Ema ran her hands through her hair, pulling away the hairs sticking to her sweaty face due to the boiling sun beaming down on her boiling car. It was summer vacation, and she was driving back home to California with her boyfriend Stuart.
"Want some water?" he asked, before taking a huge gulp himself.
"Don't drink all of it, we need to save some! I have no idea when the next gas station is"
"If worse comes to worse, we'll just drink our pee"
Ema couldn't help but chuckle, "You are so gross, dude"
"Dude? When were we on dude terms?"
"When I was thinking of dumping you after all your pee jokes" she said, turning around and winking at him.
The couple were taking a different route than last time, through the backwoods as they had heard from friends it's much quicker to get home. The quicker the better, as driving in California for so long isn't such a great idea.
"Hey, whose that" Stuart said, pointing out at a man standing on the side of the road, his hand out.
"Hitchhiker... Will I stop?"
"Shit, we can't leave him out in these woods, they go on forever"
Pulling over, Ema rolled down the window and looked up at the hitchhiker who was smiling at her, he had brown hair and brown eyes. Very attractive. "Hey, needing a ride?"
"Yeah, that'd be great!" he replied, jumping in the back of the car as Ema started driving. "Thanks for this, I'm Dane"
"It's fine, so what you doing out in the middle of the woods?" Stuart asked.
"Just looking for a lift home," Dane replied, "Not far from here"
Ema gasped, "You live out in these woods?"
"Yeah, it's only like a five minute ride, me and my family live out here, we're hunters"
"Ooh, wild hunters, what do you hunt?"
"Everything really, anything that moves"
Stuart laughed, "Even people?!"
"I do," Dane said, also laughing.
A sudden silence filled the car as Dane kept on chuckling. Looking out the window, Ema seen two men in the distance, walking towards the car, "That your family?"
"Yeah, that's my dad Ray and brother Garth," he replied. "Thanks for the ride"
Ema began to pull over next to the two men as Dane started to get out, but the older man pulled out a shotgun from behind his back, it all went by in a moment as he smashed the handle against the window, and then against Stuart's head, knocking him unconscious as Dane grabbed a screaming Ema's hair and bashed her head twice off the steering wheel, also knocking her out cold.
Her eyes were blurry as she began to wake, the first feeling she felt was a sudden hot flash on her back. She was lying on the road, Stuart awake next to her, trembling and shaking. Around her were ten other people, all laid on the road, looking scared and petrified. She looked up at the three men stood on the road infront, Dane being one of them, he held a bow and arrow in his hand, as his father Ray held a 12 guage shotgun, with the older brother Garth weilding curved blades but handguns in his holsters. Dane had told her he liked to hunt anything that moves, meaning humans, and this was their game.
The Players: Ema and Stuart. Family of four, parents Harry and Francine, daughters Claire and Abby. Three friends, Jenny and her best friends Adam and James. And the three loners, Cara, Vanessa and Chris.
Ema watched the men infront of her carefully as Ray pulled out a horn and with a grasp of the ball, a horn blared out that hit the nerves in everyone's ears. "You all get a 10 second head-start, so start running!"
A sudden adrenaline rush flow through the twelve players, Stuart grabbed onto Ema as they fled down the road opposite the men, the other players followed, grouping together with their loved ones. It felt like a second, but the ten second head start had passed, and the sound of Ray cocking his powerful shotgun echoed through the woods. In an instant, he pulled the trigger and a bullet blasted out the barrel, flying through the air and smashing into the back of a running Claire's head, her skull exploded and blood splattered out as she fell forwards onto the road.
"Baby!" her mother, Francine cried. She stopped running and ran back to her daughter but Harry grabbed her hand and urged her to move on as the now family of three dissapeared into the woods. A second gunshot caused everyone to jump, as the next player to fall was Jenny, a bullet hitting her hard on the back of her legs, that instantly weakened as she fell onto the hot road.
"Help me!" she screamed, but Adam and Lucas had already fled into the woods, as had everyone else. Jenny tried to crawl along the road as tears streamed down her face, the pain in her legs excruciating.
"Two down already, we did good this time, right dad?" Dane smirked.
"Very good," Ray replied, "You want this one?"
Jenny looked up at Dane and begged for her life, but he raised his bow and arrow, pulling it back and letting it go, the bow spiralling down on Jenny and penetrating through her face. She too lay dead on the ground, blood spilling from her as Claire's body lay not too far from hers.
Still running through the endless woods, Ema began to pant for breathe as Stuart dragged her along, but she felt her legs buckling from underneath her as she had to stop. "I can't run anymore"
"Baby, we have to, they could be near us!"
"I can't fucking run!"
She then sat down on a log to catch her breathe, as a rustling in the trees caused both her and Stuart to panic and shoot their heads to the right, but it was the two other players, Vanessa and Brooke.
"Sorry to scare you, we just don't know where to go or what to do..." Cara whimpered.
"You're staying with us, okay? And we're all going to get out of here" Stuart assured her, confidently.
Vanessa sat down next to Ema before pulling out a satchet of water she had under her top, in the form of a necklace and handing it to her. Ema replied with a smile before taking an energizing gulp of the water, "Thanks"
"So, what's the plan?" Vanessa asked, "Kill these redneck bastards or find an escape route?"
Ema wiped her mouth, "Escape route, but if we manage to do both at the same time, I'm happy with that"
On the look-out, Stuart returned to three ladies. "Alright, let's get moving... It's too dangerous to just sit around"
Chris panted and sobbed as he ran through the woods, looking back, left, right, making sure none of the hunters were following him. He seen the other players Adam and Lucas walking through, but didn't stop to be with them, knowing being with others is more dangerous than being alone. A sudden pain shot through his entire body, as he stopped running and let out a roar of pain, looking down to see a beartrap digging in the sides of his leg, each razor stabbed deeply in his flesh.
"Shit, shit" he cried. He grabbed it and tried to pull it free, but the solid metal wasn't budging and just causing him more pain. He heard footsteps behind him and looked over his shoulder, to see the cheeky smile of Garth.
"Hey there" Garth said, excitedly. "My first kill of the game"
"No, please don't... Please" Chris cried
"Got your foot stuck a little, huh?" Garth replied, "Let me get that for you" His smile then changed into a angry face, as he roared and grabbed Chris, pulling him backwards as he was pulled free from the beartrap but with his severed foot still in it. He screamed and cried as blood poured from his stump. "How does that feel?"
Garth pulled out his curved blade and in a quick second, stabbed it through Chris' back as it sliced through his insides and tore out of his chest. Chris stopped screaming as his eyes looked down at the blade, before rolling into the back of his head as he fell forwards and out of the blade, landing with a thud on the ground. Garth chuckled as he raised the blade again and went knife-happy, stabbing him over and over again.
Players out: Claire, Jenny, Chris 3/12