Hunter isn't an edit, it's a rewrite. The new ending I have in mind is good, and it ties together the story threads quite nicely. I want to salvage a few parts of the original story, I worked in a lot of imagery that adds to the ghostly feel of the story and I want to keep that. The main character is still the hunter, but he's not so much hunted as he's caught between a rock and a hard place. He becomes judge jury and executioner.
As for the parsec story, I've jotted down about a dozen ideas I could write. I'm going to pick my favorite and run with it. The contest allows up to four entries per writer, so I'll take it one story at a time, and just try to vary the use of the theme and genre to make them as different as possible. I started the first story over lunch, and it's a little creepy. I wrote the ending first actually, which is unusual for me, and the fate of these characters is kind of sickening but fascinating at least to me. I just need to keep writing it and see what it turns into or rather, starts with. :)
I really like the theme -- Color of Silence -- and I swear they must've picked it for me this year. Last year's theme was Dark Glass and I almost had a story for it, but just didn't commit to it. The prior year just stumped me (Metallic Feathers). I know I can write to a theme, and finally I've got one that just sings to me. I can't waste the opportunity. Hopefully the story will sing too.