Friday, January 13, 2006

Hunting Season (by Katie Winter)


It was high noon on a cold, brisk Sunday at the end of November. Tomorrow was the first day of deer season, and Colin was ready for it. He drove earlier to his cabin in northern Pennsylvania that was deep in the woods. There was nothing he looked forward to more then going to the mountains for deer season. Although he loved the thrill of the hunt, the peace and quiet was the part he loved most.

Colin was young and full of life. When he was not out hunting, he liked to play baseball for his local college. He was about five-seven with pale creamy skin, dark shaggy hair and big brown puppy looking eyes. He was very adventurous and was not afraid of taking risks. He was easily excited, but what made him most excited was getting to go up to the cabin alone this year. Colin’s father usually came up with him but his work forced him to fly out to California on business.

Colin loved spending time with his dad, at least when he could get time to spend with him. His father was always at work or traveling somewhere. Deer season was the one time he could count on his dad being there but that had come to an end. Colin being twenty now, his father felt that he was old enough and responsible enough to go up alone.

After getting settled in the cabin, Colin decided it was a good time to take a walk through the woods to scope out some spots, and find where he wanted to sit in the morning. As he set off down the trail behind the cabin it suddenly hit him how cold it was.

"It must be twenty degrees out," he said to himself as he heard the crackling of twigs under his boots. Right now there were nothing but brown, bare trees and dead crispy leaves all throughout the woods. He really hoped that it would snow tonight, and leave a thin layer of powdered snow in the morning.

Colin had been walking through the woods for about an hour now, going up and down the mountainsides. He stopped at the top of the mountain and peered down into the valley. He had only seen two doe and a pheasant. He was not too pleased with all he saw, but he knew tomorrow morning would be a lot different. He decided to sit down on a trunk of a fallen tree for a little, and to take a break before he would head back to camp. Before he left, he had packed a peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of water. He sat there for ten minutes just taking in the fresh air and amazing scenery. He reached down to get the sandwich out of his knapsack. While he was bending over he saw a dark flash in the corner of his eye. He froze in his spot. He suddenly felt like he was not alone. He felt like there was something watching him.

"Is there someone else in the woods?" Colin thought to himself. Out of the right corner of his eye he could see a dark figure that was not there before. Colin closed his eyes for a few seconds and opened them in hopes that the dark shadow would be gone. To his disappointment it was not. He knew now that at this moment he would have to force his head to turn and see what this black figure was.

Colin realized at this point he was holding his breath. He closed his eyes and turned his head to the right and reopened them. Once he adjusted his eyes and saw what was in front of him he let out a long sigh and smiled. Right before him was one of the biggest bucks he had ever seen. He thought that it had to be at least a twelve point. He did the best he could not to move, so he would not scare the buck away. The buck just stared at Colin for a little then turned and trotted off.

"This is definitely where I am going to sit tomorrow."

Colin then realized that he should soon be heading back, so he quickly ate his sandwich, packed up all his gear, and got up to walk back to the cabin.

As Colin was getting close to the cabin he could see someone walking about one hundred yards away. He did not think the man saw him yet, because once he got closer the guy looked up and saw Colin. The man was about to turn, and go another direction, but Colin yelled over to him first.

"Hey, did you see a lot of deer?" yelled Colin as he started to jog over to him. The man seemed to realize there was no escaping Colin now.

Once Colin reached the man he felt a little uneasy. The man was about five-ten, and seemed to be very well in shape. He had black hair, and it appeared he had not shaved in weeks. He was wearing a flannel shirt, and a pair of overalls. Colin then noticed that his overalls were covered in a thick red substance that was obviously blood.

"Are you okay? What happened?" Colin asked the man. The guy did not seem sure how to answer. "Did you hurt yourself?"

"No, I was, um, walking through the woods, and saw an injured deer, so I, um, went to see if it was okay, but it was unable to move."

Colin saw the rifle he was carrying. Gesturing towards it he asked, "Did you shoot it?"

Seeming to forget he was carrying it, the man looked at the rifle, and then looked back up at Colin. "Yeah, I just did not want to see it suffer, you know?"

"Yeah, I’m Colin by the way. I am staying at the cabin right over that hill." He pointed to the direction he was walking earlier. "What’s your name? Do you come up here a lot?"

"Uh, I’m James," he said a little hesitantly. "I’m just up paying a visit to a friend."

Giving him one more look over, Colin felt that it would be better to leave. There was just something odd about James and it made him very uncomfortable.

"Well, I better head back. Good luck tomorrow."

"Oh yeah, you too." James said. Colin could tell he was a little unsure what he was talking about. Colin could tell when James realized he was talking about hunting when his face perked up a little like he had a bright idea. "I hope you get a big one."

"Thanks, you too." Colin said as he took off towards camp not daring to look back at James.


(Excerpt: Part 1 of 4)

WRT310 Creative Writing, Fall 2005

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