Hunted: part 1

Yet another project I know I won’t finish. But I want to see how this plays out. The plan is to give two possible paths at the end of each ‘chapter’ and allow you the reader (or readers if there’s actually more than one of you) to choose what the character does. I will then, hopefully, write the next chapter based on that. If I find the right motivation and inspiration I may try to fill in outcomes for the paths not chosen, and turn it into a ‘choose your own adventure’ type thing.

Obviously this will only work if you actually vote, so please do.

Maybe at some point I’ll give a little back story as well. If I can think of one.


Hunted: part 1

Wind howls through the trees, rustling the leafy boughs above my head. Flash of lightning, roar of thunder. Raindrops hammer on the canopy. The dirt track through the forest now a muddy torrent. I stay low, trying to remain in the shadows as the torch beams bounce around me. I know it won’t be long before they pick up my tracks. At least they haven’t got the dogs with them.

Another lightning flash. I chance a peek; no torches pointed in my direction. Rumble of thunder. It drowns out the squelch of my boots in the mud as I dart to the next piece of cover. The newly formed river is just a few yards from me now. If I can reach it then I know I can follow it back to safety. I also wouldn’t be leaving any tracks to follow. They’d have to wait for the dogs, buying me valuable minutes. But they would surely hear me splashing downstream.

A sharp whistle pierces the night. “Fresh prints here.” Fuck!

“Looks like deer.” Phew!

“Running from something. The storm, perhaps?”

“Running towards it, summit’ else spooked ’em.”

“Could’ve been us…”

“Nah, we’d’ve heard ’em. Someone, or something, came this way not long ago.”

“What’s the plan, boss?”

“Fan out, boys, head east. If something moves, shoot it.” Ah, crap. “Either we catch that bastard or bag ourselves a deer. Either way, meat’s back on the menu!”

They’re still far enough away, and focused on the ground, that I could probably make it to the water without being spotted. With enough noise cover, I might even put some distance between us before they hear me.

Or maybe I can trick them. Scale a tree the other side of the path. If my prints stop at the water, they’ll think I’ve followed it. But hiding in a tree, during a thunderstorm… not the safest thing to do, is it.

Think, dammit, think!

Lightning. It’s now or never. Thunder. I make my move. Quick, low shuffle to the flooded path, the rumble overhead masking the sound of my movements. I…

…step into the water and begin to wade downstream.

…leap across the water, arms extended towards a low branch.

 


Partly inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge prompt: safe

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