When you smell your prey; they must smell delicious. They must smell like a smorgesboard of flavors that you haven’t experienced; flavors new and exciting. Perhaps you were bored with the usual tastes; the vineyard of grape had dried up on your serpent tongue. How do you choose your prey? Do you know straight away or do you circle around like the lion circles the antelope? Circling to determine which angle to strike at to take it down.
But you do choose and you choose well. You choose the weakling in the group. You choose the one who stands out from the rest. You choose the one who has already been shunned. You choose the one whom life has already been cruel to. You choose the one who is too tired to see you coming. You choose the one who is broken. You choose the one who has no protection. You choose the one who is alone. You choose the one who is clinging to life with bloody fingernails; but you choose.
What was behind the eyes of your prey? Was it need? Was it want? Was it loneliness? Was it despair? You could smell it on them. For you are a hunter, forever searching for prey.
Your plan started small. Like a child who dips his toes into the lake, to test the water. The water was just right. It felt good to bathe in the coolness of cruelty.
First, you stole. Taking a tidbit here and there from your prey until they doubted their own sanity. There was no explanation for the loss. But once you began, you were relentless. The prey was more delicious than you had imagined. And you were hungry.
You were hungry because life had not fed you well. Perhaps you were born cruel, with a stain on your soul that made you do bad things. So you did bad things without skill and you were caught. Caged like an animal, no one saw the fear in your eyes of what you were capable of. You were afraid of yourself. But you were silent. How, after all, would you describe your fear? No one would understand. So you were punished often, for you did bad things often. You must, then, be a bad person.
The stain on your soul grew as the punishment grew until most of your soul was a very dark place. The darkness became comfortable for you. It was a darkness you could hide behind; like a cloak of disappearance. You finally learned how to sneak around in the daylight. You learned to be someone that others wanted to be around. The cloak helped you hide and the darkness became your friend.
Coming out of the shadows, you attacked. One attack after another; a well formed-battle, a well-formed war. Your soldiers were young, but well-trained. They bit at their prey; stealing bits and pieces. The prey was already weak; too weak to fight back. The prey lost time, joy, light. The prey lost pieces of herself to the hunter and his army.
Finally, the hunter went in for the kill. The hunter wanted the prey’s pride, home, children, and her life. The hunter needed the prey to lurk in the shadows as he did. He needed his prey to live in the darkness where life is hopeless. The hunter didn’t want to live there alone and had many other heads stacked onto his trophy shelf. With every trophy, the hunter could wrap the black cloak around his soul even tighter, feeling the comfort of hiding. You don’t want to be seen. Your soul with it’s black stains must be covered. You must live in the very shadows that you step out from.
You have followers; they can’t be called friends, after all, they don’t know you. You show them what you want them to see. They are shallow and easily fooled. You are bored with them, but need their respect; you can’t respect yourself. There is chaos around you, but your followers think it’s exciting. You are the life of the party.
When you point your finger at your prey, it will be in your plan; but plans are fickle. Plans don’t always work out. Plans can change. You had missed something in the dimmed eyes of your dying prey. You had missed the fact that your prey had the heart and soul of a lion. It was your turn to be caught off guard. Your prey finally saw what was not hidden by your cloak of shame. Your prey saw your eyes and your childrens eyes. They were blank with a longing of needs unmet. They were blank with failure. They were blank with a lack of worth. A worth that you tried to steal for yourself and your children. You realized that you had chosen wrong. You lost control. Your prey rose up one last time.
You smelled defeat, and like a coward, you ran, into the night. You would keep running; again and again. For you had learned at a young age that you were only wrong if you got caught. You were only wrong if your wrongs were brought into the light of day.
Your prey, however, knew when you were wrong. It was when you put your plan into place. It was when you and yours first stole. It was when you and yours told your first lie. It was when you and yours struck your first blow. But the hunter doesn’t have the lines of right or wrong in his dark heart. The hunter believes it’s ok to rape “just a little,” to steal “just a little,” to lie “just a little,” to poison “just a little,” to humiliate “just a little,” to set fire to your enemies home, “just a little.”
The prey knows that you’ll never be free from the chains around your life. You will never be free to find out who you are without your black soul. You will wander the Earth, rattling your chains lounder and louder throughout your life. The chains will fill some with fear and it will fill your followers with excitiment and envy. Yet they envy someone who will never feel the warmth of the sunlight of a new day on their face. You will forever live only to throw others off of your scent as the hounds grow closer to you.
That is your hell. And you and yours are in it; for life.
Your prey will recover. Your prey will be happy to be alive, that her children are safe, that her home is not burnt to the ground and that they are free from the darkness that is you and yours. Your prey will lick their wounds and have friends to share their heart with and will feel the sunlight on their faces. Your prey will feel joy and sadness. Your prey will be wiser and look at the world differently; warily.
Yet, the hunter and his will die wearing masks in the dark. The hunter will leave a legacy of violence, intimidation and fear. His legacy will live on through his offspring. A legacy of darkness and loneliness and hiding. The legacy of a bully.
Those of you who are being bullied right now, I want you to find the strength inside of you to rise up. You will always win. Your light shines brighter than the darkness of even the darkest soul. Your legacy is light and joy and hope. Your legacy is a life well-lived out in the open, away from the shadows and away from the darkness. Your legacy is free from the chains of evil and hate and harm. Your legacy is goodness and kindness and human spirit. Your heart and soul are strong and bright and you will overcome. You will prosper. And at the end of your days, you will have a life well lived; a life to be proud of.