Short Story
                                             Hunting Party
                                                             By Allen W. Yoakum


     Sunset came and went and the hunting party was still running from things that were animals but not
animals at the same time. A light fog covered the hills and valleys of rural Kentucky shrouding the bottoms
of the trees in a vile that was becoming thicker and denser. A half moon rising in the east gave an eerie
light to the shroud of fog. The chill in the air was seen in the puffs and pants of four men that were once six.
Dressed in hunting gear and carrying rifles and handguns, they moved as fast as they could through a
forest on the side of a tall hill. Deep in the valley unseen came a loud laughter and an almost hiss as if
demons were enjoying a good joke.

     “Christ, we've got to move!” screamed Connor McFalk, a tall man with a beer gut that was keeping him
from going as fast as the leaders. He looked back and swore he could smell the blood of his brother and
uncle drifting in the air into his nose.

     “Then move you fat bastard! I've got ten rounds left in the rifle and a full clip, so once we get above this
ridge, we can shoot those...things as they come up.” Davy Morgan was in the lead of the hunters and was
the youngest by eleven years. He had just gotten out of high school and was going into the Marines in two
weeks. This was a sort of farewell hunt for deer that his family was throwing for him. Now he wished he
was in BASIC dealing with D.I.'s yelling at him.

     “I'm coming as fast as I can Davy!” Connor said as he clawed over rocks slipping some on the slick
moss. “Christ! Come on! Come on!” Mike Morgan, Davy's father, was a fit man in weight. His lungs were
another matter. He had smoked since eighteen and was puffing harder than Connor. Clawing with his
fingers for a hold, he begged to God to save his life.

     “Come on Pop, we can make the top!” Davy was only forty or so feet from a thick group of trees with
brush at the bottom.

     “I'll make it. Damn those things all to hell. Goddamn, they killed Vic and Tommy. Did you see how fast
they moved? Must be unnatural beast sent by the Devil himself.” Mike huffed and felt a pain on his side that
he only felt when he was twelve and ran after his brother for stealing his money for one mile flat out.

     “Who cares?! I just don't want my head ripped off! Jesus H Christ!” Ben Doors, a man of thirty, was the
fittest of the group even though he still had to push himself to the top of the ridge.

     “I'm at the top!” Davy waited as a man waiting for a train is about to run him over and he is stuck in
place till the last possible moment of surviving. “Come on Pops! I can see them at the bottom.”

     “What are they doing?!” screamed Ben as he reached Davy's position and looked down.

     “They are just standing there. My God as fast as they are they could scale this ridge in five minutes.
There're playing with us.” Ben pulled out his night vision goggles he bought online for a month’s pay and
looked down into the valley.

     “They are just standing there waiting, but for what?”

     “Who cares, just shoot the bastards!” yelled Mike as he pushed himself up to a standing position and
pulled out his .50 caliber Desert Eagle and put on his night vision goggles as well. Below he saw five
human looking figures pacing back and forth as the tallest of them just looked up at them.

     The figure had hair down to its back and the build of a man thin and muscular at the same time. As if a
lion had taken form in the shape of a human and was on the hunt. The other forms were much thinner and
Mike could see the suggestion of breast and hips of a woman among them.

     “Screw you!” Mike turned on his laser sight and looked for the red dot which just barely flickered on
what Mike thought was the leader. Half guessing, half knowing and all praying, Mike pulled the trigger and
the shot boomed on to the landscape. The lion thing as Mike thought of it flinched and he saw its arm fall
away at the elbow. Without a hesitation, the creature picked up the lower arm and put the bloody stump
next to his remaining arm.

     Mike looked in shock as the tendons, bone and blood vessels grew like vines and the arm was
reconnected in under a minute. Mike heard Ben take in a deep breath and almost cry out.

     “What are we trying to kill?” said Ben as took up his AR-15 with a night vision sight and found center
mass, opening fire with a full thirty round clip dancing the muzzle side to side hitting the creatures. “That'll
kill them....maybe.” The pack jittered and danced around some falling to the ground. Mike thought the
rounds from the AR-15 had done the job. Then looking at the green lens, he saw the thinner ones get up
one by one and hold up the leader cutting their wrist with mouths of sharp teeth and letting the lion thing
drink the fluid.

     “What happened Pop? Did Ben kill them? Come on talk!” Mike just grabbed his son's arm and
screamed.

     “Run! Run as fast as you can, we'll hold them back. Run to the river and let it carry you to Old
Brownsville. Now run!” Davy was in shock as without being told or thinking gave his father a hug and his
weapons and ammo. “Now go!” Davy was given a set of night vision googles and sprinted as fast as he
could around the brush, slipping on the rocks now slick due to the fog.

     Davy looked back only once to see the flashes of muzzle fire and the screams of something unhuman.
He hit a tree and got up from the leaves on the ground running as fast as his legs would take him to the
river which was about half a mile away. He prayed to God, The Heavenly Father, Jesus and Mary as taught
in his school, hoping the men who sacrificed themselves had at least slowed down the beast things.

     Davy heard a final shot, which he knew was the .50 caliber going off and then the screams of humans
begging to have the pain end as fast as possible. Davy did not have time to grieve his father's death, he
had to get to the drop off to the river and hope for the best. Davy's strength was leaving him even with
adrenaline pumping all through his body pushing his nervous system and muscles to their limit.

     After only hearing the snapping of twigs and the rustle of leaves being turned up as he ran, Davy heard
the rushing of a river only about two hundred yards away. He thought he had made his goal and gave one
more final push of effort to get to the cliff. Then he heard the inhuman screams as if laughing and dared to
look back.

     The pack was only one hundred yards behind him and they were moving up in quick fashion, almost
moving around the thick forest of trees as if made of water.

     “Oh God!” Davy saw the drop off to the river and with a panting breath pushed as fast as he could.  
Then he felt an iron grip on this shoulder spin him around as he was twenty-five feet from the drop off. Davy
punched the figure and it fell back in surprise. Only ten feet to go and he thought he would be free.

     Just as he was about to jump over the cliff of sixty feet, he felt many hands grab him and throw him to
the ground. He looked up at five females with long ratty hair, sunken eyes completely blood shot and
almost glowing. Their skin was smooth but taunt and specks of blood was splattered on their faces. The
male with a lion like mane had the same taunt skin and red glowing eyes with blood all around his mouth of
razor sharp fangs. The inhuman beast just smiled and looked down at Davy.

     “Please!” The lion beast-like man just shook his head and pointed to Davy's neck. In an instant the
females of the pack started to go for Davy's neck and head. He felt the sharp teeth dig into his flesh and
his warm blood gush into the mouths of the women things. Knowing the end was near when he started to
black out, Davy could only think he only had ten feet to go till he was safe. Just ten feet till he would have
been free of having his blood sucked from him while alive.

     After the females of the pack had feasted on Davy, they looked at their leader and he smiled. This had
been a good hunt and tomorrow when they headed deeper into the woods would be even better. Maybe
they would find some soft meat as they had that night or maybe hard meat as a large bear or feral hog.
Because the pack was always hungry and always needed to feast on someone or something's flesh. The
wild male beast howled at the rising moon and the females followed suit and they all ran north hissing and
laughing with unhuman voices.
About Allen W. Yoakum

Allen W. Yoakum lives in
the Mid-West and writes
everything from horror to
simple poetry about life.  
He also paints and draws
and has published for the
Kindel.
To read other short stories,
click one of the titles below.