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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

The Girl's Hunter, Prologue

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

The final draft for the prologue of my new novel, The Girl's Hunter (aka Lan and Sorraru).

The tribes usually slept soundly, feeling warm and comforted in their beds. Until word got out that the Homecomer has returned. News of the Homecomers got around the tribes quickly by way of messengers. Messengers who were sent out from the tribes the moment the two missing people were reported, and were under oath to remain at their station until the Homecomer returned.

It was on this night no one slept.

The people of the four tribes knew the rules well, though they had never met the person behind them. They were known only as The Man. The Man was the one responsible for taking two people from different tribes, throwing them into an arena and forcing them to find and kill one another. Only one emerges. Alive, but not necessarily victorious. The Homecomer may be shunned by the community, they may have physical and emotional scars. Some that have returned in the past have killed themselves within days. The life of a Homecomer is one of shame – death is much easier.

Two more people were usually taken the night after the Homecomer’s return. It could have been anyone. Toddlers, children, young people, men, women, the elderly – no one was spared. No one was given exemptions. No one’s situation, no matter how dire, was taken into account. No one’s family was considered. No one was safe.

No, no one slept the night of The Taking. Some did – children and their mothers who were unfit or unable to fight. It was the father’s job to protect his family. Many fathers stood guard outside of their homes on this night. Some older sons, too. It was no use, for The Man had ways of taking his victims right under the families’ noses. Gone without a trace. Weeping mothers, angry fathers. All the tribe hopeful for their victim’s return. Two were never taken from the same tribe.

Everyone knew the rules. And so, when Lan and Sorraru felt the hands cover their mouths, the constricting bonds locking their arms behind their backs, the sound of their muffled screams and protests, they knew what was happening. They knew as their lids closed that they would soon awaken in a different place where the other was waiting. They would wander through the Environment until they found one another, and they would be forced to choose: whose life is worth more?

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