The Hunter

by Isabella Hernandez

She hungered. Day in and day out, night to night and screen to screen- she repeated the search. By the hour, by the minute, by the second her fingers flurried names across the familiar keys. In her head they made a chant, a cult gathering. She could recite their crimes with hateful glee. A pedophile for one, in fact for another too- in fact wasn’t the first one also into fucking animals? Yes, yes they were she recalled with pain. That one had her hunt cast first, always first.

Who cared if she had been exposed for it before? The Hunter would prowl and pace, stalk, slink, wait with bated breath. Fangs bared and tongue salivating; the Hunter would seize the fantasy of tearing out her throat to restore her heart. The Hunter could feel her pulsing neck between her teeth, taste the gushing metallic blood quenching her thirst. It passed effortlessly through the pixels of her dimly lit cell phone screen (The latest iPhone before they put that cheap Seven shit into production- she liked to say). Memories painfully clawed their way to the surface as she savored this daily bread. Like daggers or a nail chiseled in by a hammer, came the photos of drawn underage girls spreading their puffy, growing vaginas- hair tousled and their eyes brimming with shame.

Then there were naked women taken in public with nothing but a leash round their necks as they were made to bend over into a dog bowl; their exposed asses and taints free to be imposed on all. It made the Hunter choke, the blood in her veins to boil. Her jaw chattered and burned furiously, her glazed over eyes bursting with red and big as saucers. An iron taste flooded her tongue; she recalled the incident involving the desire to stick in a fetus between a human and a bee up a woman’s uterus. Suddenly she violently lurched forward, clutching her stomach- careful to move her thumb away from the taunting follow button. The rising slivers of bile infected her throat; her tongue tied to plead her brain to stop. This prey was guilty, so guilty.

Slowly, the Hunter shifted her eyes once more toward the screen. A report droned to life in her mind; above the chaos of haunting imagery. The prey’s habits hadn’t changed, neither had her adamant lack of self-awareness. A walking contradiction, she had maintained the lure of accepting all and defending children. The Hunter wanted to dryly laugh in horror at the irony. Despite her efforts however, the sound did not come out. Instead there came the usual nauseating pit of sickness in her gut.

On slimy hands and feet it swaggered up her innards, around her organs, and up her spine. From head to toe her body rattled and her head buzzed. Clear as pain came the comforting fantasies. She’d corner the bitch in her home, her lumpy, malformed face (This type tended to be the ones typically responsible for these sorts of things, the Hunter thought plainly. It was always society’s diseased undesirables who couldn’t see what they truly were.) would drip and slobber tears down her uneven skin. In this manner, she would gaze up at the unflinching Hunter; her drooling mouth pleading in earnest for her life. A self-proclaimed Christian, her trembling sausage fingers would clasp into a motion of prayer. Begging and screaming, crumpled on the floor into a sniveling ball, she would helplessly watch as the Hunter’s unfeeling stare coldly brought down a metal bat to her skull.

The echoing contact would be slick and ring in one’s ears (Just the same way those young girls pussies were meant to sound, the Hunter’s mind added-). Over and over the bat would rise to fall. Wham! One strike for deceiving the Hunter. Wham! Another for her false friendship. Wham! Yet another in the name of justice. Wham! Wham! Wham! It was cathartic, the tangy stench of blood, the shrieking, the moment the prey fell silent, the grey spongy brains that spilled out with the ease of tomato sauce, the caved in bits of bone-

Softly there came a pitiful whimper that penetrated precisely as a surgeon’s scalpel. It scraped around her brain through her ears; the fantasy shattering like glass into fragments. Looking over as she sat in her spinning chair (age had torn it to shit along with her twirling), she set down her phone. Limping through her open doorway, the Hunter’s face softened at the sight of her small, lanky dog. His whiskers were all but gone, grey fur dyeing his once brown face a silvery white. With his wounded gait he soldiered on as far as the second chair before her scratched dresser.

His head was hung and his face long as he lumbered toward her feet. He whimpered again, looking up with big and beady brown eyes. In the rear, his right hind paw hovered stiffly in the air; the rest firmly planted on the dingy floor tiles. Nervously and with a pang of grief the Hunter asked,

“What is it old man? Wanna sit with me?”

The dog wagged his tail half enthusiastically in response. Giving him a gentle smile, she stood and bent over to lift him. Planting a kiss between his pointed ears, she rested him on her lap. Cradling his torso sized frame, she gave him another flurry of kisses. Tenderly she touched his wounded paw, releasing it as he recoiled. Shivering, he licked his thin lips and stared at her acne splattered face. Patting his head, she coddled the dog as if he were a newborn. Her youthful voice oozed concern, wobbling as she slowly rocked the chair back and forth.

“I know it hurts, we’ll take you to the hospital tomorrow morning ok? No jumping in the meantime and you should be resting more than walking.”

The dog turned his face away and adjusted himself in her clutches. Lazily he curled up, staring quietly into the air.


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One Response to “The Hunter”

  1. » Blog Archive » Announcing the 2017 !Short Story Contest! Finalists Says:

    […] –“The Hunter”, Isabella Hernandez […]

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