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The Hunted Kind

Sometimes, secrets are held so tightly, they unravel before they can be stopped

“silhouette of woman” by Molly Belle on Unsplash

One day, while on a solo cliff-climbing expedition, experienced climber Claire Beaumont accidentally falls, breaking her leg in the process.

Alone, she goes to call for help, but her phone can’t get any service. As she creates a make-shift tourniquet, a young man appears out of nowhere, sees her and rushes to her side.

After introducing himself as “Riley,” he helps Claire to her feet. Suddenly, Claire no longer feels any pain. Also, when trying to recall what happened, she now remembers it as her getting herself down safely, and never getting hurt at all.

Eventually, she and Riley get to know each other more and soon start dating.

Three months later, Claire finds out that she is pregnant with Riley’s child. Ecstatic, she repeatedly calls him to tell him the news. However, after several attempts, he still hasn’t gotten back to her. She tries looking for him, only to discover that address he gave her is not real.

Now upset and angry, she tries calling him again, only to learn that number is no disconnected.

Distraught, Claire accepts the situation and goes about her business, planning on giving her child up for adoption when the time comes (her parents also insisting on it since they had their reservations.)

Almost five months later, however, Claire realizes that she is being stalked by an unmarked black van, which follows her to and from work, when out with friends, and watches her.

Disturbed, she goes to the police who agree to check it out, only for them to pass the suspicious activity off as harmless or non-threatening a few hours later.

Now nervous, Claire decides to move.After moving, all the suspicious activity finally appears to stop.

After moving, all the suspicious activity finally appears to stop.

Then, one day, Clair spots the black, unmarked van again following her.
As she tried getting away, the van pulls up to her. A window rolls down, and a man with a thick, gravelly voice asks her if she is Claire Beaumont.
Claire lies, but the man laughs it off, responding how he knew she was lying.

He apologizes, saying how they need to bring her to “him.”
She firmly states her refusal to go anyway. As she walks away, the man yells out if she’s seen “Daniel” around.
Stopping in her tracks, the man smirks.

“I don’t know anybody named Daniel,” Claire responds.

“Sorry again. Did I say Daniel? I meant Riley.”

“Is that who you were just referring to, before? As “him?’”

The man gives an exaggerated shrug. “Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. I mean, you do know why he hasn’t called right?”

Run now! If you get caught, it’s bad news!

A sudden voice screams in her head.

Claire attempts to get away, only to hear the man order someone in the van to get her.

The sounds of the van’s side door swinging open, followed by shoes slapping across the pavement behind her sends adrenaline through her. Unfortunately, the man chasing her catches up to her and grabs her, pulling her back to the van while covering her mouth.

Once the van side door shuts close, the man turns back, facing a panicked Claire.

After seeing her pregnant belly, the man congratulates her, commenting on how it was time for the baby to go see their dad for the first time.

The second man, the one who took Claire back into the van, asks what their next objective is. The man responds that now that they have everyone, that their boss is expecting the reunion as soon as possible.

Claire stares back at the man in wide-eyed confusion. The man reassures her that soon, her family will be whole again and that she’ll soon have all her answers.

As he turns back around and the van drives away, Claire hears the same voice again:

“Claire, I’m so sorry.”

Thank you so much for reading!

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