Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Fiction work #20

There is a line. From my clenched fist, down my arm, across my shoulders, up my other arm to my folded elbow. The ends of this line wish to touch, to bend; they pull together like there is a spring between them but I hold them apart, creating a vacumn, into which I put an arrow. This bar of steel, wood, and feather sits, still, in the cradle of this vacumn, waiting, poised for flight. A bead of sweat has reached it's capacity and now rolls down between my shoulder blades to join it's comrades in the liner of my warm jacket. My hip is itchy. It has been so for the last thirty minutes. I long to scratch it, but doing so would ruin the shot I have waited a week for. My mind has waited so long, my body can wait now.

My attention is focused on my quarry, who is big enough that I am allowed a glimpse into what mammoth hunters from days of yore felt. I can see his breath in the air, coming from his shaggy throat. He doesn't know I'm here.

Picking his way with almost glacial speed, determined not to miss a single morsal, so scarce in this weather, he moves closer. A step, a smell, a pause, a smell, a step. For the last hour, not a muscle has twitched on this forest cow that I was not aware of.

As the pivotal second draws closer, I put myself, my heart, all my focus, into the arrow, double checking the wind, the time, the temperature, ground height, altitude. My aim is perfect, straight to his heart, the barb will kill him instantly. Those antlers will be a prize trophy, everything else I will either consume, use, or feed to the dogs; not a scrap wasted. That is my gift to this noble beast. He will lay down his life that I, the greater predator, may eat, and I respect his sacrifice, for we are all part of the circle of rebirth
The moose just farted. I bark out a laugh, so involuntary, and the animal bolts. I release my shot helplessly off mark then just laugh and laugh.
What the hell else can you do?
I pack up my kit and go home; the giggles are fatal to my trade. I'll get something tomorrow. For now, there's supper.
I think I'll have beans.

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