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The sun rose above the cliffs, soft golden light creeping out like fingers across the world, as the hunter stood up, kicking dirt across the embers of his fire.

He had already packed away his campsite, and by the time the sun gave its last kiss to the horizon there was no trace of him beside the road, nothing to show that a man had spent the night there.

He settled his hat on his head and set out, following a track that was barely discernible. The creature he was following had passed this way very recently. He was catching up.

By the afternoon, the sun was obscured by dark clouds. A storm was coming in. As the rain fell, big heavy drops of water washing away the track he was following, the hunter turned up his collar and quickened his pace. He didn’t need the track any more. He knew where he was going.

A town lay ahead; sleepy and unsuspecting. It was precisely the sort of place this creature liked to hunt.

He reached the town gates as the thunder rolled across the valley.

“I need a bed for the night,” he told the gatekeeper. “I can pay.”

A couple of shiny coins bought his entrance; a few more bought a room at the tavern. He sat in a chair beside the window and watched. He had tracked this creature for three years; he could wait another day for a comfortable bed.

© Kari Fay