Starved Wild

A hunting trip with a twist and odd sense

Those eyes were magnificent. The colours seeped together in unison. Silver and black. They were piecing. They seemed to stare right into the soul. Like marble they froze in place and never failed to mesmerise. I could not move. I could not take my eyes from it. If I did, it would surely destroy me. All we could do was be silent and be still. How often did two creatures come to be in the same place at once? How often did anybody see such a beauty? A once thought empty forest contained a jewel. A deadly and vicious creation of the gods in order to spite humanity. Nothing as sly nor as feared. It bared its fangs, those black lips curled back. They shimmered in the moonlight. The light reflected from them down into the water. So far away, yet so close at the same time.

We had entered that forest with only one thing in mind. To kill. We wanted the blood on our hands to resemble our victory. Or at least they did. The men were as cruel in mind as in heart. There was nothing worse than humanity at its best.

They trudged through the mud, the fallen leaves beneath their feet cracked and rustled. Nothing like broken silence as they moved noisily ahead. I dropped behind, bored by their cruel jokes of bringing furs back to wear as coats and line their floors with. I wasn’t there to hunt. I was there to observe. If possible, I was there to distract them from their hunt. Back home, in the camp, they didn’t like girls going out into the forest. However, I had grown up with those men who were heading through the trees. They were my brothers. They were my bodyguards. I was unstoppable and they all knew it, so I had started out on the two day hunt with them. My parents had tried their best as I grew up to tame my wild heart. I was simply a force of nature though. The day I first stepped into the forest, they worried and disapproved. It was unlike our clan to be so afraid for a child. None of them particularly cared for daughters, I was an anomaly. 

“Hurry up!” Came the call of my first brother. Falling behind, I had been distracted by ravens in the trees. I had seen these things many times, but none of them seemed as real to me as they are now. The smell of the air and of the autumn leaves. It had rained the night before and everything was fresh again. Ahead, I saw the small group stop impatiently. I could only smile as I rushed towards them.

“Don’t be so loud.” One hissed.

“Don’t walk so fast then. You’re scaring off the prey anyhow what with you loud laughter.” I growled back. They continued when I had caught up to them, falling into silence. We had been swallowed by the forest early that morning and now the trees were thick, growing tall as they fought for the sunlight in the summer that had now passed. Their leaves were brown and mostly on the forest floor. The sky was visible, though only just. The branches were so large that they covered the grey sky from view most of the time we walked.

The night drew in rather quickly. The first day of hunting had gone well, though not in my brothers opinions. Only rabbits and squirrels now hung on the fire. The men were grumbling unhappily around my fire. I had lit it, gathered wood for it and fed it while they were off gathering food and seeing what other tracks they could find. At this time of year, it was growing cold and I shivered beside the flames.  The forest was dry of many animals. Besides the time of year when most animals had begun their winter sleep. We had hunted it for many generations. Our family was large and our camp even larger. Every day there were more of our clan disappearing into these trees. Some of them never returned. It was meant to make life experience. It meant nothing to me. I was a girl. Unlike my brothers, I was meant to be at home learning to weave. I already knew how to do that. I wasn’t much good at it.

I sighed in boredom, watching as my brothers poked at the meat that hung over my fire. Resting my head in my palms, I watched the flames dance and the embers disappear into the air. We had claimed a clearing where the weather had swept away most of the leaves. There was no bush for anything to hide in. No tree we couldn’t see. No way anything could ambush us. Not that there was anything too dangerous in this forest. However, it could get very boring. My brothers were frustratingly boring.

My luck had arrived when I rose in the middle of the night. My bed had been the forest floor with the exception of a blanket woven by my mother between myself and the dirt. My pillow was the bag I carried on my bag. It carried very little since I had my brothers there to do the heavy lifting. They welcomed the challenge I suppose. As I got up slowly, looking across at each of those men, I was relieved to find them still asleep. The moon was full and lit up the forest floor. It was a pleasing sight. I crept away from my brothers and our little camp. I was told stories as a child about fairies and other magical creatures that claimed the forest in a full moon. I ran my fingers over the bark on the trees I passed, memorising my way as I wandered from the little clearing they slept in. Adventure called. If not, something else was calling. I moved as quietly as I could and was surprised as I stumbled across my find. As I stepped closer, I looked out upon it. In the middle of this forest that had been explored many times by many people, I had happened across a small lake. A lake that had not once been mentioned before. Looking out at it, I was happy and calm. It was serene. The water was still. It was beautiful and as I kneeled beside the water, I looked into it and saw my own reflection. Everything was calm and as I looked up ahead of my self, I was stunned to the point that my limbs refused to move.

Those eyes were magnificent. The colours seeped together in unison. Silver and black. They were piecing. They seemed to stare right into the soul. Like marble they froze in place and never failed to mesmerise. I could not move. I could not take my eyes from it. If I did, it would surely destroy me. All we could do was be silent and be still. How often did two creatures come to be in the same place at once? How often did anybody see such a beauty? A once thought empty forest contained a jewel. A deadly and vicious creation of the gods in order to spite humanity. Nothing as sly nor as feared. It bared its fangs, those black lips curled back. They shimmered in the moonlight. The light reflected from them down into the water. So far away, yet so close at the same time. Its body was thin and it looked starved. The only thing that humanity had not stolen from the creatures forest was this lake and now I had stumbled upon it, it was now contaminated.

When my body would finally move, my gaze fell from the graceful creature and when I looked back up, it was gone as if by magic. The wind suddenly billowed through the trees, blowing the last of the autumn leaves onto the ground. They spilled onto the surface of the lake. Covering the reflection of the moon.

“Luca!” The shout of my name came and I looked up from the ground I now studied. The moon had given way to the weary sun. I had walked around the bank of the lake in order to find the foot prints of the creature. My searching had proved no use though. No trace of the creature could be found and as my name was called I sprinted back before they could begin their search. I came across them as they had put out my fire and they each looked at me curiously.

“Where have you been?”

“Not far. I was just seeing what I could find.” I replied quietly, kneeling beside my blanket and rolling it up. They continued to watch me and I could feel their eyes burning into my skin. I smiled and looked up at them. None of them asked further questions. They were eager to get moving.

“Have any of you ever been told a story about the forest lake and a silver eyed creature?” I asked curiously. They all turned to look at me, as if instantly worried. They denied all knowledge, but I couldn’t forget. Those eyes were magnificent. The way those colours seeped together in unison. Silver and black. They were piecing. They seemed to stare right into the soul.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed