The Prey

The Prey

The injured prey crept quietly away and hid in the tall grass, waiting to see what his attacker’s next move would be.  Unable to move very quickly, its main hope for survival was waiting, and hopefully avoiding detection.  The moon’s light was fading behind the clouds, and a gentle rain began to fall.  That was good, the darkness and the sound of the rain would help the prey stay concealed.

How did he get in this predicament?  He was always so careful; it was unlike him to be caught unawares. He reflected on what happened and realized his mistake; all of his attention was focused on a school of fish in the shallow river.  He was about to grab one when he suddenly felt a hot jab in his back and a loud noise. He knew immediately that he’d been shot; he had seen it happen to others. Looking around to find his best escape route, he saw the man in the distance, dressed in bright colors and carrying a large gun, running towards him.

He began crawling through the tall grass and decided to climb a nearby tree for a better vantage point to watch the progress of the hunter.  He was surprised by how much blood he was leaving in the grass, and tried to cover some of it up.  Scratching at the ground, he was able to bury most of the blood and thought he should be safe. Carefully making his way to the largest tree and climbing to an upper branch, he looked around.  The hunter was about twenty feet away, headed right towards him. He knew that he should run, but didn’t have the strength, so instead he climbed higher and waited.

The hunter knew that he had injured the prey; he had seen it fall to the ground, but he wasn’t sure where it was, or how bad it was wounded.  Looking on the ground in front of him he saw blood that his prey had tried to cover up. What a cunning creature!  For a moment he felt guilty for trying to kill it, but the excitement of the pursuit was addicting and he was unable to stop.

Looking at the clump of trees nearby, the hunter reasoned that it had probably gone to hide in one of them.  Creeping towards the trees, while scanning the ground around him, he noticed a small trail of blood leading to the largest tree nearby.

Knowing that the hunter had spotted his trail of blood, the creature slowly climbed down the tree on the far side, unseen, and waited on the ground.  He thought about running again but knew it was too late, he had to wait and hide.  Maybe the hunter would think that he was still in the trees and wouldn’t see him on the ground.

Getting closer to the tree, the hunter could see a trail of blood going up the trunk; it was in the upper branches, he was sure of it! Kneeling to catch his breath, and to steady his nerves, he scanned the upper branches and could see blood dripping from the lowest one.  Thinking that it had probably gone higher to avoid detection, he walked closer to get a better line of sight.

The hunter was coming closer, and wasn’t looking on the ground anymore.  Sensing his opportunity, the prey crouched onto his hind legs, gathered all of his strength and waited. 

Seeing another trail of blood in the tree, the hunter was beginning to think that his prey had climbed down on the other side, so he began to walk around the large trunk.  Something flashed in his vision; the moon came out from behind a cloud and reflected off the long, razor sharp teeth as the creature attacked his prey.



About the author


I write short stories, love to travel, install auto glass, and collect Beatles memorabilia.

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in short stories

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