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The Hunted

Alert and watchful, I listen for the sign.

I hear the rustle of grass slowly waving in the wind. I hear the crackle of dry leaves moving across the ground. I hear the swaying of the branches of the giant pine close by. I hear the … wait … the sign … I hear the sign.

The hunt has begun.

Quickly I head toward the sign, and the sound of shots. I continue toward the shots, with a faster pace. There are two more shots, then it stops.

I stop and I listen. I listen for the rustle of the grass, the crackle of the leaves and yet all I get is the sound of silence. There is nothing to hear.

I am still as the granite rocks surrounding me. I wait for another sign. There is something out there; I hear it crashing through the brush. I smile, for unwittingly the hunter has become the hunted.

Stealthily I watch over my prey.

My prey, in return, looks for me. Slowly it starts to wander in the opposite direction. As it walks away, I slowly stalk it, one step at a time. Suddenly its head whips toward my direction, giving in to its sixth sense that someone is watching.

I stand still, not letting my prey notice me in any sense. Again it moves off, more cautiously than before.

I start to move in closer, grasping the intensity of the situation. In my sights is my prey, looking for me, not knowing that I am only a few feet away.

I raise my gun. I aim. I breathe in, holding that position for just the right moment. My finger is on the trigger, ready to fire.

SPLAT! I raise my hand to feel the wet, coolness of paint against my mask.

My prey turns and points to his partner, hidden behind a tree.

A well-laid trap.

Next time, I’ll get them both.