, surely a creation of some foul manipulator's magics. Still this, this deadly horned beast, would be my trophy of the day. My heart beat rapidly and my knuckles whitened, clenching my bow with a steely grip. Oh, how I wish that horned head would grace with its gaze so that I could see its face! Of course, there will be time for that when I have slain this unique and ominous creature.

 

I nocked an arrow, bearing a razor sharp tip, in my bow, raising it slowly to give the arrow the path it would need to pierce the beast's heart. I can't risk not killing it in one shot; this one would tear me to shreds if it so much as raked me. Deliberating for a moment, I forsook the Ancients' warnings and flooded guiding magic into the arrow through my catalyzing glove. My arm and fingers tingled as the warm essence caressed them, pouring out from my core to imbue the nocked arrow. I steeled myself, held my breath, and nearly gasped when two red eyes snapped to focus on me and my glowing arrow.

 

Seeing my chance, I let the arrow fly into the chest of the beast. Flying strong and true, the guided projectile plunged into the flesh, leaving a soft magical residue in its wake. Fear struck me when the piercing wails hit my ears, and I felt as if I were gripped within the hands of Death itself. My target tremored and fell, yet I shook as well. With a deep breath I became acutely aware of shadows approaching me, each bearing a warped heartbeat the likes of which were entirely unnatural and pulsing with magic. Now the fear was real and chills cut me to my core. My shaking hand, tingling with the familiar warmth of my own magic, pulled another arrow from my quiver to nock on my bow. The Ancients told me not to use magic for fear of the dark hunters. Now, as these grim shades glide towards me through this darkened meadow, I am left without a choice.


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