“The present. Focus on the present.” The voice slithered in the darkness. I will never get used to that.
Easier said than done. What with all the drama at home. Mom struggling to get clean. My little brother wandering the streets with those thugs he calls friends. Dad leaving us in the dust two years ago. The past and the future are all I can think about these days. What would happen tomorrow; what I should’ve done to keep dad home; if mom is ever going to keep her promise to Stevie and I so that we can finally move back in with her.
Focus on the present. Right.
I run headlong into the brush, hoping to find some sort of solace from the tension that exists outside and inside the Combine. I ignore the rough bark of the tree scratches my neck and I strain my ears to listen for signs of movement. My quarry is flighty, temperamental and unpredictable but I am Hunter, so named like my father before me and his father before him. There is none that can hide for long. I fade into the shadow, stepping around the trunk of the tree. Movement in the forest branches catches my eye but I react faster. I sidestep the blades as they seek flesh. A blind throw of course, for none can see me in the shadow, but still I would rather be safe than sorry. In a moment, I leap and catch my prey by the foot, swinging and pulling down as hard as I can. An easy kill. I materialize back into the light, the point of my blade drawing blood from a bare neckline.