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The Hunter (March Speculative Fiction Prompt)

March 12, 2019

I’m happy I bloggled (another word for “stumbled”) onto D. Wallace Peach’s blog, Myths of the Mirror, because I found she has a cool monthly writing prompt. The photo prompt below is the March Speculative Fiction Prompt and you can read or play along simply by clicking the link.

Here’s the photo and my story is below.


pixabay image by Natan Vance


The Hunter

Pris Hulden was a Cleaner.

At 12-years-old he was too young to be trusted as a Watcher and much too young to given the responsibility of a flash pistol and the duties of a Hunter, so his role in the family, for at least the next three years, was as a Cleaner. When Pris turned 15 – assuming he lived to age 15 – and was able to prove himself to the Heads, Pris’ role would change and with luck he’d become a Hunter.

Taking his place in the family and becoming a Hunter, strutting in parade past the Growns. Marching with pride past the Watchers, and even the Heads, hearing the young Cleaners who wanted to grow up to be him chatter when he walked past; holding back his smile as he cast sidelong glances at the girls who would paint themselves yellow and red to catch his attention, that was his dream. And it was that dream that filled Pris’ adolescent head. If he was luckless at 15 and couldn’t pass the Proving he would be banished from the Family. Pris never let himself think about that.

Strong-willed and persistent Pris had a difficult time taking no for an answer and those three years in his mind might as well have been 30 which was much too long for a headstrong boy to wait. To pass the time and prepare himself, whatever free time Pris had would be spent practicing the fighting skills of the Growns, and in particular, the Hunters because they got to use flash pistols.

Pris’ brother Eerin was a Hunter and as such he was allowed a flash pistol. Pris knew where Eerin kept his weapon and on the 23rd of Sanrom, when Aurora was low in the sky and blocking the light of Kimbder – and Eerin was deep in the bed of Ferline – Pris took his brother’s flash pistol and went out into the dark.

He walked slow and kept to the shadows of the buildings in the Dead Area. Anxiety and common sense teamed to rob him of the thrill of being an imaginary Hunter and they kept him from walking too far from his home; he was young, but not a fool. Soon he was standing in the shadow of the deepest recess he could find among the dead buildings. He was chilled despite the Sanrom heat and as he was trying to slow his breathing and calm his racing heart he saw her walking down the street.

She’s young, he thought. Younger even than me! I wonder what she’s doing outside? He moved an inch to his left to try and get a better look at her and see if her body was painted and the girl heard the shuffle of his foot and froze.

“Hello?” she said. “Who’s there?” She waited, heard nothing and took a few shaky steps forward. Stopping again: “Hello?”

Pris heard the quiver in her voice. She’s scared. More scared than me, he thought. No, I’m not scared, I’m a Hunter, he reminded himself. Then, Maybe I could help her? Or . . . but before he could finish the thought something, some instinct from deep inside him, something that had been gestating for generations rose to the surface and he felt his heartbeat slow and his body warm. He felt his body grow skyward and his shoulders broaden with confidence. He felt his hand close tightly around the grip of Eerin’s flash pistol and he felt his finger coil around the trigger. He felt his feet move him forward out of the shadows until he stood directly in front of the girl.

“Who are you?” she said. “I didn’t expect the eclipse and I think I’m lost. Will you–”

Pris raised the flash pistol and without hesitation shot the girl in the chest. He watched without feeling as she crumpled to the ground. He walked to the girl, pushing the barrel of the flash pistol into the waistband of his pants. He bent down and picked the girl up and hoisted her over his shoulder and turned toward home. With no worries or thoughts of staying in the shadows he began walking down the middle of the street.

“Tonight,” he said with a new depth in his voice. “The Family eats.”


9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2019 1:17 pm

    Whoa, Michael. What a great story. I’m glad you bloggled upon the prompt. Great writing and what an intense ending. Not what I expected and therefore loved it. I’m reblogging stories in order, so give me a week or so. 🙂 Thanks so much for the story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. March 13, 2019 5:20 am

    Ooo boy! What an ending! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. March 15, 2019 1:42 am

    Oooo that was excellent. You’re not going to believe this, but my entry ended with cannibalism too!! We think way too much alike!!


  4. March 23, 2019 12:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Myths of the Mirror and commented:
    Michael has an unexpected and intense ending here. I hope you enjoy his take on the prompt!


  5. March 23, 2019 2:40 pm



  6. March 23, 2019 2:49 pm

    I didn’t expect that ending. I did wonder what the role of hunter entailed…:) Great writing!


  7. thebookofjess7504 permalink
    March 23, 2019 11:32 pm

    Great writing!



  1. March Speculative Fiction Round-Up | Myths of the Mirror

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