A 1,576 word Supernatural Horror, about a Game that you have to really want to win.
|Word Count: 1,576
“We need to stay here, let it pass us by.” I said as we cowered in the corner of the run-down barn. We had already been in the playing field for almost a day, the sun was starting to set, and the group was divided on whether this would help us, or the Hunter.
“No, we need to run.” Mitch hissed, he had his back against the wall closest to the open door, as he rocked back and forth, holding his knees close to his chest.
Like the rest of us, Mitch once looked ready for the game, in all camo-gear, combat-boots and camo-cream on his face. Now though, the cream had rubbed almost clean off, and he was bruised and bloodied from either a close encounter with the Hunter, or running into something, driven by sheer fear.
None of us could really run anymore, from the agonising blisters forming all over our feet, the only thing that propelled us when we needed to move, was the adrenaline pumping dangerously high through our veins.
When we signed up for this, we were told it would be an ‘Ultimate Game of Cat and Mouse’, and we were the mice. Well, they weren’t lying, they just omitted the part about the cat being an undead Hunter, that only knows how to kill, and won’t stop until we are either all in the safe zone, or all dead.
So, we needed to work together; this was proving to be harder in practice than in theory. The as-for-mentioned Mitch, for instance, wants to keep moving, which would be plausible if we could in-fact move.
This is why I chose here, the barn, as dank and seemingly open as it appeared, it also had the previous players dead, and rotting bodies scattered around; giving off the unmistakeable stench of death. While this made each and every-one, of the four of us crawl out of our skin with disgust; it also seemed to hide us by masking our scent, at least for now.
“We can’t stay in here forever.” Abbi murmured, she was lying against Kyle who had his back squared to the wall, watching the open door and the Hunter lumbered about in and out of sight, oblivious to us.
They’re brother and sister, twins; and so, far had worked well with me, but Abbi seemed to be losing hope with every passing glance of the Hunter.
How that thing came into being, I will never know; at first, we all thought it was a costume. It stood at seven feet tall, with a deer’s head and a huge blade that left drag marks in the ground. Every limb, including its head was stitched together with thick thread in an almost rushed manner; and his whole body gleamed with some kind of ooze.
But, when we were in the Loading Area, it was completely docile, barely moving a muscle as people buzzed around it; it even stepped calmly into the playing field and stood there, waiting, just looking straight ahead. – It wasn’t until the siren sounded, that it turned and looked at us with its dead eyes, and lunged for us, swinging that blade over its head, aiming it straight at us.
We scattered and it hit a tree, almost slicing straight through the thick trunk. This was the only reason we managed to get away, as it fought and struggled to reclaim its weapon.
Since then we have tried to stay one step ahead of it, but, this has not always worked. I learned the hard way that it can track you by sound; there are four huge and rusted switches we have to flip before the safe area will open to us. However, flipping them on, isn’t like turning on a light-switch. When I say huge, I mean they are bigger than me, and I am five-foot-five.
They are also rusted in place by time and the weather; getting one to move even an inch requires a lot of strength and makes a lot of noise. I had been trying to move one of the leaver-switches on my own, when I heard the Hunter thumping up behind me at a startling speed.
I received a haircut and a black eye, as he once again took a swing at me with that heart-stopping sharp blade, missing me but, chopping the end of my long brown hair off. I moved so, quickly to avoid it, I hit the wall with the side of my face and passed out. My last thought was, ‘I’m dead.’
Imagine my, surprize when I woke up, not in the grips of the Hunter, but, exactly where I had dropped; surrounded by the other three, who were just as confused as me.
We learned through that, that the Hunter is blind, and relies on its hearing; what I didn’t know at the time was I had kicked up so, much rust that it had also interfered with its sense of smell, Mitch learned that lesson.
For a solid five hours, we couldn’t figure out why, no matter what Mitch did, the Hunter could find him. He would hide and stay perfectly still, and the Hunter would walk straight up to him; there were a few times when we all had to hold our nerve and stand perfectly still as it passed us by, and still Mitch was the only one he made a be-line for.
The third time this happened Abbi noticed, just before it ran at Mitch, it sniffed the air; it could smell something on him it couldn’t on us. So, when we had a second, we asked him what it could be.
“My aftershave, maybe.” Mitch had replied, sounding as if he knew how stupid it was.
“You wore aftershave to a game of ‘Cat and Mouse’? A stealth game.” Kyle hissed.
“Sorry for not realising this was a death match.” Mitch spat back.
Abbi who was standing watch, was nervously peering around the corner of the ruins we were hiding in, whatever the building used to be, it was now little more than half of a plaster shell, taken over by grass and vines.
“Shh! It is close by.” She whispered, shifting her weight on her pained feet, getting ready to bolt.
“You need to roll in mud.” I announced quietly, pointing at a small dirt patch where the grass had been worn away.
Mitch shot me a dark look. “Are you mad Emily?”
“You want him to keep chasing you?” I replied coolly, still pointing at the patch of earth.
“No.” Mitch admitted like a sullen teenager.
“Make up your mind.” Abbi jittered, her gaze never shifting from the oncoming threat.
“Then roll.” I demanded in a hiss.
“Who made you, boss?” Mitch snapped back.
“Just do it,” Kyle sighed.
Finally, Mitch relented and rolled on the ground, keeping his eyes on me the whole time. It was then I knew we would have an issue, and hoped it wouldn’t fatal.
“We need to go, NOW!” Abbi shouted in alarm, which told us that it no longer mattered if we were quiet, the Hunter knew exactly where we were.
Bolting we dived for the nearest cover, and watched the beast search for us; it sniffed at the air, and where Mitch had rolled, but, it could not find the scent past that. Which seemed to enrage it; and as it destroyed what little was left of the ruins, we snuck off.
And that is how we came to hide in the barn, which had worked up until now; however as much as I hate to admit it, Mitch is half right, we can’t hide in here for much longer. We will starve if the Hunter doesn’t kill us.
I think we are going to die, I think that is the point. That is why I am writing this, as like everyone else here, apart from each other, we have no-one, we won’t be missed. It wasn’t until we got here that we saw what the other team had written before they died; and I am adding our own experience to that.
The team before us had added something to the diary of the team before them, and so, on so, forth. Our aim has now changed, we are going to try and get the journal as close to the starting point as possible; hopefully the next team will find it, and win the game.
“Hey, I found it!” One of the caretakers announced, as they paced among the carnage. He had stopped and was looking down smiling.
“Already?” The second caretaker announced as he turned and made his way over to his colleague. Both men were in black Hazmat suits with yellow oxygen tanks on their backs.
“Yeah, they got really close this time.” The first man said, as he prized the large and blood soaked, brown, leather, string bound journal from the dead woman’s hands.
“Where are we going to put it?” The second one asked.
“Shall we put it in group in with group nine?” The first man suggested as he flipped through the journal.
“That is right on the other side of the playing field!” The second man said, half laughing.
“Well, we want Hunter to have fun, don’t we?” The first man said throwing the second man the journal. Although the Hazmat hid his sinister grin, it was there, showing off a nasty glint in his eye.