The Pale Hunter's Journal. Entries 1-5
My name is Tor. I have no other name. I have lived among you for so long that I almost forgot where I had came from. I married a beautiful woman, had three wonderful children, and continued to live the life of a prosperous farmer. My time is up in this life. I wish to share the story of the past I refused to share while I lived among you. I want my descendants to know where their blood comes from. 

Entry One. Walking Year. 

We all have strong memories, there are those among our kind that can remember several lifetimes from birth to death and birth again. I may not be one of those few, my story is full of holes that develop in ones memory. Forgetting a favorite childhood toy or companion are common place.  

The cold, I remember that. There was fear in the air too, our kind pick up on these feelings even as infants. There were voices, high and shrill. I couldn't tell you what they said, I do remember their faces. Not from that time but later, as I grew. My sisters were allowed to leave the den, while I wasn't allowed near the entrance. The reason for that I must tell you later. For now I feel it is important to say that my parents were both stong and noble in the raising of their final brood. My sisters grew to be independant and strong, while I learned to fear everything about the world.  

I'm not normal, and at the time of my birth that was dangerous. My parents did the best they could for me, while my sisters grew and prospered within the clan I was kept secret and hidden within the confines of the sheltered nest. 

The clan. Strong, healthy, and prosperous. I don't remember much beyond what my parents told me as the three of us nestled in their fur on dreary days. Mar, our leader, glorious in his vision. He was the reason I must be kept secret. It wasn't that I was a possible rival male, or my father would have been in similar peril, but that my coat was simply the wrong color. Pale as snow, it was a color long feared as the catalyst of the destruction of everything the Great Hunters have ever known. They were right. 

Two moons after my birth, shortly after my sisters were allowed to leave the den for the first time, they came. Terrible creatures that had long, single claws and shoot quills from their forelegs that pierce fur and flesh. Their first attack took several hunters. Too many. My parents were spared, but not from Mar. My father had to take over hunting duty while my mother was expected to produce another batch of eggs. Their supposed two egg, all-female nest hurt the clan badly. Males for hunting were sorely needed. It wasn't that the females couldn't hunt, but that they weren't strong enough to bring back large kills. We hunted alone to increase the area to cover, teams were not possible.  

Our clan had seen the beginning of hard times that would eventually destroy it. The one male that had been born to the clan, myself, was the harbinger of its demise, the White Hunter.  

 

Entry Two. The Walking Year. 

My sisters would leave the den occasionally to play with the others. As for me, I didn't exist. They could never know about me, my father would say. My mother would look on with sad eyes. When that day arrived my sisters weren't home. Off playing I assume, I never did find out what happened to them that day. 

It was cold, raining. The rain obscurred the scent. Panic filled the air and clawed at my throat. My mother was the first to dissapear, off to find my sisters. That was the last time I saw her. My father came into the large cavern of the den, told me to hide as far in as I could. His last words still ring in my ears, he told me to be strong and make memories. He had spoken those words before. They had neverheld as much weight. He then left the den. I waited, hearing screams from my kind, kin I have never met, and strange guttural grunting. Silence. I waited for my father to return. I couldn't say how long. It seemed like days and that I should starve.  

Hunger did finally draw me from the den. My father was the first I found. His neck twisted at an odd angle and his wing torn with blood darkening his wood brown fur. A foul odor permeated the air. My memory of that scene is sharper than most but for the sake of my own sanity I choose not to go into strong details. I beheld a scene more horrific than anyone could imagine. A massacre of my kin, even though I never knew them, threw me into mourning.  

I searched for my mother and sisters, I never found them. I was alone and outside of the den for the first time. Lost, scared, and hungry. I would have died if it wasn't for Reed. 

Reed, my dear friend. In every way that counts she was my mother. She found me when I started to wander in search of food. I was scared, weak, and desperate for food and warmth. I remember that first night with fondness. At first she curled up next to myself and shared her body's warmth. When I came to, confused and frightened, she gracefully left my company. I thought her gone then. Ever was I so happy to see her golden body slink back into view with a hefty hen in her jaws. She had taken the liberty of removing the feathers and breaking the skin for my infant teeth. Never before nor since have I been so grateful for a meal.  

She began to care for me, raising me and she gave me a name. She called me Tor, saying it was a name worthy of a great hunter, what she called my kin. The name, as I found out much later to mean one who possesses strength, soon became my greatest treasure. 

I am Tor, the White Hunter.  

 

 

Entry Three.  

My short time with Reed began. She was a quiet beast, usually coming and going from the den she kept me in, while I was too young to follow her, as silent as a breeze. Her warm golden fur kept me on cool nights. She taught me how to hunt when she decided I was old enough to travel with her. At this time we rarely returned to the den, most nights sleeping in a ball of golden and silver fur under scant shelter.  

My legs didn't work the same as hers. To keep up I had to train my legs to move differenly. She was understanding, she knew my kin weren't land creatures, but rather creatures of the sky. I became swift, and near to the point where I reached, and surpassed Reed's size, I passed her in skill as well. I pride myself in my ability to hunt thanks to my dear Reed. 

Soon my first winter hit. Reed's old body was failing her, the caretaker became the one that needed care. My pale fur, a hindrance in the greenery of summer, became my greatest asset in the deep snows. I was made to hunt here. Reed once told me I should travel north where the snows are ever present. I never did take her advice, my life remained in the balanced climate of the high hills. 

I was full of myself that first winter. It was actually my second but my parents had confined me to the den through my first. I became invisible in that snow. I could, if silent, sneak up on a flock of birds and nap among their squabbles. I was away from the den when Reed was killed. I returned to find blood and golden fur scattered around the den. I believe she left the den so I would't find her. I did find the beast that killed her, a bear foraging after a kill I had made earlier of which barely bones and skin were left. Some animals fare worse in winter, desperate for anything. 

Reed was gone from my life. I mourned after I took my revenge. I tried to find Reed but her trail ended at the river. She was gone from my life but she had done her job. Capable of surviving on my own I began the next stage in my life. 

 

Entry Four. 

After Reed passed away it would be three full winters before another creature would call me Tor. I fared well during those winters and not much worse in the summers when my white coat became a hindrance. Hunting has always been my strongest skill. It was the lonliness I couldn't stand. I became a bitter, isolated beast. 

Claiming a large stone shelter as my den during those years I defended it with claw and tooth. Small mammals would try to steal my food stores and find themselves contrbuting to them. If it hadn't been for the Tree Nesters I am sure I would have quietly gone insane before I even reached maturity. The Nesters are like my own kin, fliers and hunters. At my young age the largest of the Nesters could comfortably perch on my back. I tried to chase them away at first even threatened to kill the Nester that peeked into my den.  

Obstinate pests. As if I was talking to the stone of my den they invaded at a harsher rate. They called me Grandfather, in a language I had nearly forgotten, and treated me with respect no matter how rude I was to them. In no time they moved in. Suddenly I had a family again, a clan. My lonliness disappeared overnight. My bitterness withering away. One Nester in particular, a young pup just learning to fly, became my closest friend. He used to climb up my leg to reach my neck and jump off my nose so he could learn to fly. He did learn, and then he dedicated himself to teaching me. Most of the older Nesters believed I was still too young, or should learn on my own. Tor, Gerral would say, today is the day you fly.  

I lost count how many times Gerral used that line. He does it even now in jest. I would fly soon enough and that day would be the worst day of mine and Gerral's lives. It was a warm, shining day. The birds were quiet, looking back we should have heeded the warning. They poured from the trees like a flood, one after the other. Their guttural voices and thrown spines. Long spines they used to jab at me before I could react. The Nesters were swiftly trapped under a large, flimsy, transparent leaf.  

I was young, still considered an infant by my Kin. Not even half grown. I would have been easy prey for the Devourers. The Nesters that weren’t caught flew at the Devourers, all the time screaming, demanding that I, Grandfather, flee to safety. I ran until my wind broke and ran still. When I collapsed and heaved for breath I was alone once again. My chest tightened in fear, I didn’t want to be alone. Gerral, dear Gerral, if he hadn’t been latched onto the thick fur between my shoulders, unbeknownst to me, I would have returned to my old, wild ways. 

 

Entry Five 

Two young males, without any supervision, can become wild in other ways. We grew up together. We were both young, adolescents, when Gerral’s clan was destroyed the same way mine was when I was a hatchling. I couldn’t call it the same. It wasn’t even close. Gerral was half grown and attached to his clan and his way of life. I was an infant and barely knew my own nest.  

I tried to console him. I tried even harder to convince him not to return to the large maple outside my den where his clan nested. By now I had attained a very real fear of those I call Devourers. Gerral refused to abandon his clan. I took him back. 

The devestation was worse than I had expected. The Devourers had lived up to their name and left nothing behind to be recovered. The maple was burned, even the walls of my den had scorch marks. The entire area stunk heavily of burnt fur. A nestling’s body, too young to have any fur, was found near the base of the tree. Gerral didn’t look any further after that. His clan was gone, Devoured.  

We became what you might call a rogue. Though at so young an age we should have been absorbed yet again into another clan. Nobody would take someone as big as me. I tried to convince Gerral to leave me. He insisted he would rather die than abandon his brother. I liked this title considerably more than grandfather, it made me feel like someone important to Gerral personally rather than revered as a greater creature. 

I grew. I hunted. Gerral ate my catch’s eyeballs, he really likes those. I grew some more. 

It would be almost ten winters before another creature besides Gerral would share my life. In that time we managed to hold onto a small hunting territory. That was mostly because I was the largest creature in the area and nobody wanted to fight with me. Some other creatures revered me as Grandfather. They heard Gerral call me brother so they called him Father, not quite as highly but admitting his rank by my side.  

It was those foolish creatures I would hunt. What was worse was that sometimes they would let me catch them so they could nourish Grandfather. That talk made me so sick I lost my appetite. Gerral still ate their eyes. He also took to eating their ears, said he liked the chewy parts. Once I hunted a stag, a great beast it was. An old beast. He gave me a chase that brought on an appetite I seldom attain. By this time I had grown so large the stag was less than half my size. Gerral took three whole days, with several meals a day, to eat just one eye, how tiny he is.  

A nearby clan challenged me for the area not long after my first winter ended. They were medium sized creatures, not as large as I. If I were to compare them I would say they stood at a height with the native deer. They argued that I was too large for this area to sustain me for long and that I should move north were larger game live, and even some of my own kin. Still a young adolescent at this time I was afraid of anything unknown and did not wish to venture away from established safety. I refused. 

The clan threatened to attack and all I could think to do was stand my ground. They did back down but only in fear of sustaining injuries or losses just from my sheer size. Still, my territory was constantly infringed upon by the neighboring clans. Until one winter I nearly starved to death in its confines. I had yet to learn how to fly despite Gerral’s diligent efforts to teach me. Traveling on foot was tiresome and slow, so I stepped up my efforts and adopted a method Gerral used in the past. Jumping off of something really tall. For him that had been my nose. For me it is the ledge of a large boulder that had detached some time ago from the mountain above. 


Comments:
 
StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 6/26/2015 4:24:01 AM
I think this would make a good novel. It kinda reminds me of that 80's movie "Quest For Fire"

Zerix   Zerix wrote
on 6/6/2015 5:38:37 PM
This is the beginning of a full-length novel. Enjoy.

Zerix
Short Story
Adventure
writing Zerix
Dark Medieval Fantasy. War Epics, aventures, and games for thrones and anything else that comes from my heart.
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Synopsis
The first five entries in a Journal written by a man who is leaving this life. He writes about his past, a past that he previously would refuse to share.
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