Sweat dripped from his brow. The aliens were catching up fast. Ryan pushed through the trees, racing down the hillside toward the stone ruins. There were caverns below them. An intricate system of tunnels that he could be lost in for months. He grabbed at the crumbling rock entrance that was probably once a wall as he turned the corner.
Part of the stone wall gave way, falling to the ground. He slipped, losing his glasses. Fuck. Everything further than two feet ahead of him was blurry. Practically blind without his glasses, Ryan headed for the entrance just as he saw one of the aliens jump over the rocks. Ryan raced into the tunnels, enveloping his entire body into darkness. He receded into the tunnels, using his hands to guide him. After running deep and far, he wanted to hunker down but knew he couldn’t. The aliens would find him. With no choice in the matter, Ryan was forced to calm his breathing and wait to see if they followed. They were coming. He looked around wildly, trying to see better in the dark.
There were pits twenty feet down in the middle of a ritual site. He saw them on one of his hikes a week ago. With no choice, Ryan climbed and slid down into the pit, grabbing onto loose rock where he could. He hid within the darkness. Fear locked every one of his muscles down as he listened to the sound of their footsteps coming closer. They weren’t heavy but almost soundless—like a tracker. Fear took over Ryan’s mind as he looked up, watching and waiting for any sign of the aliens. He thought he heard the aliens move away.
A chill raced through his blood as he heard the sound of their voices. The deep cadence sounded like something exotic and raw. There were pauses as though he were listening to someone on a communication device. Fuck him. Ryan looked up, searching for any sign of the aliens, but everything was blurry. He squinted as he looked up at the ruins above him. The smooth stone surrounding him felt suddenly like a coffin. He’d gone deeper into the pit than he had expected to go. The first hold was two feet above his head. There was no way he was getting out of this pit without help. He was fucking screwed. The alien’s voice echoed. Laughter suddenly carried through the ruins as though he were laughing at something someone else had said and that fucking terrified him.
Without warning, a whip-like device snaked down into the pit, locking around Ryan’s waist. He was hauled up at a violent speed that gave him no time to react to what was happening. He came face-to-face with the alien who held him captive. A sneer enveloped his lips at his victory. He was the prey and this animal was going to take him now that the hunt was over.