“The Hunter” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2016 written by Steve Anil Mathew, Bahrain.
It’s 31 December, 11:59 pm.3,2,1...... HAPPY NEW YEAR!! The people of Mayor Street were in a festive mood, celebrating the New Year. But their excitement was short-lived as Mr. Thomas Hardy went missing almost immediately. The only thing found after 3 days was his LOCKET! In the previous four weeks there had been 30 people suspected to be dead and now on 4 January there was one more to join the number. The suspicion at once fell on......
25 days before......
It all started on 10 December. We, that is Sara who is my sister and I, James, were on our way to the carol practice in the church. Suddenly, a loud deafening scream broke the silence of the alley through which we were travelling in and when we rushed to the place, no one was there, but we found something; it was a brown leather jacket, the same jacket that Mr. Jones had. We quickly took the jacket and hurried off to the police station.
16 days before...... (9 December)
We were at a picnic with my cousins. We were having a break inside a room when Mrs. Slattery got a call and she went outside to attend the call. A couple of minutes later my friend Jimmy Hardy got out to go to the washroom and stopped in his tracks when the saw Mrs. Slattery ‘s hat lying on the floor. Soon we discovered that Mrs. Slattery had also disappeared and we saw the mark of the hunter, a brown deer etched onto the floor.
Today...... (4 January)
The police found Mr. Hardy’s locket next to the fireplace with the hunter’s sign stuck onto the locket. Sara and I went to Jimmy‘s house to console him.
10 January...... 1 month since the first appearance of the Hunter.
Sara, Jimmy and I were on our way to the market to buy groceries. All of a sudden Sara tripped and fell down. “You guys carry on. I’ll just tie my shoelace and catch up,” Sara told us. We started walking ahead and then we heard a scream. We turned back and saw that Sara wasn’t there .We found her untied shoe and saw a hooded figure running away. We started chasing him and halfway through, we stopped in our tracks because we saw...... SARA’S BODY!! Her body was lying flat on the ground and she had been stabbed in the stomach and on her palm, the hunter’s symbol was carved. On seeing my sister’s body in this state, I fainted......
Two more people have gone missing. One is Mrs. Jameson and the other is Mr. Robert Paul.
I was cleaning up Jimmy’s outhouse with him. That’s when we noticed something. We found a crumbled sheet of paper with a handwriting belonging to someone we knew and from that clue we started searching on the Hunter.
We found out...... guess what? It was all a prank by my sister Sara. She had acted as though she was dead. And all the people who were presumed to be dead were hiding in Jim’s garage. Everyone had a good laugh about it, but Sara suddenly grew serious.
“Wait; hold on,” she interrupted, “You mean to say that I kidnapped Mr. Robert Paul?”
“Yes, you did kidnap him right?” asked Jim.
“No I am serious. I did not capture him,” She said.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes. I am sure. If you don’t believe me you only check.” We checked and sure enough he wasn’t there.
Almost immediately we heard a cry from the far away Woods and that voice was certainly Mr. Robert Paul’s. Jimmy and I knew that this time no pranks would save us from ‘THE HUNTER’.