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Colton Hamshire

"Trail of Hope" by Colton Hamshire

SciFi/Fantasy text 1 out of 10 by Colton Hamshire.      ←Previous - Next→
 
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A hunter searches desperatly for food for his ill family, but he soon discovers that his only hope rests in the hands on a relentless ogre.
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←- The Passing | A Gentlemen's Game -→

Trail of Hope

The hunter followed the blood trail through the woodlands. He rushed forward desperately, eyes to the ground. Like the wind he swept through the forest becoming part of nature itself. He paused at times when the trail thinned out across the earthen floor to insure he would not lose sight of the blood. He couldnít afford to lose it. His ill wife and young child back in the cabin were starving, and the stag that he shot with his arrow was their only hope. He had hunted for days without so much as seeing a rabbit. Something wasnít right with that. The forest used to always teem with life, but in the recent months that life became scarce, until finally it seemed nothing roamed the woods, even the owls were gone from the night. But when he saw the stag drinking from a rivulet the hunter wasted no time. With the stealth of the most accomplished hunter he sneaked silently toward the stag and made his shot, but only managed to wound the animal before it dashed away into a fear-driven flight.

Now he followed the trail of the dying animal. It could not be off far. He knew soon the stag would become fatigued and collapse to its death. It had to. He would find it and make use of its meat to nourish his family, its hide for clothing for the approaching winter, and its bones for weapons.

Suddenly, a monstrous roar came from ahead--a terrifying beastly cry of aggression that resounded above all. Fear halted the hunter abruptly. The roar faded, carried away by the wind. The hunterís heart raced. It sounded close--too close. Slowly with the nock of an arrow on his bowstring, he crept forward, peering through the forest.

Light cut through the canopy in wide, dust-filled rays. The leaves danced in the breeze and the shadows followed their lead. The hunter inched farther along the blood trail. He followed the red line with his eyes and saw the stag sprawled out in a patch of briar, its chest rising and falling slowly. Relieved, the hunter dashed forward toward his familyís hope of survival, but a giant shadow fell over the stag, a shadow of a behemoth unfit to walk in natureís realm.

A monster the height of three grown men and just as wide came into sight from behind a large tree. A creature with skin the color of autumnís dying leaves and long thick oily hair that fell over its stalwart, knotted shoulders. Its muscle-bound legs and arms were as big as tree trunks and it wielded a tree stump like a club. It moved toward the stag, its grotesque flat face appearing ready to kill with a sinister, crooked grin. Thick saliva fell from its filthy mouth and onto the ground like stains on the earth. Oblivious to the hunter, the creature turned its back to the human and hovered over the stag, a tower of death.

The hunter recognized the giant before him before--and ogre! Though he had never seen one he could not mistake it. The ogre bellowed another deafening roar, and raised his club over the stag. Every muscle in the hunterís body told him to flee, to get back to his family, but he fought against it. He had hunted for days without success while his family starved. He found the stag; he hunted it, not the ogre. His would not let his family die with hope within sight. That stag meant everything; it meant life, so the hunter did not flee. Instead, going against everything his body urged him to do he raised his bow, took aim at the ogre just as the creature brought his club downward with a powerful swing and fired. He knew at that moment only he or the ogre would feast on the stag.

←- The Passing | A Gentlemen's Game -→

DateNameComment 
21 Jul 2009:-) Nathanael Herald Eisner
Very good! You had me drew in faster than the arrow flew from the hunter’s bow! I stayed in, too, to the end! It was like watching a movie, only reading it instead! Very impressive piece of a story this is! As the other time, I think it needs expanding. One thing is, though, I don’t understand why you recommended this one to me? I see no connections about anything I am to this, unlike with ‘Second Dawning’. Could you help me understand what made you think of this story in reference to me?
1 Aug 2009:-) Anna Rose
Again, you wrote so well you left me hanging! Did the hunter get the stag or did the ogre?
5 Aug 2009:-) MT Starkey
This is really cool. A great setup for a bigger story. Do you intend to continue this one?

:-) Colton Hamshire replies: "Thanks for reading. No, sorry to say, I don’t plan on expanding on this one as fo right now. I wrote this scene as a practice a while back. I hope you get to check out my other stuff."
22 Sep 2009:-) Alexander dannath Damien
Good work on the mechanics of writing. I liked that one could feel all the environment and really connect to the action happening right then, I love how you manage to do that!
But still, the story felt a little unfinished to me, since there wasn’t that much of a resolution to it, and I couldn’t see much of the character’s personality beyond his immediate actions.
Still, a good practice, and a good read.

:-) Colton Hamshire replies: "Hey thanks for taking the time to read the. I really appreciate them. It is good to hear from people that like it. I hope you enjoy the others!"
1 Dec 200945 Steve
great story, but now I want to know if the hunter won or the ogre? or maybe you have it done some place else? I’ll read some more of you work.

:-) Colton Hamshire replies: "Everyone wants to know what happens at the end of this story. Maybe I’ll write something else on it one day."
4 Jan 2010:-) Shaina Couch
I really liked this story. I like the detail you put into it. I could see everything in my mind. I just wish it had went on!!! 8 1
11 Apr 2010:-) Mary Ann Zachar
and once again I’m left with soooo many questions. Is this another writing exercise? It sounds like the begining of a larger story. Is the ogre the reason there’s no wild life, or is he just the precurser to an even greater evil lurking there? My only bit of critisism would be the sick wife and starving child part. I know that was put in to pull at the reader’s heart strings but it is a bit cliche. The descriptions were beautiful though, it really brought the story to life.

:-) Colton Hamshire replies: "Yes, this was another writing exercise. I haven’t put much more thought into it at all. I wrote it when I was a junior in high school."
21 Nov 2010:-) Heather M Alley Sellers
great little story! I really enjoyed it. now like everyone else, if only we knew what happened between the ogre and the hunter! only mistake I saw was in the last paragraph, should be an Ogre, instead of and Ogre.
21 Nov 2010:-) Heather M Alley Sellers
Meant to odd, I like how there are no names in this 3
21 Nov 2010:-) Holly Anne Fiore
Hi there, Colton. I liked this, especially when you described the dust-filled sunrays. The thing I would recommend, though, is to use more verbs, potent verbs, to describe any action taking place. A lot of times you seemed to use subject-verb-adverb instead of subject-verb. Like this: If you wrote "He walked slowly toward the parking lot" you can give it more power by using a verb, and an intense verb at that -- "He ambled across the asphalt to his awaiting car" or "He dragged his mopey feet along to his muddy station wagon" depending on the mood you want to set. See the difference?
Instead of using verb-adverb just go straight for the jugular and whip those verbs into shape so that the reader can feel more of a sense of urgency in the hunter’s plight.
This story is pretty good, but it has the potential to be even better. The action could stand to be more urgent and the hunter must shed a tear or two before he can muster his resolve.
I wish, though, that there was more to read, even though one can pretty much guess that the hunter’s going to win.
But the question every writer must ask themself is ’So what?’
In other words, why do we care about this hunter and his family?
Make us care, Colton. Make us drown in our tears and want to help them. Make us hate and fear the ogre. Make us want to take a flying leap and grab that stag too. Readers should be the characters. They must see something of themself in the situation or empathize with it. We need to care about the good guy and want to eradicate the bad guy...
Sorry for this long comment; I thought that you might be able to use this information to improve upon this already-good piece and perhaps glean a little bit from it for future reference.
I will read and comment on all of your work if I can.
Hope some of this helps. Have a good holiday (meaning Thanksgiving if you are a US citizen, or the coming Xmastide if you celebrate it...)
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'Trail of Hope':
 • Created by: :-) Colton Hamshire
 • Copyright: ©Colton Hamshire. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Fight, Forest, Hunter, Ogre
 • Categories: Mythical Creatures & Assorted Monsters, Orc, Goblins, Trolls, Trollocs...
 • Views: 1601

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More by 'Colton Hamshire':
The Cause of All Fear
A Gentlemen's Game
Barroom Brawl
Final Flight
Tragedy's Lesson

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