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The Night Hunters(A Short Story)

I live in a town of hunters.


If we don’t hunt them, we’ll be their food, so they need to be our food first.


If you’re the youngest in my family, you’d pick up on a lot of stories. My older siblings, Will, Milo and Mona, had always told me scary stories, the worst of them about the Night Hunters.


As we sat in our small tent, made only out of leaves and branches, they continued scaring me with the stories of the hunters.


“They come out at night, and eat the children.” Mona said. “They’re what we’re hunting…well…what the boys hunt.”


“Ignore her, she doesn’t understand, Manny, she wants to hunt them!” Milo assured me. “They do eat you though…


“Don’t go telling him such things.”Will interrupted.


Will was in charge of me and Mona while Papa was away hunting and Ma was with Aunt Lupe.


“You just want to be out with Papa, Willy.” Mona said. “You know that’s the truth about the Night Hunters.”


“Mona, go back to…what were you doing?” Will asked her, staring at the rope she’d been messing with.


“Nothing…it’s just something that will give proof that I can help.” Mona replied.


“Right…Don’t listen to them, Manny, they’re making it up, they don’t know what they’re saying.” Will said.


“Yes we do! They come at night, when there aren’t any adults around, and eat the kids.” Milo continued. “It starts out calm, twigs snapping, rustling leaves, then the big stuff starts happening!”


“What big stuff?” I asked.


Will had never let them get this far without pulling them out of the tent by the ear and making them sleep outside until Ma came back.


“Well…see…it only happens during a certain season, hunting season.” Mona started. “See, it won’t usually get really bad, but…well…it’ll start out subtly, a couple of curious kids who wandered out into the woods together will go missing, something that’s kind of common, then, a couple more, then…”


Mona hit the dirt ground making a cloud of dust come up.


“Mona, don’t exaggerate!” Milo said. Then added in a joking manner, “It doesn’t take that long! It all happens at once!”


Milo and Mona started rolling on the floor in laughter at my face.


“That’s enough.” Will said quietly. “I’ll tell Papa if you two don’t stop.”


Mona glared, and then stomped out of the tent with her rope in her mouth.


“What’s she doing?” Will asked Milo.


“No clue.”


“Stay with Manny.” Will commanded, leaving the tent to follow Mona.


“Why? Can’t he watch himself?” Milo complained, but Will was already gone. “Great, I’ve gotta watch you while they have fun.”


“Can’t we go after them?”


“AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”


“What was that?” I asked.


“It sounded like…Just stay here, Manny.” Milo said, starting for the door.


“No! I wanna come too, Mi—”


“STAY HERE!”


Milo had never talked to me like that, and it scared me a bit.


I stayed in the tent for awhile, waiting for Papa or Ma or Will or Mona or Milo to return home, but I didn’t hear anyone or smell anything, so I decided to go search for their tracks.


I stepped out of the tent and into the moonlight, I looked into the sky, it had to be after midnight.


I ran out into the woods, searching for a sign of my family, nothing but some sort of weird-shaped prints in the mud.


Then I heard a twig snap, then I heard Milo scream something, then I heard a weird noise, like a bang.


“MILO?” I cried. “Mama? Papa? Willy? Mona?”


I looked around. Which way did I come from? How do I get back home?


I started running in a random direction. Then I saw it. The Night Hunter. Just as Mona had described it.


Its skin was pale and fur-less, its snout was short and small, its ears were short and round, and its paws were big with five long claw-less stubs sticking out.


It spoke something in a different language, the language of the Night Hunters. Then another one came out, holding a long stick.


The first one said something else, and the other one put the stick thing away.


A third one came out from behind me and poked me with a needle-thing, and everything went black.





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