I listen to the rain drumming on the ground outside, on the torn canvas shelter in which I hide.

I listen to the howling of the wind as it rips through the forest, bending branches and trunks with ease.

Pain shoots through me, as though every inch of my body is ablaze.

I hear the crunching of bone, the tearing of skin.

I tense. Relax. Tense again.

More crunching, more tearing.

The pain grows, the fire spreads.

Eyes shut, I wish I could only open them to find myself awake, leaving this nightmare behind.

They open. I am awake.

The pain has subsided.

I listen. I hear only the rain and the wind.

I crawl, slowly, out of the shelter.

I look to the sky.

It is pitch black, no stars visible through the thick storm clouds.

No light, bar one small clearing.

The full moon shines down upon me.

I let out a howl, gnash my teeth.

The scent of fresh meat enters my nostrils.

The hunt is on.


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Infinite Skies

I wait on the hilltop overlooking the city. The night sky above me is cloudless; countless stars blinking, the moon emitting a soft, pale glow. The gentle breeze drops, the leaves on the trees cease their rustling, and only the distant sound of late night traffic disturbs the otherwise silent calm.

I roll onto my back, gazing up at the lights flickering in the sky; each one a distant star, many with planets of their own orbiting. How many worlds are out there, I wonder. How many planets like ours are waiting to be discovered. Nobody knows the answer to that, and likely never will, but I cannot believe we are alone in this universe. It’s too vast – Einstein believed it to be infinite – for there not to be life elsewhere.

All those worlds. Those seemingly endless possibilities.

The sound of dogs barking brings me back to earth. I hear men shouting. I sit up, looking the opposite way to the city. I see torchlight flicking left and right. The noise grows louder, closer. I scramble to my feet, swinging my rucksack to my shoulders, tightening the straps.

Sadly, Unlike the sky and stars above, my night has just one possible outcome. I set off down the hill towards the city; the inevitable conclusion drawing ever nearer.