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NightInGale: Hunted

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In a world where magic is hunted, experience our world through the eyes of a mage on the run. Trust no one. Fear no one. Love no one. Even if you...can't help it. Magic and those who hunt such creatures. The balance of life has shifted and nothing is as it seems. Gale lives as a Mage our in the world on her own at the tender age of fifteen. Freedom tasted like fresh water waters falls and smell like forest pine. Imprisonment smells of metal, blood, and death. Gale soon discovers, freedom can't make up for being alone and hunted at every corner. Even if her death isn't what the hunter(s) sought.

Fantasy / Romance
Age Rating:


Scavenging the forest of the Telluride mountainside, were a pair of dark-haired twin Hunters. My eyes burned from the strain of constant use without sleep.

“If I could have planned my escape from the Sanctuary, I would have taken the hammock with me.” I yawned, and stretched.

“Hammocks aren’t as easy to play in, but I’m flexible.” Gabriel winked at me, his dark gold eyes glinting in the limited moonlight. He was seated beside me on the branch closest to the tree trunk, lounging.

“If you’re quite finished…” I crossed my arms over my chest.

“As you wish, Aarre.” He promised. I rolled my eyes.

The twin Hunters had reconvened in a small clearing, where Nayana’s moon was the only light. The ground was covered in green ferns, broken sticks, and other forest litter.

“We’ve fine-combed this part of the forest five times over!” The dark-eyed one complained. His accent, made eavesdropping from a distance more difficult. I leaped forward off my branch and grabbed the one before me.

“Where do you think you’re going, beautiful?” Gabriel lightly but firmly pinned the hem of my pant leg to my ankle. Heat seeped through the dirty hem.

“Is that a trick question? I'm getting a closer look." I hissed, yanking my leg out of his loose grip to complete the swing. Once stabilized on the new branch, leaves shivered audibly behind me, and familiar heat coated me.

Both twins had similar shoulder-length, curly white hair lightly tucked into the uniform of the Hunters: black leather jackets, pure white T-shirts, and black jeans. All designed to hide in the darkness before springing forth to attack any unsuspecting Mage wandering free.

According to Gabriel, these twins haled from the most elite of Hunter’s school, Compass Academy for the Hunter Elites. A good school that led to a promising career in Mage Hunting. I was amused by the thought of these twins attended the proud school of Compass Academy when these same boys couldn’t catch a mouse, as far as I had observed. Though, I suppose as the prey spying on her would-be Hunters that wasn’t fair of me to judge. He also mentioned that they trained majorly out of country, Dublin Ireland.

'Calling in reinforcements for me? I'm honored.' I amused myself.

“I think he’s codding us.” The darker eyed one glared into the trembling aspen leaves to his left, before collapsing onto his back, his eyes nearly invisible, simply dark holes in his sockets. He exhaled thoughtfully.

After a decade and some change, I expected the Hunters to have given up.’ I thought.

“She’s out here.” the other twin began.

’They act a little more like normal humans than you do,’ Reason pointed out. Reason was as he was named my little voice of reason. My Jiminy Cricket, my angel on my right shoulder. Everyone has a little voice of reason.

‘Spouting on and on about us so openly as they do, would expose us,’ I shrugged.

’Waving around fireballs and freezing someone’s drink because they made you angry is another.’ Reason didn’t often take my words or thoughts to heart.

“What we grant her is a kindness,” The other, who had light blue eyes, assured, unmoved. His optimism was flat but unshaken.

“Death is not a kindness,” I huffed, grinding my teeth a bit.

‘Don’t set the tree on fire, they’ll find you,’ Reason chastised.

‘Yeah, I’m sure your mom also warned you that if you kept your face like that it was going to stick that way!’ I spat back before a mental sigh escaped. ‘Sorry. I haven’t slept all week.’ If the lack of sleep wasn’t draining enough, my near-constant magic use was going to finish me off. Good thing Gabriel was here. Gabriel was a terrible flirt, but he was a good ally to have on your side, not that I had any other takers.

’You’ll always have me,’ he promised.

‘Thank you for being here for as long as I can remember,’ I soothed back on the twin Hunters.

“How’s the dear girl?” The second asked the first.

“Racheal is well. She is sharpening her aim before her field trip with Hunter SunShadow. She hiccups when she’s nervous,” The first spoke with soft amusement.

“Haha! Really? Ten years together and I never knew that.”

The second laughed, light and cheerful.

Sometimes, Hunters, at least from a safe distance, seem as human as the Mages they capture.’

The thought struck me more than it should have. I blamed my lack of sleep for a minute. Sentiment was dangerous for someone in my position. I owned nothing so I could lose nothing.

Hunters are human. You’ll never find a Mage-Hunting Incubus or a Mage-Hunting Warlock,’ Reason pointed out.

The latter would be ironic,’ I supposed. ’Though truthfully, I wonder how long it will be before this gets scary. If all the Hunters do eradicate the Mages what will be their purpose after that? Will they go after the Warlocks, the Wizards, and the Witches? What about other magical creatures? Are Mages simply the start?

That is a question you need not worry yourself over,’

Reason gave me a mental pat on my head with a black-gloved hand. I took some comfort in this but I heard some muffled papers shuffling in the background. He was audibly filing my question away. I took some comfort in that even if Reason didn’t say it “out loud” he took my thoughts and questions under careful consideration.

“How’s yours?” Dark Eyes inquired.

“My Bell’s well. She’s got her eye on this fabric she’s putting together into this fantastic dress! She has shown me some sketches that she had drawn and it looks stunning. It’s going to be beautiful, her best work,” The second one beamed, brushing his hair away from his face. I noted how his eyes shined against the moon’s light, reflecting his crystal blue. I tilted my head to catch them at a slightly altered angle. Light Eyes.

Don’t go falling in love now.’ There was a shudder in Reason’s warning.

I’ve seen blue eyes before. I’m not struck by them.’ I shrugged.

’’Prefer Gabriel’s eyes?’ Reason teased.

I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ I replied stubbornly. The flash of memory of Gabriel’s golden eyes glowing behind the smoke of his joint, like a predator in the night, was quickly pushed aside.

Gabriel’s golden eyes don’t bother you in ways you can’t describe? I should work on my observation skills, immediately,’ Reason teased.

’…If I could smack you, I would.’ I muttered. Reason laughed and I felt the gloved hand stroke my hair as I physically pouted.

I know.’ He said softly. My branch move slightly, Gabriel seated himself beside me. His profile in the moonlight etched shadows into his face, lost in his thoughts. He snapped his fingers and a small flame came to life, burning his thumb, it seemed, and he held it to the unlit joint. He lit a roll of gold paper wrapped around ground up, strange smelling, green leaves without using a lighter. I seated myself, gathering one knee into both of my arms and letting the other dangle. Chin resting on my knee, I watched the twins.

'I’m just tired.’ I decided, preserving my stubbornness.

“Part of fire magic. We Mages have to stick together.” His light tone dipped a bit and my spine straightened.

’He must be as stressed as I am. He had slept less than I,’ I decided.

“Magic isn’t a mundane tool. It shouldn’t be used for mundane tasks,” I would have called myself out on that piece of hypocrisy if I were serious. I was surprised Reason kept silent.

“I know, but think of how much I save on lighters,” Gabriel teased without calling me out.

“A Mage in disguise as a servant to His Royal Princeliness, Mr. ‘Next-in-Line’,” I scoffed. “I doubt you’re paid so little that you can’t afford a lighter or two.”

“Mr. Next-in-Line. Maybe I’ll bring that up next time I report to him,” Gabriel chuckled. He leaned back, resting his head on a tree branch, and his short curly black hair brushed a few leaves from a small branch above him. The smoke he exhaled wafted over, shading my view of the twins in light grey; mixed with the night, and the full moon’s light somehow made it harder to track the twins as they went about their clumsy attempt to hunt. My hand twitched and a short gust of wind banished the smoke from my sight.

How did they plan to pull this off? They couldn’t find a needle in a haystack with a magnet,’ I pursed my lips, my grip around my leg tightening. Reason laughed shortly. and I watched the twins test some traps they would leave in the clearing and laugh at each other for a story or two that I may have missed while lost in my thoughts. A heavier cloud of smoke obscured my view. I waved it away again with another strong breeze. This continued for a short while, ebbing at my sleepless and limited patience until I had lost all patience.

“Isn’t smoking going to give away our location?!” I tore my eyes from the twins to glare at him. He gave me a small smile and his eyes narrowed slightly. He placed a warm comforting hand on my back. I shouldn’t have leaned into him.

“Yeah…” His voice was flat and a little squeezed. He must have been exhausted. He stayed awake so I wouldn’t have to suffer sleeplessness alone as I watched the twins sleep. The hand that had been gently rubbing my back stopped and I was falling before I knew it.

The ground was soft from layers of pine needles and the smell of grass filled my nose. I tried to gather my shocked and scattered thoughts. Dry cold grass gathered under my bare hands, curling my fingers around the blades of grass.

Did he push me out of the tree?! Is he crazy?! I will kill him!’ I raked my hair back with my fingers.

“Whoa, hey! Are you alright, miss?” Footsteps approached and stopped right in front of me. Black shoes and dark jeans blended into the darkening forest that decorated my far sight. Cooling magic kicked in as I balanced on uneasy legs.

He had slightly curly black hair, and dark brown eyes, perfect for hiding at night under the full moon. The curve of his lips held a natural upturn at the corners, despite the look of outright horror and shock that now defined his face. I slightly ground the bit of earth collected in my right hand, and studied his face. I would remember this twin.

“Whoa!” His dark brown eyes widened, a perfect target. I threw the dirt, and waved a wide gesture to blow him back a yard or so.

“Hey!” The light blue eyed twin ran over to us. My heart stopped for a second, and my temperature rose. I widened my stance and jerked my arms in wide sweeping motions, and summoned a small tornado of fire to spring between us, distracting them long enough for me to run deep into the pitch-black woods. My hand caught fire, then a layer of ice quickly covered the flame. A perfect circle with a medium-sized hole over the top of the ice in the center, was a little flame. The dim light was enough for me to see. Before me was a rose bush with red roses in full bloom. The smell of my flame must have masked the subtle scent of the roses before me. I backed away from the bush and searched for a different clearing. ’I haven’t inhabited these forests long enough to know it’s mapping yet,’ Frustration clouded my thoughts.

I could continue living in the trees. I’m surprised I have yet to develop pointy ears and perfect marks-man ability… I lived among the elves for too long,- Not now, HailStorm!.

Survival Mode shoved my little fantasy aside and pushed me to keep going. I dodged behind trees, stopped only when I was sure they had lost my visual. I pressed myself against a nearby tree trunk that was thick enough to hide me and crushed my icy flame between my hands in a short but audible clap. They passed me with their bright flashlights and jingling chains in hand.

“Damn, she’s fast!” One of them huffed.

“And she exists!” The other countered, pointedly. My breath breath and tiptoed back to contain them in as much of my view as the limited moonlight bleeding through the leaves would allow. Leaves reached out to pet me, as I softly stepped on a particularly loud twig. The twins shuffled in place and they lock their eyes on me. I waved my hands and summoned a gust of wind to throw them back when I turned and ran into the darker parts of the forest unobserved by Nyana’s Moon. Low hanging branches and thorny bushes reached out to catch me as if I were falling. I waved my hand before me and listened for the leaves rustling together. My path was clear despite me not being able to see. Little wisps of light floated around me floating curiously beside me as I ran.

“Hunters!” I panted. That was all I had to say. The little multicolored wisps raced to my wake and buzzed around the twin Hunters like flies around rotting fruit.

“Aye! Damned fairies!” One cursed. The heat of their flashlights was tangible when my steps were illuminated. I waved my arms behind me a sent three fireballs to throw them off. My arm grew cold, I spun to freeze them in place or block them off before I pivoted, and ran in an undetermined direction.

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