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Materfamilias



I've missed my family terribly these past few days, badly enough that I've begun to doubt my skills as a markswoman. Not that I've failed entirely. On the first day of the hunt, I did put a bullet in my husband's heart. But Wilhelm was a large, lumbering man, while Ernst and Greta are small and agile. They've proven to be quite the challenge, not that I'm complaining. There'd be no point to this were it easy, and I'm awfully proud of my little ones for leading me on such a chase. Of course, it's only a matter of time before I overtake them. The children don't know the darkest depths of this forest like I do. And I've harried them so relentlessly that hunger and fatigue will be hobbling them by now. No huntress has ever been as merciless in pursuit of her prey as I.

I owe my children that.

My efforts will be rewarded soon. Most likely, I'll return home, my true home at the heart of these woods, and place Wilhelm, Ernst, and Greta within the family room, perfectly preserved beside my other husbands, sons, and daughters. Having married so often and born so many children, one might think I would grow weary of that, yet I never do.

After all this time, occasionally I still think back to the first of my husbands claimed during this game, replaying the scene of my poor, sweet Josef pleading with me to spare our boys. "They have their whole lives ahead of them!" he begged. "A few meager decades!" I cried back. "After a thousand years walking this world, I can tell you that a brief span of mortal decay can hardly be called a life!" Then I let fly my arrow to pierce Josef's poor, sweet heart, for I loved him so. I love them all, most especially my children. I will not allow another to wither away to nothing. Better to die young and gloriously in the hunt. And there's always the hope that--

What's that I hear?

Rustling in the underbrush.

Stifled groans of pain and exertion.

I hurry forward and find my son and daughter crossing a small, sunlit clearing, Greta dragging a lame, bloodied leg and Ernst desperately pulling her along. A twig snaps beneath my boot, and they turn and spot me. In an instant, Ernst drops his sister and flees, leaving her behind screaming for help. My poor, sweet Greta tries to crawl away, but I stop her with a heel upon her back, pinning her down as I aim my rifle. Her sobs bring to mind so many other daughters I've slain. "Hush now, darling," I whisper to her. "Mama's here." With a squeeze of the trigger, I send my love straight through Greta's poor, sweet heart...

Now for ruthless little Ernst. I wonder... Will he be the child to finally best me and take this eternal life for his own? Oh, what a happy mother that would make me!
 
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source:
by reddit user Dove_of_Doom via reddit.com/r/ShortScaryStories

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