Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Hunted This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
They’re gaining on me. I can hear the excited cries of the men and the mirroring yelp of the hounds. I know I am leaving an easy path in the hot grass, but I am too tired to do anything but run—blindly and filled with panic through the sap smelling forest. The wound where one of them threw a spear into my side is tight with blood and it makes each step a terrible torture. Yet this is nothing compared to what they will do if they catch me.

I am no longer able to hear the sounds of the chase. The rhythm of my heart pounding and my lungs gasping for air has become the only sound I can discern. I reach a clearing in the forest, and my mind, addled with the heat and the panic, cannot decide for me whether I should turn left or right. The pause is enough for my body to betray me. I feel my knees buckle and I fall into the dusty embrace of the ground. “It will only take a moment to rest” I tell myself, trying to slow the desperate pants pushing their way up my throat. But a moment is all they need. I hear the victorious whine of a dog and the shout of men.

“There’s the beast!”

I scramble in the dirt, but my feet do not find purchase.

An arrow stings my side and I scream. The pain helps me find the last strength inside of me.

With a strangled roar, I throw myself on one of the nearest of the dogs. We roll in the dirt for a moment and then I come up victorious, my mouth filled with fur and blood. I turn to take on another hound, but I have forgotten the humans. Even as I bare my teeth I see a great sword shine in the sun, and then it slams against my head and I am gone.
---
I wake up in a cage of iron. Before I even open my eyes, the smell of greyness and rust pervade my senses. My mouth is still tangy with blood, but it has gone sour and tastes like an extension of the cage. I try to move my hands, but they are tightly bound behind my back. The ends of my fingers hurt, and it takes me a moment of fumbling about with the chains to realize they have sheared my claws. I lick my lips and that is when I realize my teeth are gone. They have taken my honor, my armor, and my salvation. I throw back my head and scream. Scream for what has been taken from me and scream from the pain of my wounds. I scream because they didn’t kill me. I scream because—
A light flashes in the darkness. There is the clatter of metal and the sound of foot steps. The light approaches me- a flickering fire that dances the dance of the subdued. They have enslaved fire, bound it to their will, just as they will enslave me. I scream again, but my voice disappears into the blackness. And out of the darkness comes laughter.

“So this is the beast. Hello there. “ It is a man’s voice, cloying as summer honey but not as sweet.
I growl.

He laughs.

I roar.

He laughs harder.

“So this is the mighty creature I’ve pursued for so long.”

My growl simmers at the back of my throat. His voice is all too familiar. I remember snatches of it from hunts before. He would always taunt me even as I disappeared into the forest.

“Last time we met in very different circumstances” he smirks.

I see myself through his eyes. A creature, covered in hair matted with blood. I am not the beautiful young girl the prince once found hunting, naked and confused by her first sight of man. I am not the wood nymph he thought I was. He should never have followed me. Because when he learned who I truly am, I became nothing more than a prize to be won. A creature to be examined, explained, and flaunted. I am not the beauty. I am a beast.



Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Shade3043This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 12, 2013 at 3:12 am
Pretty well written. Loved it! 
 
ROYCEPHUSThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm
Thanks :D  :D
 
NataleeIreneThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm
Whoa... LOVED IT!
 
Site Feedback