This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
*** WARNING ***
This story contains graphic descriptions of violence. Reader discretion is advised.
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The Hunter’s Daughter – Final
An original story by Holden Gerrig
The howl of the coyotes seemed to come from a few feet away and brought him back to the bitter reality. Damn! Spencer told her, he realized shivering and feeling the increasing pain in his burnt genitals. He clenched his teeth and eyes when the howls reverberated in his ear drums. For the first time, he felt remorse for his actions and wished for an escape. He continued crying and shivering when he noticed the howls fading away.
There was only silence and darkness. He sharpened his ears trying to detect sounds. He only heard tree-frogs and the chirp of nocturnal insects. He started to feel relief, thinking he may have gotten away. She must have lost me, he thought with a hint of hope that made him smile. I’ll make it through the night and find my way in the morning, he decided.
“Maaarciaaaaa!” Janet’s chanting broke his elation. The hunter’s daughter tracked him down.
“Enough!” he yelled from his hiding spot, trying to locate her. He stood up to assess the surroundings. “I’m going to kill you, Janet,” he said as he heard the rustling of leaves and her chanting voice approaching. “I can’t hit you but I can choke you,” Seth said trying to intimidate her, positioning to pounce. His heart beat fast as a shiver traveled down his bare skin.
“Maaaarciaaaaa!” She was only a few feet away. Seth planned to wrap his arms around her neck to suffocate her. He’d push the remnants of the handcuffs still attached to his wrists against her eyes. “Yoo-Hoo!” she taunted. Seth saw her shape in the darkness heading his way and the rustling of the forest floor getting more distinctive. He took a deep breath and readied for the assault.
The explosion on his back caught him by surprise, blasted through his mouth and dropped him to the ground. Seth’s heart beat in overwhelming fear when he tasted his blood. He could not move his legs. There was a burning sensation around his mid-back growing in discomfort and breathing became difficult. His broken hand searched for the source of the agonizing pain in his back. It was a slow struggle as every motion produced a shock that traveled from his abdomen to his brain.
He heard the rustling of leaves and heavy steps approach. They were too heavy to be Janet’s. His hand felt a shaft protruding out of his back. The steps became more distinctive and he could hear breathing. He looked up as his strength faded and only saw a pair of red dots.
Seth reached out with his broken hand and felt large boots in front of him.
“I warned you to stay away from my daughter,” Spencer said.
Seth was stunned realizing he had been set up. He saw another pair of red dots approach and heard Janet’s laughter. “Take them off, dad,” Janet instructed her father to remove his night vision goggles as she took hers off.
“Really, Janet?” Seth said in a soft voice, feeling his life draining away. “Is this what you’ve wanted? You think you won?”
“I think nothing!” Janet said crouching in front of him as Spencer turned his flashlight on. Seth noticed her cammo jacket on top of her negligee and hiking shoes. Her breath misted in the cold, damp air. “You brought this to yourself!” she said erupting in tears.
Through the shaky light of the flashlight, Seth saw Spencer kneel to comfort his daughter. He also saw the compound bow Spencer tuned in front of him the time he gave him the warning. Seth knew it was one of Spencer’s broad heads that pierced his spine and arteries. He thought of his humiliating condition, his dying naked body on the forest ground, his genitals scalded, his broken cuffed hands, and an arrow stuck on his back. He regretted dismissing Spencer’s words as bluffing and his defiance to the former special-ops officer.
“I loved you, Seth,” Janet continued in tears. “I didn’t want to believe my dad but then I follow you and saw it with my own eyes.”
“You’ve got your revenge. We’re even.” Seth felt pain dissipate as his body shut off but he wanted to cling to life.
“I told you, we’re far from done,” Janet said mixing her tears with laughter and adding to Seth’s anguish.
He was not ready to depart this world. He thought of the places he wanted to visit, he’d never get his chance. He thought of his mom and dad, how his mother reminded him to say his prayers, and how they’d be consumed in anguish not knowing of his fate. He thought of the new-born nephew he’d never meet and of the adventures he wanted live. “Go to hell, the two of you,” Seth mumbled as tears ran down his face, lamenting his life cut short. “I hope you’re happy with my pain.”
“Not even close,” Janet said as she got up and went around to his back. “You turned me into the laughing stock and that humiliation won’t die with you.”
“I don’t care,” Seth gasped when he felt the arrow in his back getting tugged, reigniting the pain. Blood began pouring through his mouth. “Soon I’ll be dead and it won’t be my problem.” He convulsed as his blood drowned him. “We’ll meet in hell again.”
“I know, darling,” Janet said grabbing the arrow shaft with her two hands. “But leave this world knowing that others are about to pay the price for your indiscretions.”
Seth managed to turn his head and look at Janet. His weakening heart responded with anxiety at the fury of Janet’s eyes, looking demonic under Spencer’s light. He knew that she and Spencer were going to hunt down the women of his affairs and dispose of them.
As if reading his dying eyes, Janet smiled as she placed her foot on his rear for leverage. She tightly gripped the arrow shaft and prepared to pull out. “Because they knew you were mine, darling. They knew but went along anyway, and for that, they deserve your fate.”
Seth wanted to speak but his tongue could no longer produce words. He wanted to tell Janet it was his fault alone and to exact revenge on the other women was a sin more horrid than unfaithfulness. Nooo! You can’t do that! It’s not fair! he thought in desperation, unable to maneuver his mouth. He was distancing from his body and it could no longer react to his grief. I can’t leave! Not like this! his mind screamed heavy in guilt. He wanted to stay for the chance to make it all better but he was floating above, driven toward a light, still pleading to Janet in a tearful voice only he could hear.
His last sight was of Janet yanking the arrow out of his corpse as he transitioned into the ether screaming his remorse and tears.
I hope you enjoyed this story and as I always, I look forward to your feedback and suggestions. Stay tuned for more upcoming stories and keep your eyes open for the release of the complete novel The Diver – A Tale of Adventure, Deceit, and Redemption.