The HunterMature

He stares through the woods. Empty it seems, yet he knows different. He dives into the undergrowth, wary of attack. His suit hangs off him comfortably. He's done this before. He pulls his gun off his back. Assault rifle this time, with a pistol just in case. Travelling light. He pokes the nose through the bushes and waits. He hears the footfalls approaching as he lies on the ground, mask up to look through the sights. The sound of the feet grows closer, and he identifies the crunch. Human feet, two of them. One guy. Easy. This one doesn't even know he's there. He stares down the sights and squeezes the trigger. The supressor catches most of the noise, but the man manages to get out a shrill cry. No birds fly out of the trees. The hunter emerges from the bushes, gun ready to fire if the guy gets up. The muffled cough of the shot pierces the still air again. Just checking. He drags the body back into the bushes, tossing a stick of salami down the road to distract animals, or any harriers that happen to follow down the road.

He checks the quality and size of the man's suit. Too small. Shitty grade radiation shielding anyway. No guns on the guy... Could have saved a few bullets. The Hunter rips open the suit, checking for inside pockets. Packaged bread, three tins of beans. Fucking beans. Everyone has them, and too often The Hunter has sat for hours trying to take a dump after eating tin after tin, night after night. He knows it could be the end of him, but he's sick of the beans. He leaves them there. But ah, what's this? The Hunter finds something different this time. Smokes. He sits back, staring at the cardboard package. Three left. And a lighter! The Hunter hasn't been happier in a while, it takes all the will he has to pocket them and not light up straight away. He searches the rest of the body, hunger in his eyes, but finds nothing. Time to move on.

The hunter stalks the road, staying in the bushes, hiding behind the larger trees, never stepping foot on the dirt path. He is forced to climb a tree only once, when he sees the big cat from a distance. Luckily, it didn't see him; he isn't sure whether he could handle a big cat with the limited equipment he's carrying; the bullets tend to do jack. It was new though. Orange stripes on black fur. That's a new marking. The Hunter grins at the feeling. New prey.

Back to the cave. Everything is still there - good. Explosives still intact. Noone has found his little alcove yet, but they will come. He lights the barbecue with his new-found lighter and sits back, mask by his feet, gun across his lap. He puts a cigarette to his mouth and this polluted world is lost in a cloud of smoke. The Hunter sleeps well that night... He knows he may need it for the day ahead.

The familiar rush... Sprinting through the jungle, blood soaring through his veins. He's back this time, with the right equipment. Good. The cat is chasing him, it's got his scent. That's not so good. He burts out of the section of forest onto a road. Left or right, left or... Left. Running again, the cat launches itsself out of the bushes in front of him. Perfect. He drops to one knee as the cat changes direction and sends the harpoon through the eye. A good hit, straight to the brain. Yet it's not over. The Hunter kneels, stunned, as the cat lets out a roar like he's never heard before. It carries to the edge of the forest, and The Hunter can almost feel the footsteps of every Harrier in miles begin to come this way. This is not good. Not at all. No time to think. The Hunter begins to run, yet it's too late. Harriers were close. Too close, He'd lost track of his location in the pursuit. "Must be getting old" he thinks, and laughs to himself, bullets shredding the air around him as he melts into the bushes. If the suit he's wearing is good for anything, this is the point at which it'll come in useful. He dashes through the bushes, the deep greens and blacks that swirl in his suit making him unseen. He takes his gun from his back. Lightened by the dropping of his harpoon gun, he leaps into a clearing, firing as he lands on top of a Harrier. The four that were there felled even before they knew he was there, their guns not once fired. Good. Maybe he's not getting old. He searches the bodies, quickly. Gun oil and ammo on one, and a scope on the gun of another, but attached to the weapon. Soon fix that. The Hunter grabs the gun and disappears into the forest again.

Nighthas fallen, and The Hunter is alive, unharmed, and smoking the last cigarette in the packet. He's sorry to see it go. He examines his holdout. This is the last day he can stay here. Someone raided in the daytime, a small group it seems. Nothing is gone, but the charges have been detonated. The raiders left, missing a member who is now missing half of her body. Presumably they'll be back, this time with explosives experts. Experts. That's one word for them. But still, any cannon fodder that will blow his shit up is not so good. He'll move everything tomorrow morning. Travel heavy. Again. Not the best way to travel for a hunter, but necessary if he wants to stay ready. Guns he can manage carrying, but the barbecue will have to stay. A wry smile appears on The Hunter's face. The barbecue will stay, aye, but he'll put the carton of smokes in it, and behind the smokes, lots of lovely explosives. He lays back as he imagines the bastards that raided discovering the cigarettes, and then discovering lots of firey death. Lots and lots. The Hunter finishes his cigarette. He throws it into the barbecue and shuts the lid. His eyes close, and he falls, dead to the world, waiting for the old watch on his wrist to wrench him out of his dream world. And when it does, the world is rather different. He awakens at the mouth of the cave. His cave is still there, along with his guns, his explosives, his barbecue and packet of smokes. However, he can see the sea. The sea. The fucking sea. His cave, the sea, and a man with a beard sitting opposite him. A man with a beard, who is smiling.

The End

7 comments about this story Feed