Last Run, Shadow Girl

This is a short story written for the Immortal Instruments short story writing contest. Aries has been on the run all her life. Being of shadow faery origin, she is a prize to hunters and other courts because of their rareness. Will she survive her most recent run in? Find out.

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1. The Long Run is Over

Aries' feet hit the wet cobble, stirring the puddles. She breathed raggedly, tired from running.

The hunters who chase her, have been hunting Airies since the age of 10, when she was thrown onto the streets because she was different. Shadow Fae were rare and very powerful, which was why they were a prize for courts to control since there were so few left. Though for the Hunters, Shadow Fae were another trophy for their trophy case. Her true identity was accidentally revealed to them when she was trying to cheer up some crying children. Little did Aries know that those children belonged to the Paranormal Hunters' Agency (PHA). 

Aries shuddered at the sound of  the hunters cackling as they chased her down the dark, cobblestone streets of London. It was as if they treated their chases as a game, a very twisted game.

Her pace grew faster, knowing the hunters were closing in. Iron tipped arrows whizzed past Aries, some of them hitting the nearby parked cars. She glanced back and saw another one coming towards her head. Aries ducked, but wasn't quick enough. The arrow grazed the top of her scalp, leaving a stinging gash. Aries winced in pain and ran harder.

Aries slipped, but recover. She focused on finding an escape route, only to see more trouble. In front of her were more hunters, except instead of being human, they were a group of raven like fae from some court, looking to have Aries fight on their side. There was no way she would do that. No one would control her.

A dark alley was coming up, and she made a bee-line for it. Aries figured she could loose them in the twisting alleys of London. Aries pushed herself more, and ran into the safety of the alley. As she ran towards the end of it, she realized her grave mistake. Aries groaned, frustrated that there was no exit to the alley except the one she had just came through. She heard the hunters and the raven fae draw deadly close to the entry way of the alley.

Aries slowly turned and planted her feet firmly on the ground. She refused to go down without a fight. The hunters reached the alley way opening first. Aries tried to grab hold of the alive shadows around her, but they shrank back, fearful of the hunters. She watched helplessly as the Hunters leveled their bows and shot their arrows that were trained on her. The last thing Aries heard was the fae shrieking in rage and the tearing the Hunters' bodies. Her body recoiled from the impact of five arrows in her midsection. Aries breathed her final breath, and laid still in the dark cobblestone alley.

                                                                                    .~.

"Where am I?" Aries whispered as she opened her eyes to see a bright blue sky. She sat up, and saw she was in a field filled with wild flowers, surrounded by cloaked people. Their shadows seemed to be dancing and full of life behind them.

"Home," they said in union.

For once in her life, Aries felt at peace.

"You don't need to run anymore. Your safe now."

Aries signed in content and stretched out across the wild grass, resting for the first time in a long time.

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