Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Story by Number

by Allison Symes

bull's blood wine

 

Seven
She knew she’d never survive the hunt.

Twenty-Four
She was right but her cubs would survive. When they were grown, they would be the hunters. Heaven help those who killed her tonight.

Fifty-Two
Fifty-two hunters destroyed the she-wolf. She was proud it took so many. She rued she wouldn’t see her cubs destroy them. Her species were specific about numbers to take. They were never wrong on that or on what brutality to use on prey. All got what they deserved. No more, no less.

Three Hundred and Sixty Six
Her cubs took all fifty-two hunters in 366 days. One hunter killed every seven days. It was only two days of extreme snow conditions that led to the cubs not completing their mission in 364. What the cubs liked, as their mother had, was generating fear in the area around a kill. When would the creatures strike next? Who would be their next victim? That was for the cubs to know and the human rats to fear. There was never any doubt there would be next victims. Any hunter would be considered fair game. It evened things up, did it not?

Each hunter was carefully tracked. Some of the cubs let the hunters know they were on the wrong side of the hunting equation now. Those cubs liked to induce fear before the kill. They let the hunters see them. They let the hunters see them again and again. Naturally the cubs ensured nobody else saw them. They wanted their kills to be in no doubt they would be the kills. The cubs saw it as poetic justice. The others just got on with the kill and saw no point in toying with their prey.

The cubs marked each hunter with claw marks on the back of their riding hats. It was all that was left behind. The cubs left their horses alone, pitying any animal that had to work for mankind to survive as they considered that no life at all. In any event, the horses fled in terror, throwing their riders, when the cubs turned up. It was funny how nobody had to explain to any animal the cubs were not your normal canine species. Never could be. Never would be. And they had fangs which would give your average vampire pause for thought.

The ironic thing was that had the human rats not been so selfish and allowed the creatures the odd chicken, goat, sheep etc., the cubs (and their mother) would have left the humans alone. But these canines would never ever allow anyone to get away with hunting them. It wasn’t done on the world they came from. It wouldn’t be done here either. The sooner humans realised this the better.


About the author

Allison Symes is published by Chapeltown Books, Cafélit, and Bridge House Publishing amongst others.  She is a member of the Society of Authors and Association of Christian Writers.  She adores reading and writing quirky fiction. Her website is https:\\allisonsymescollectedworks.com and she blogs weekly for online magazine, Chandler’s Ford Today, often on writing related topics - http://chandlersfordtoday.co.uk/author/allison-symes/
This story is based on a prompt designed by Dawn Knox. See more in our book of prompts: 
 

Click on image to find on Amazon. 

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