Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Hunt - A Short Story

Hi everyone!:D
I wrote this story last week and once I finished it, I left it be until this afternoon, so that I could edit it.:) I thought since I don't really have anything to share right now other than a story, it would be fun.;)
We rode in silence, each man too frightened to utter a word. Afraid to find what we were hunting, afraid that It would find us trying to find It.
The forest wasn't always scary, usually it was pleasant...but on this rainy day, the shadows held horrors no one could imagine. A spray of rain fell on the men, and I shifted uneasily in my saddle, held the reins of my stallion with a vise-like grip that turned my knuckles white. My horse whinnied beneath me and I gave some length to the reigns, eyes searching every shadow through the mist. There was a huge group of men, yet somehow they all were deathly silent, their horses barely making a sound beneath them. Rifles hung from each man's backs, but that didn't give the usual courage it did to the hunting party.
What could when It was back? I thought.
The fog thickened as we entered an especially dense part of the forest, and I jerked my horse closer into the herd, but it whinnied again, pulling back from the group and falling to the edge. I glared at the horse, but then patted the strong stallion's neck in attempts to console it. It was just as afraid as me. Wiping away the building moisture on my face, I glanced to the side of the path. I pulled back on the reins hesitantly, seeing a small path cut through the winding forest.
“Guys!” I called, eyes still glued to the path. I took in the lethally sharp hoof prints cut in the ground. I kicked my horse into a run as I entered the group again. “Johnson!” I cried to the first man I saw, one of the leaders. He glanced at me with a grunt.
“I see a path, I think-I think it's Them!” I murmured. Johnson's eyes widened really quickly, but eased within a moment, then he grunted again.
“No big deal, kid. We follow the path,” he replied and sat back in his seat. I frowned, bitterness growing inside me as he called me “kid”. It was my first hunt, but I was no kid at twenty-four. My eyes wandered back to the quickly disappearing path. Thoughts trickled into my head, and I became aware of what a hero I would be called if I found It. I touched the rifle strapped to my back. No longer would I be the kid, I would have proven myself against the most frightening legend the kingdom had ever dealt with, worse than the griffin, even the cyclops. But I couldn't do it single-handed.
“Elliot!” I shouted to Elliot, the other new recruit for the hunt, he looked behind his shoulder at me, then steered his horse toward mind.
“What, Bryan?” Elliot asked, eager to not get too far from the herd.
“I found a path, I think it will lead us to It,” I whispered. He recoiled, his eyes large.
“Tell the leader then!”
“I did.”
“What do you want me to do?” Elliot questioned.
“Come with me and scope it out,” I said, not quite telling him my plan to kill It. He glanced back to the group, which was disappearing rapidly.
“Fine,” he responded. “I guess it won't hurt to look...”
We headed back to the direction of the path, but stopped when we reached it. The sharp prints. They belonged to It.
“You can go in,” I offered, but he refused.
“This is your idea.”
I nodded then urged my horse onto the path, then began to notice the molten feathers scattered on the path. The shredded trunks of trees. My horse shuffled farther in, even though it sensed the presence of It, too. This was the path to Its hideout. After what felt like hours, I reached an opening and immediately turned my horse to the side of the path, behind a tree. I grabbed my rifle and looked behind me.
Elliot was nowhere to be seen.
“That coward!” I cursed. I dismounted my horse, then glanced around the tree. There was a small cave, then a horse's shriek. It sent my heart bounding and all I could focus on was the sound of it beating. I placed bullets into the chamber of my gun, hands shaking. It needed to be a quick kill, in a vital area. Then I would be a hero. I would save the people from the last of Its kind.
I grinned at the thought, though my fingers shook uncontrollably as I loaded the last bullet. I twisted to face the cave, then started to come out from the hiding spot.
The cave was small and didn't go in far, so It had to be in there. Shuffling noises echoed from the cave, then the monster unearthed itself.
Legends spoke of a terrifying beast, rippling muscles covered by brilliant white skin with gray, black, and scarlet flecks lacing through the hair. Wings jutting out of the torso, dipped red with the blood of their victims. A strike from the massive wings would be lethal immediately. It described the eyes in frightening detail, red rimmed and flames wafting out of the glowing black orbs that penetrated the depths of your soul. Above the eyes lay a dagger of a horn, with spiraling black stripes twisting up it. It said that a flowing mane of either white or black hair crackled from the neck and tail. It painted the picture of a horrifying monster, ready to kill.
It did not describe the Alicorn I saw before me.
Gray, scraggly skin stretched over scrawny ribs and wings did come out of Its back, but they dipped down from the weight of themselves and mottled feathers stuck out. Faded red streaks scarred the tips of the wings. The horn was still lethally pointed and a dull black stripe spiraled up it, but the most striking difference was the eyes. In legends they were described as filled with hate, bitterness, rage, and revenge but looking into the sunken, shiny black eyes of this beast all I saw was sadness and fear as It took in my rifle aimed directly at It. A blast from its horn or accurately marked blow from Its sharp hooves would surely kill me, but It didn't make a move. It neighed to me, and suddenly I understood that the Alicorns were not the monsters the legends had made them out to be. But the men were sure It was a menace and were to put it to death without hesitation. When they found It, they would kill it. If I didn't do the same, I would be shamed. I gazed into the Alicorn's eyes. I shook my head, lifted my rifle to my shoulder and placed my finger on the trigger.
That's where the story ends. Yep, I know, you're probably all like- wait, what? - but I didn't say if he killed the Alicorn or not on purpose. I once read a short story where the outcome of a choice was never written so that the people who read the story could guess what happened, if it was good or bad. So, I was inspired by that, I guess.;)
What do you guys think, does he kill It or not?;)


  1. Wow, Emma! This was so well done! :)
    I like to imagine that the boy can't bring himself to kill the Alicorn, and instead the two become friends. The story ends with him flying after the hunters on the Alicorn and terrifying them, then taking off through the sky. :)

    -Clara <3

    1. Thanks so much!:) That would be cool!

  2. I like to imagine the boy and Alicorn becoming friends, but the town doesn't want him to be. So the Alicorn and the boy run away, constantly hiding from the hunters who are trying to kill the Alicorn, and the boy. Finally with some help from a whole herd of Alicorns that they found in hiding behind a waterfall, they scare off the hunters and the village becomes friends with the Alicorns. And everyone has their own pet Alicorn! I think the Alicorn's name should be Prince, if you haven't thought of a name yet.

  3. I just read the first sentence and - wow! - really good Emma!
    Wow Emma. This story is really, really good. I love how you describe the alicorn...I can picture it so easily. I love the beginning, the middle, and even the end.
    (I read a short story too where they never told you what happened. It was called "The Lady, or the Tiger?" by Frank R. Stockton)
    I would like to think that, as Clara said, that Bryan befriends the alicorn and protects it.
    This story was so great; you should be proud!
    ~The Girl Upstairs

    1. Thank you so much!:D YES! That was the story!!:D

    2. You're welcome Emma!
      Who do you think came out of the door - the lady, or the tiger?

    3. I really don't know! It's been a while since I read the story... As a normal person, I would want it to be the lady, but as a writer, I think it would be interesting if it was the tiger... But I don't know which one I actually think it was. Maybe the lady?:)

    4. I feel exactly the same way; I want it to be the lady, but at the same time, the tiger too. We just read the story in a literature group and we were discussing it. We all agreed on the tiger, but it's still a mystery, and you could argue either way.

  4. I don't think either one; I think you need to finish it in your own writing!!


    1. I Agree! Your writing so super so you could definatly do it!

    2. Thank you both so much!:D