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Burrich
04-16-2009, 11:52 PM
I wrote this short story ages ago and posted it on the other creativity forum but got no responses. Hoping for a bit more luck here. It's pretty short, was for my Leaving Cert exams and to be honest I haven't seriously written anything since. I've started a few things but never see it through anymore. Anyway hope you all enjoy it :).


Hunted

I ran quickly, dodging nimbly from left and right to avoid the surrounding branches and bushes as I flew past. The loud noises of pursuit pushed me on, baying horns and hounds getting closer and closer, their terrifying scent stinging my sensitive nose, blown in my direction by the howling wind. All that mattered was my escape, my escape from the hunt, from the hounds… my escape from death.

My once silky red coat was battered, torn. The constant fleeing, near capture and escape was wearing me thin. I hadn’t eaten in four days. My stomach growled as I ran, my legs becoming more and more leaden as I tried to stay ahead of the overgrown vermin snapping at my white-tipped tail. Their hot breath stank fiercely, large globules of saliva drooling from their snarling mouths. The fear, oh God the fear. My heart raced furiously. I knew now that they would never stop, that if I didn’t escape soon it would not be long until their jagged teeth ripped me apart. The only thing that kept me going was the primal urge to survive. I had nothing else to live for. The dogs had seen to that.

I had watched two days previously as they ripped my partner to shreds. They tore out her throat; her last cries brought suddenly to an end and then played with the carcass, tossing it between them, as if she was nothing more than a rat. It made my heart ache to remember how they had shredded her glossy crimson coat, exposing and devouring the tender pink muscles underneath until there was nothing left except the bones, thin scraps of stringy flesh hanging from the ends, and a pool of ruby red blood turning slowly to brown as it mixed with the mud underneath.

The horrific image brought bile up from my stomach, which burned the back of my throat. Why? Why did they kill her? Why do the humans now hunt me? What reason is there for their blind and all-consuming hatred? It was a question I was still unable to answer. I pushed the appalling vision forcibly to the back of my mind before scrambling through another bush. The thorny limbs caught in my fur and scraped the sensitive skin underneath. I ripped free, searing pain shooting up my back. I clenched my teeth and shook myself, watching dismayed as a shower of blood droplets scattered in the wind before darting onwards just as the hounds reached and got tangled in the terrible shrub. But being much larger beasts than I they had great trouble extricating themselves from the thorns. I dashed on a little more slowly glad for the opportunity to breathe.

I stopped for a few moments at a trickling stream and drank my fill, the water cooling and relieving my parched throat. My stomach growled and contracted painfully, deeply dissatisfied by the lack of food. I was becoming faint and truth be told I was very much surprised that I had lasted this long. I scampered downstream, my faded-white paws making small tinkling splashes. The water was doing wonders to ease the throbbing jet-black pads on my soles. I glanced constantly from side to side searching intently for footprints and other signs of wildlife. The barking and sharp cries of the hunting horns had fallen into the background; the moving water helped to mask the direction of my passage. I thanked Mother Nature graciously for presenting me with this blessed opportunity to rest for a little while and hunt for food.

I soon came upon a fresh trail; two sets of long, narrow, four-toed footprints sunk deeply into the muddy banks of the stream. The depth and length of the prints could only mean one thing: Hares! I followed them slowly and carefully so as not to alert them to my presence. The wind was blowing in my face, carrying their stomach-wrenching scent up my nostrils, and hiding my scent from their small, constantly twitching noses. I caught sight of them as the loped lazily towards their burrow. They stopped frequently, their long whiskers trembling as they scrutinised their surroundings, searching for any threat. I stalked forward quietly, staying cautiously low, using the lay of the land as concealment; a small rise of earth hiding me from their watchful eyes. Just as they started to continue, as the powerful hind paws left the leaf-covered ground, I pounced, snapping its neck between my powerful jaws, watching sadly as the tiny black eyes misted over and the long pointed ears fell limp against its slack body. I felt strong empathy for its companion as I watched its spherical, fluffy brown tail disappear down the burrow, knowing that I had possibly just done what had been done to me two days before. But there was a difference; my survival required the sacrifice while my kind and I were hunted for sport.

I ate the hare slowly, stripping the flesh carefully from the bones, savouring the taste as the still warm meat and blood washed over my tongue and swallowed, my stomach gurgling with pleasure after the much-needed meal. I felt warm, content for the first time in days, the hunt fading to a distant memory, the now almost inaudible horns fading to insignificance as I fell into a deep, much needed slumber.

When I woke night had fallen. A thick, all-encompassing mist clung to the trees and shrubs. The wood, had fallen silent, an eerie, tomb-like silence that sent a shiver up my spine. I looked carefully around me, the silence making me cautious not to make a sound. All seemed clear, but the fog made vision beyond a few metres impossible. I warily got to my feet, every sound that I made echoing ominously. Something wasn’t right… I took a single step forward and froze, every single hair standing on end as a booming, hate-filled growl reverberated around me, the silence slowly ebbing away as it became more and more pronounced. It came from all sides, surrounding me and a whimper escaped my lips. I tried desperately to control my horror, as four enormous hounds, appeared through the haze, their bodies becoming more and more defined with each passing second; their muscles tensed, their jaws tightly clenched as they bared their long fang-like teeth. They closed the distance, escape now impossible. I shook myself and stood proudly, waiting for the end to come. I imagined her beautiful, glossy crimson coat, and her elegantly pointed snout as I felt the jagged teeth scrape against my exposed throat…

Bear
04-17-2009, 12:32 AM
Ah, I loved this, always nice to read a good short once and a while. The thing which causes me to step back in perplexity, however, is the fact that you didn't get much feedback about this. I mean, there might have been a couple of typos here and there, but they're hardly noticable.


***

I love the constant description around every sentence, almost smacking my lips at the juicy variation of complex wording. Throughout the entirety of this short, I did find myself rather pleased at seeing this, at one time beginning to hear my stomach gurgling.
This is the kind of thing that I'm usually looking for when it comes to a very short story; as there doesn't tend to be an extensive plot, I usually search around for some decent description and it was easy to do so here.

Another thing which makes me smile, as it should anyone, is the fact that you describe yourself being implicit, rather than ever saying you were a fox. This is always something nice in a story and can also be a way of cramming even more description in.


***

I only really have one piece of advice to give you on this, and it could easily be fixed. Sometimes, I found myself lost at certain points, due to a topic change which at times was rather drastic but at other times was just repeating the word 'My' to cause this issue. Perhaps, to fix this, you could either seperate them into different paragraphs or maybe even add just one word in, to link sentences together.

Also, I noticed the opposite of this in your story. I think some paragraphs were misplaced, causing me to want to link the two blocks of writing together.


***

Overall, I must say I enjoyed reading this, and look forward to perhaps reading some more of your writing in the future.

Burrich
04-17-2009, 01:10 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah the story isn't perfect, I worked hard on the descriptions but the pace is a bit messed up and some of the fox's decisions make no logical sense.

Spoilers:Like falling asleep in a random clearing, probably could have changed that but I kind of like the ending at the same time. Still probably should have had him find some sort of shelter.

And the pace changes drastically between him getting through the hedge and then slowly making his way down the stream even having time to hunt :O... I mean it's only a hedge, wouldn't stop 'em for long.

Still as a descriptive piece I think it's good enough even though it has its problems.

Bear
04-17-2009, 01:15 AM
The good qualities overpower the bad ones by far, I think you've conjured up some pretty good work.

Kog
04-17-2009, 01:21 AM
That was a great story, and reminded me of my style of writing and one of my stories; were the character is being chased, and an unhappy ending.

After reading the works of the great H.P. Lovecraft, father of horror in writing, I started writing once more, with much more detail, and much better than my previous work. Lovecrafts genre gave me the idea of a horror with a strange story that slowly unfolds into something much bigger.

Can't wait for more of your works!

Burrich
04-17-2009, 01:40 AM
That was a great story, and reminded me of my style of writing and one of my stories; were the character is being chased, and an unhappy ending.

After reading the works of the great H.P. Lovecraft, father of horror in writing, I started writing once more, with much more detail, and much better than my previous work. Lovecrafts genre gave me the idea of a horror with a strange story that slowly unfolds into something much bigger.

Can't wait for more of your works!

Hey I've been wanting to get into Lovecraft's stuff for a while. Would you recommend getting the Necronomicon? Or there are three omnibuses I could get instead...

Kog
04-17-2009, 01:45 AM
Well I have the 'Blood Curdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre' It has his greatest stories in it.

Burrich
04-18-2009, 04:02 PM
Cool thanks. I'll have a look :).