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Vargr - a short story for dark winter nights
We hunt. We have always hunted.
When others of our kind still openly travelled the woodland and rolling hill, the lush meadow and jagged mountain, we hunted.
We took prey from among the dumb animals and kept their numbers from becoming a burden to the world. We stalked the aurochs, boar, deer, even the lowly hare. Blood filled our mouths, their warm flesh sated our hunger.
Then mankind arose and our kind began to skulk in the wilder places, pushed away from the plentiful grounds we once stalked.
At first, we hunted these men, taking them for little more than insensate creatures that had learned the trick of walking upright. Their frail huts and pitiful villages offered no protection.
As man distanced himself from the Earth he built stronger walls, sat at his communal fires and whispered, made us into stories, into nightmares, called us beast and monster.
So, we too began to hide, against our nature, against the rhythms of our hearts and the pulse of the world that turned about us. We feared the weapons man forged, fought our own natural instincts.
We took fewer of the dumb men, watched from the shadows as they lay claim to those animals who once roamed free; penned them, caged them, turned them from living animals to dead meat. Those he could not tame he slaughtered to extinction; the eagle, the wolf, the bear.
Machines and disbelief pushed us deeper into the dark. With stone then bronze, iron then steel, man subjugated the wilds. We watched. We waited. We became myth.
But there is no safety where there is no understanding.
Now we hunt man again, recognizing him as the stupid creature he truly is; blind to the Earth’s rhythms, ignorant of the ebb and flow of the world around him, oblivious to true danger.
We despise the concrete, steel and glass, but we take our prey where it resides and these are the materials that shroud materialistic man. Once more our claws scar their hearth; our fangs scar their throats. We are feral, they are made of warm blood and soft flesh.
Dark alley or empty street, clustered houses and narrow paths, high-rise blocks full of unlit stairs and long, concrete walkways. These are our new wilds. We have learned their scents, discovered their shadows, trod in the footprints of humanity.
And we hunt.
We have always hunted…
© John Henson Webb 2017
Ironspider - For those who may be interested, until he finds a permanent new home, John Henson Webb (Ironspider) is now publishing his new (and revised old) stories on WattPad.
Ironspider - Not describing the hunters was intentional. What do you think they look like? John Henson Webb
Well written. Frightening! I suggest a hint of the hunters indicated. It would help us 'dumb humans' understand them. David of Dogpatch
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