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The Hunter

Image by Sammy Williams

The indigo sky swirls with thunderous clouds. Dark petals fall like crows feathers from her hair, drifting slowly to the ground. The smell of damp concrete mingles with gun smoke and hot metal. She hurls the weapon into the skip. It clatters against aluminium and tumbles through the trash to the bottom as innocently as a child’s toy.

  She stands silently, watching, listening. Her hair flutters in the breeze like a long russet scarf. The red dress she wears clings to her skin and flaps around her legs, heavy with rain. Her skin prickles and a shiver scuttles up her spine.

The hum of traffic and trains grinding on rails closes in on her. Rain slashes at her like tiny knives as though someone has cut open the clouds. She blinks up and lets it crash into her eyes and stab at her face.

  The body at her feet groans sending a shot of electricity pulsing through her heart and into her throat. Holding her breath, she sinks to her knees and leans over him. She dare not touch him, not even with gloves. She tries to hear his heartbeat but there cannot be one.

Somewhere in the distance, the sound of a siren begins. She cannot be sure if it is for her. She hesitates, only for a split second but it is enough. An icy hand grabs her wrist. She tries to stand, tries to run. The grip is too strong. Her body is pulled down as he rises up. He envelopes her; pressing his chest into her back. She can feel every inch of him as he slides his hand beneath her hair and brushes it away from her throat. The familiarity is overwhelming. She wants him. She turns to face him, her lips inches from his. The warmth of her breath contrasts starkly with the chill of his touch.

  Lips on her neck, hands slipping up her thigh beneath her dress. She cannot fight him. Heart racing, body aching. The siren grows louder.

  The backup she had waited for has come too late. Bullets would never have been enough, but she had hoped it would buy her time.

The hunter is the hunted. She wishes it were not him but she reminds herself that this is no longer the man she had loved.

  The siren stops and a car door slams. She cries out for her partner but he is not there. From a street close by a voice calls her name. The creature holding her hears and recognizes. His grip tightens, the passion turned to confusion. She tries to pull away. Teeth bite down and sink into her throat. The pain is bliss and her body is in turmoil; fight for freedom from the human form. The flower in her hair releases its last black petal and takes her final breath with it.

  (C) 2017 Liah S Thorley, all rights reserved                                             

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