The following is the first two chapters of a novel I started writing over the summer, that I’ve recently edited. It’s a little rough and probably a little confusing but either way I hope that you guys enjoy it!
June 12th, 2010
We wake when the sun rises. When the clouds part and the moon goes under the Earth.
It woke atop the mountain. Jolting out of confusion, it collected the scattered sticks and stones. Wind twirled into its face creating a storm cloud of hair and dust. A sound, a gurgle, a growl: hunger. It tiptoed on its calluses, dodging jagged rocks abandoned once by even larger and jaggier rocks. The trees never welcomed outsiders so entering the forest was not difficult. They sprouted diagonally and clung to the mountain like lice to a scalp. It scratched the top of its head, feeling for the dead bugs that sometimes crawled down its forehead, the leaves that were tied in bows of hair like sour gifts, or even the twigs which often appeared like bodies on a coastline. Concentrated on discovering something to gnaw on within its mane, the ground materialized under its chin with a hollow thud. Foot still linked on the cause of the fall, it stared at the carcass. A body. A meal. The animal had a long neck, thick fur, four legs, foul stench, white eyes, warm intestine, dull teeth, and a vertical shaven stick protruding from the its side.
We wake when the moon emerges. When the clouds melt and all light drifts away from the Earth.
I woke drenched in anticipation and in the exact same bed I used to fall asleep in when I was twelve. Since then I’ve become a nocturnal animal. I was already out the door, bow in hand and determination lingering in my fingertips; almost dripping from the bottom of my weapon. There was no need to roll out of the sheets or draw back curtains to let light in. That’s why I liked about the night. That’s why I liked the moon. Without my permission she intruded into my cabin and struck me with her effulgence. She reminded me to be ruthless.
A sound, a crunch, a hoot, a scamper: an invitation. Except, I didn’t need to be enticed in order to go out and find my prey; it wasn’t up to them whether or not they wanted to be found. I only started to hunt at night when the sun became too unrelenting with its constant heat. Those who hunt during day rely on light; those who hunt during night rely on direction. Ironically, getting on the right path in the forest was hell. Under the darkness among the frigid empty space, trees seemed larger. Overbearing with their branches like arms reaching out for either an embrace or a throttle. I didn’t give a damn what the trees looked like anyway. This whole forest was made for one thing and one thing only and that’s hunting. The wind started to pick up and suddenly there was blindness.
A flyer had flown into my face: ancient, putrid, barely legible, grainy, MISSING.
My bow already hit the ground before I could manage to process what I was seeing.
A missing person’s flyer with my sister’s crumpled face plastered in the middle.