When the Wild Hunt comes, you'd better run. (298 words)
|They say the Wild Hunt only takes you if you kill a fae. If that’s true, I don’t know why they’re chasing me, but as I race through the forest, lungs burning and heart pounding, listening for the faintest sound of the Hounds from behind me, I realize that it doesn’t matter why they’re after me, only that they are. I hear nothing, so I stop to catch my breath, leaning against a beech tree. Wheezing faintly, I consider my options. Hide? Not with the hounds chasing, they’d smell me from a mile away. Could I set a trap? Doubtful there’s enough time, so that leaves running. I hear the baying of the hounds, getting closer by the second. Clammy sweat forms and a shiver races up my spine.
I lurch forward, crashing through underbrush like a battering ram through enemy fortifications. And I could swear the trees are my enemy, sending out entangling roots as I stumble by. I hear the Hunt on my heels. I trip again, falling face-first to the ground. The Hunt streams past, somehow managing not to crush me. As I sit up, I notice an enormous stallion standing nearby, eyes glowing with hellfire. The creature paws the ground with one plate-sized hoof and snorts sparks into the underbrush. Suddenly I realize the horse has a rider, and my gaze travels up to find… a skeleton? Wearing a hooded robe? I can see the being’s eyes glowing from the depths of the hood. It’s nice that horse and rider match.
The rider lifts a digit to the place where its lips should be, empty sockets staring meaningfully. I gulp and nod. Who would I tell, anyway? A moment later I’m alone in a pile of leaves, grateful I wasn’t their quarry after all.