Tame Excerpt – The Huntsman

 

I glanced back and saw the men dangerously closer. Surely this couldn’t be God’s plan?

Everything within me screamed to run, but faith said to stay. Faith in God was the only thing I had of value. If I ran I would lose my faith. If I lost my faith, I would lose God. Life without Him simply wasn’t worth living.

Shaking badly I turned back and went to my woodpile of the night before. I picked up a heavy broken off branch and stepped back over to my patch of beaten-down snow. This was it. This was everything put on the line in hope and faith that God would deliver me from a situation I could never hope to do so on my own.

My gaze took in the enemy and I quivered in spirit at the sight of what happens when people stop being human. The bug eyed and glassy vacant gazes of cannibals washed over me with both the desire to mate me and eat me at the same time. Judging from the stories I’d heard they would likely do both.

Panting heavy with mouths open wide like dogs they surrounded me. They were dressed in little more than rags and in their hands they held an assortment of weaponry ranging from dirty machetes to simple pieces of heavy metal for the purpose of clubbing.

They grunted and snorted and mumbled unintelligibly and in shock, I realized that they had even lost the ability to form words. One of them darted in toward me and I twirled about and swung the branch.

The heavy branch caught his hand clutching a kitchen knife and I heard the bone break. Howling like a demented lunatic he leaped back from me and I turned warily in a circle ready to hit again.

The one I took to be the leader of the pack grinned wolfishly and stuck his hand into the rags he wore and of all surprises pulled out a handgun. He pointed it directly at my head and laughed and the others did so with him.

I was dead, it was as simple as that. In supreme anguish I waited for the bullet.

Something whistled past my ear and in a daze, I thought for a moment he had missed me at point-blank range, but instead I received the shock of my life when I took in the stunned cross eyed gaze of the cannibal holding the pistol, who now had an arrow sticking through his forehead. He dropped to the snow and with two more harrowing whistles of foreboding two more of my assailants fell with grunted gasps of dismay.

The other two broke and ran in a bid of desperation to escape. An arrow found the neck of one and he pitched forward with a squeal into the snow as blood sprayed out across it in a wide arc. The last one took an arrow to the hip and collapsed to the ground growling with both anguish and rage.

Numbly I stood as I had been with the club gripped in my hands staying absolutely still. Slowly I turned my head and saw the figure of a man approaching at a swift pace that had woodsman written all over it.

His pace eating stride had him on the scene in no time and tomahawk raised he hacked it down repeatedly upon the wounded cannibal until his cries stopped. Completely shook to my core by the situation and the violence of it, I wasn’t prepared for when the man straightened from his grisly task and threw his tomahawk straight at me.

As it whistled by me by the narrowest of margins and I was just seizing on the reality that the man meant to kill me too, when I heard the bone crushing smack of steel connect with human flesh. With a start I dodged out of the way as one of the first victims fell back down to the snow with the hatchet stuck fast in his chest, which this time had finished the job that the arrow hadn’t completed the first time. He’d been coming up behind me to no doubt use me as a hostage or just kill me out of spite.

I turned back around only to behold the man who had dispatched five cannibals, in what seemed like just as many seconds, standing less than 10 feet away from me. Slowly then he began to approach and I almost felt like screaming, but there was no one to save me.

Coming close he gripped the club I held and tugged and I let it go. I cried out softly then with startlement as he pushed on my shoulder, which caused me to fall backward into the snow, only to land sitting on a boulder that I hadn’t seen was there. Shaking and not sure what was about to happen, I sat still.

The man turned away and started pillaging whatever was of interest to him from the dead. Still dazed, I glanced away from him and my gaze landed on the gun lying in the snow not far from me.

I wanted to grab it and shoot the man as he completely terrified me, but in effect he had saved my life and even as wild as he was he had nothing of a cannibal in appearance about him. However, that was no assurance that he wouldn’t rape me though.

Be that as it may, I let the gun lay where it was. I looked to the man and contemplated my options.

In effect I was at the end of my rope. I needed food, well, I needed everything. I had done alright up till now, but truly I did not know how to survive on my own in the forest let alone in wintertime.

I needed help and like it or not this man had helped me. Would he help me again?