The Bright Hunters’, B.L. Draper

Illustrations © 2015 Cécile Matthey



 [ Hunters, © 2015, Cécile Matthey ] She waits, alone in the dark.

Bright lights pierce the gloom and the sound of engines rumble overhead. Hidden in the rocky crevice, her tentacles curled around her body, she cradles herself as the fear grows.

She feels the lack of him beside her, the mate that she’d traversed the depths with for more than a memory’s worth of years. Until they came, these alien creatures with their bright lights and noisy machines and their ropes and nets.

They’d had no reason to fear them. Always this world had belonged to them, to him and her. Their size, their passion, their joy; allowing them to feed and wander and love where and when they wanted. Never had she known this feeling before, this fear. This lack of freedom.

Curiosity was all she felt when they first appeared. Their light stung her eyes, so used to the gloom, but it also fascinated her. Like the sunlight occasionally glimpsed when they rose upwards towards the surface, it glittered and beckoned like the siren’s call.

But soon enough she felt the terror, when they captured him. While he twisted and trumpeted with rage and she tried to untangle him. Her tentacles, usually so dextrous, could not cut their bindings, and she could only watch as he disappeared upwards, towards the light.

Ever since she had hidden away in the darkness, afraid and unsure. And now they had returned, the bright hunters, looking for prey.

She waits, alone in the dark.


© 2015, B.L. Draper

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