AbsoluteWrite’s February Blog Chain – Hunting with Hounds

This month’s AbsoluteWrite’s Blog Chain theme: Suggest-A-Prompt.
The previous poster is meant to give us our prompts and Katci13 was before me so she chose Hunting with Hounds

See the bottom of this post for previous and upcoming Suggest-A-Prompt blog chain posts!

And now, my post:

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Hunting with Hounds

There was no way I’d catch him on my own. He knew the forest far too well and even though my tracking skills were good, they weren’t that good. He was a killer, one that had already hit several villages already and if I didn’t catch him now, he’d probably hit another before I caught up.

There was no other reason I’d use them. The Hounds they were called. They stayed away from the law, away from civilization, living in the dense forest outside of the castle walls. I’d known several of them since we were children and though we’d grown up on different sides of the walls, we’d stayed loyal friends. We understood each other’s roles in the world and sometimes even complimented them. Times like now.

I walked into the forest where I knew he’d entered and could feel their eyes on me within the first few steps. They’d agreed to help they weren’t entirely comfortable with me being here. I heard the leaves crackle behind me; a conscious sign from them to let me know they were there.

“Rin. Is everyone ready?”
“We are. Are you, citygirl?”
I flashed a smirk his way and glanced to my side where he stood ready to run.

“I can keep up. Remember, yours to catch, mine to take.”

A deeper voice broke in from my left; Rin’s father and unofficial leader of the Hounds.  “We’ll keep our word and not kill him. You’ll be able to take him with no problems.”

The smile the large man gave me was only reassuring to a point. Beyond that and it sent chills across my skin that even the autumn wind couldn’t cause.

I nodded and that was enough. He waved a silent gesture and it seemed the entire forest gave a lurch as person after person, wolf after wolf moved from where they’d faded into the background of the trees, leaves and shadows.

We ran for literally hours. Had I not have spent half my childhood in the forests with Rin, I’d have never lasted. The Hounds listened to their four-legged counterparts in a way that very few could. Their yips and turns of their ears and tails all constant communication with the rest of them, human and wolf alike as they tracked and scented their way through the forest.

The sounds got louder as we got closer, the wolves’ yips turning to growls, spurring everyone to run faster as they caught a stronger scent of their prey.  There was no slow run up, no time for anticipation. At one point we were running through the trees and in the next, the wolves darted off with speed I didn’t know they still had. They were suddenly ahead of us, together in one big circle of grey and brown fur, swarming and moving. It took the rest of us several more seconds to get close to them and Rin stuck his arm out in front of me to keep me from moving forward.

We couldn’t see any of the wolves’ heads inside the ocean of fur but we could hear them, the muffled growls, the snapping of teeth and worse, the ripping of skin and screams of the man under them.

Rin’s father let out a guttural yell and the wolves parted, the fur circle separating and the wolves trotting off to their respective partners with only a few spare glances behind them, making sure their prey wasn’t getting up.

For his part, the killer I was after lay frozen and it took me moments to see that he was, in fact, still alive, if unconscious. Rin let his arm down and I ran forward, looking over the bites that I could see, surprised more and more to find each one was nothing more than a shallow wound.

Rin’s father crouched beside me. “All the bites you’ll find are the same, shallow and harmless.” He clapped me on the shoulder, “But I did say that you’d have no problems taking him back when we got done. You try getting swarmed by that many of our furry friends and see if you’re up to fighting back.”

Soft laughter came from the rest of the Hounds, soon accompanied by the victory howls of the wolves and a smile broke across my face. Another town safe, another hunt over.  Job well done.

***

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (Yuppies Who Hate the Family Business) 
ConnieBDowell – http://bookechoes.com/ (Unexpected Library Encounter) 
bmadsen – http://hospitaloflife.wordpress.com/ (Cupcake Disaster) 
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (Unfortunate Sports)
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com/ (Less-than-fortunate Foods)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (Blind Date with a Ventriloquist) 
katci13 – http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (Evil Cupid)
Briony-zisaya – http://fantasywriterwannabe.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
CatherineHall – http://theelephantinthetemple.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Lady Cat – http://carolsrandomness.blogspot.ca/ (link to post) Topic
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
dclary – http://www.hardhobbittobreak.com/ (link to post) Topic
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post) Topic
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic

Bumped:
Amanda R. – http://www.twoamericansinchina.com/ (link to post) Topic

Archive of Past Blog Chains