Under the Hunters Moon by JB Mulligan

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Yeah, it’s a new blind, built it last week. Saturday. Out all day. Phyl made me a sandwich for dinner. Ham and swiss. Said she was tired. She gets tired a lot lately.

Yeah. I heard you stopped by.

You could have kept that longer, if you needed it. But thanks for bringing it back.

Yeah, you take something of somebody’s, you return it the way it was when you took it. I know, sometimes you can’t, but still…

Yeah, there’s a lot of them come through here this time of year. Filling up before the winter as much as they can. Be slim pickings soon enough. And it’s not like the doe can make them a sandwich, ha! Can’t get them a beer, either. Not sure why they don’t drink. Everything should, in this world. Enough pain so you can use the numbness, you know?

Here we go, right up in the tree. Yeah, you go.

Jeez, there’s steps – whoopsie, whoa – now you got it. Christ, you grew up around here.

Yeah, I know your daddy owned the store. I grew up here too.

Well, if you can climb those damned ladders in the store, you should be able to.

I know it’s getting dark.

There we are. Quite an adventure already, right?

That’s right, now we wait. Got coffee, got beer, got hard-boiled eggs. Hell, we had some pussy here, we could stay forever, right?

No need to laugh that loud, they heard you climbing.

Don’t worry, they’ll be back. Stop worrying so much. Have a beer.

Fine, have a coffee then. Me, I think I’ll have a little of both.

Yeah, that’s a big-ass moon for sure. We could read by it, if that were worth doing. Clouds blowing by like that, it’ll be light from now till maybe ten.

Yeah, I’ve read some. Not in a while, though.

Favorite. That road not taken one. Sometimes that does make all the difference for a man. This road looks good, easy, lots to see and do. Oops – turn a bend and there’s a big old cranky bear, smack dab in the middle of the road. Looks hungry too. Take the other road, and you wouldn’t be his breakfast.

Crap, I forgot, we got biscuits too. You want one?

Suit yourself. More for me. And stop being so damn nervous. You’ve been hunting before.

Twice? Wow. With a gun or a camera? Joking.

Christ, it’s peaceful here. Nobody for miles. No deer yet, but they’ll come. You like venison?

Good. I hate people complain that it’s so cruel to the animals, then go to the store and buy hot dogs. What do they think that is, brown vegetables? Hate people who take other people’s stuff too.
Yes, I’m glad you brought the damn chain saw back, I already said that. We’ll give you a freaking merit badge when we get back.

Sorry.

Yeah, it’s peaceful here. Put aside the worries of life, disappointments, doubts… bills due. All that crap. Just watch and wait. Smell the woods getting ready for winter. Look at the moonlight…. Cleansing everything. It’s just a pure world here. No people.

What? Sorry, might’ve dozed off there a second or two.

Ha, that’s funny. Glad I don’t snore. Phyl gets mad enough without that. Woman’s got a temper. Meek and sweet most of the time, calm, quiet as a tree in the graveyard – then boom, all those stored up… passions come out. Grab your hat and duck. It blows over.

Should’ve known more about her when we married. Both young, both heated-up crazy. There’s a whole lot there inside such a little woman, but damn…

No, we couldn’t. Didn’t matter whose fault it was, so we didn’t go to a doctor. God’s will. Maybe kids would have… made her better. Happier. Hell, maybe they would have driven her crazier.
Your wife a crazy one?

Well, that’s good. Crazy’s got its good points, but an awful lot of effort to find them.

Look, there’s some. Awful far off, but if they turn up there by the pond…. Come on, come on, bring it over here, darlings.

Ah Jeez. What is that?

A cat. A freaking cat. Out here. Unbelievable. Damn thing’s probably in heat, or on the prowl.

Good point, okay, it would not be a good time of year to start a litter up. But sometimes the urge gets so strong, she just has to – and he, holds for both. That’s why they call it tomcatting.

Well, we wait some more. You want a top on that coffee?

There you go.

You’re welcome.

Yeah, it’s so nice and quiet here. Kid I knew in high school told me once this is where God comes to pray. Out in the woods, away from everything but the quiet. Not sure how a preacher would take that, but it did make me think. It’s important to take stock of your life every so often. What have I done? Have I returned my neighbor’s chain saw? Joking. But seriously, you get out here, away from the hustle bustle of the world, and it makes you realize how… brief you are. We blow out like matches, all over, every day. How many people have died since we climbed up into this tree?

Yeah, I know.

Is that another? Yep. Three of them. Damn cat scares them away again, I’m shooting the cat, I swear.

How do you suppose catburger tastes?

Come on! Nothing there to scare them, they just got contrary and went a different way. Off to their little deer beds to say their little deer prayers and go to sleep and have little deer dreams. Hey, maybe they dream of hunting us, huh?

No, you can’t blame them. No blame at all.

You and the missus planning on kids?

Hey, that’s great. Just be sure they don’t turn out like most people. Teach them right.

Well, yeah, usually they are the better ones. That’s why they call them the better half right? I’m sure she’ll make a fine mother. And you’re not a cat, you can knock your old lady up any time of the year – oh Jeez, sorry, that’s disrespectful.

No, I’m sorry, that was a wrong thing to say.

No it’s – whoa, look at that. Ooh, she’s a big one. Come on, come on…. Yes. Your breeding days are over, honey. Get your gun ready. You want first shot?

Okay, mine then. Come close, come close…

Got her! Good shot, she dropped like a rock down a well, yes.

She moving? God, I thought I got her clean. Go down and check.

No, go down, I’ll stay right here.

Go down.

Go. Down.

Of course, bring your gun. Jeez.

Careful there. Good.

Go check her out. Jeez, I’m usually a better shot than that.

Get close to her. She won’t bite you.

Heart shot? Got it.

That’s what I was looking to do.

No, you stay right there. I’ll be right down.

Time to gut and skin you, sweetheart.

Jeez, just look at that moon. Isn’t it gorgeous out here? If we listen close enough, think we’ll hear God praying?

Praying for what?

 

JB Mulligan

 

Banner photograph: Created by: *Micky* (URL: Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons – A white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in a forest in Minnesota.

5 thoughts on “Under the Hunters Moon by JB Mulligan

  1. I enjoyed reading this piece. The characters were made somehow even more vivid because of the format and it bears more than one read as there is so much room for the readers imagination to fill in the blanks. Great fun.

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  2. Hi JB, this was an interesting piece of fun. I enjoyed how you managed to convey the whole story from a one sided point of view. At first I though he was on the telephone, then it became clear what was going on; however having a silent character present is unsettling, I began to wonder if this was a conversation with his on consciousness or else split personality, a guilty feeling brought on by killing a living creature. Perhaps. so what was it?

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  3. Hi JB, this is a very difficult discipline to do as well as you have. The story is skilfully crafted with the reader being unable to stop themselves from being involved.
    I think this is a lesson and a challenge to anyone who has ever picked up a pen!
    A very enjoyable piece of writing.
    Hugh

    Like

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