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The rain started a little while ago. At first, I was glad for what little cover it offered but that quickly turned to dismay. It’s harder to gain traction on the leaf strewn ground, and our pursuer is still close behind. Why doesn’t he just give up?
Looking over my right shoulder, I’m somewhat reassured that my young son is keeping up. I agreed to this outing against my better judgment, but he was so excited by the green sprouts of spring. It was impossible for me to say no. It used to be safe to go where we wanted when I was his age, but things have changed.
His father should be the one to take him on this trail, but he’s been gone for almost a year now. After his death, I swore that I wouldn’t let the same thing happen to our child. How could I have been so foolish? We had unknowingly wandered into the ‘dead zone’. An area occupied by killers who don’t hesitate to slaughter anyone they come across.
A shot rings out through the woods, passing near my head. Screaming, I nearly fall as splinters erupt from a tree just ahead of me. Spurred on by fear, I push at my son and we slide around the next bend in the trail. I see the flash of orange stepping out in front of us, but it’s too late. I do the only thing possible, throwing myself towards the rifle being leveled at him.
Of course there are two of them , I think as the shot rips into me, surprised at how little pain there is. We should have gotten off the trail a long time ago, but instead I followed my instinct. Out here though, that gets you killed. Shoving now in the other direction, my momentum carries me and my child over a fallen tree and down a steep embankment. I barely register the second bullet lodging in my back, just below the one in my neck.
Tumbling, I can hear him cry out to me and my heart breaks knowing that I won’t be here anymore to care for him. He should be okay though, it’s early spring and he is strong. He will mourn me and perhaps blame himself, but in another year he will be a father himself. I wonder, will he tell his children his favorite story about the mighty fighter with thick velvet that reigns over all the woods?
Cold, muddy water splashing into my face draws me back to reality. I can hear our hunters above us; searching. “Go now!” I whisper, seeing that my son refuses to leave my side. I try to stand, and find that I cannot gather my legs under me. Crimson stains the water around us, spreading rapidly in the moving water. Nostrils flaring, he looks at me, the whites of his eyes bright in the gathering darkness.
“I found the trail! That bucks got to be here somewhere!” The voices are close, loud and ugly like the thunder in the distance.
“I’m sorry mother,” he sobs, backing away. I try to answer him, but am unable to speak. Turning, he runs up the culvert, his white tail finally fading into the night. As the large dark boots of my attacker’s splash around me, I am at peace knowing that he will live.
Open Story - Main character pov is NOT human (could be a paranormal creature, an alien, an animal, a plant, a computer, whatever - just not human)