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A Tribute to Gun Season

rrr

Senior Member
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#1
I wrote this on opening day last year from my door room, in tears. I ran across it today in my files and figured I'd through it up in this thread. Some of it true, some of it creative. Enjoy.

The alarm clock goes off. 4:01am. The boy gets out of bed; the cabin floor rough on his bare feet and cold with the morning’s chill. He quickly dresses in his bottom layers and shuffles across the floor. The old pot belly stove in the corner managed to grow cold in the few hours of sleep he got, but was quickly stoked with experience. Soon a coffee pot burps and sputters the first aromas of the day. Black, no sugar. The skillet spits grease and the bacon floats through the air, tickling the boy’s nostrils and the eggs are cracked and scrambled. The salt and pepper mix with the bitter coffee and soon the boy pauses to close his eyes. A prayer to a seemingly inexistent God perhaps. Or to a close friend despite the year’s loss. The boy looks across the room and sees a picture. The glass cracked, the memories still intact. The tears are swallowed with a forkful of the last scrape off the plate. Not this morning.

The layers are added. The old flannel shirt, not his own, still holds a musty mixture of cotton balls and cologne. The clothes, not one such a boy would normally wear, are a little big; like the fur on a puppy that hasn’t quite grown in yet. But soon. The faded patterns contrast with the blaze orange worn above it all. The boy finally walks to the corner of the room, and lifts the tool. The stock is chipped and scratched. A cold barrel with sights of hard iron, much like the heart burdened by the loneliness of the occasion. But tradition. The tradition of the tool is to kill. What more fitting- death.

The boy walks through the woods. The darkness is colder than the weather, though the snow crunches under his feet and the slight breeze is enough to chill those not ready. But the wool does not notice, nor the boy. For this has been a year of cold and darkness. A numb soul or an active saint, the boy climbs into the stand and waits for the sun to come up.

Sixteen feet up, peace is found. Not in a church’s pew, not beside a fresh grave. Not in the comfort of a hug or a handshake, but in the birds and the squirrels. Slide, click, click, click. The tool is ready. So is the heart. But not the boy. Darkness turns to dull grays and then to white, brown, and autumn tones. White. Brown. The boy rubs his eyes and looks again. White. Brown. A puff of steam. A snort. No. Too far. But a good sign.

The boy fingers a familiar tin in his pocket and pulls back a youthful lip. The sensation and tingle and taste warm him. The cold creeps in, the unwanted visitor. The toes curl but remain warm. Waiting. Wishing and wanting. Minutes turn to hours. The sun rises more and the forest scurries with life. Bushy tails and pecking beaks draw attention, but these are not the focus. White. Brown.

White. Brown. Ears. White. Brown. Pale tines silhouette the beautiful body. White. Brown. Closer. The boy raises the gun, the wood stock against the cheek, blending stubble and walnut. Walnuts. Brown. White. Closer. Right under the tree. A safety clicks quietly, kept silent by gloves. White. Brown. The boy breathes- this is it. The boy closes his eyes and the quivering breath takes away the pain. Gone are the nerves, gone is the year of loss. Confidence builds and the memories swell. Brown. White. The finger tightens the trigger. Brown. White. Moments pass. The predator acts.

Brown. White. Red. Though this time not in the horrors of death and loss; but in harvest and success. A single tear rolls down the boy’s face. He closes his eyes again, this time for a prayer of thanks. To a very close friend. To the memories of a father lost. To the Creator of a beautiful animal.

The boy has become a man.
 

huntn2

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#6
Steve, that is something special right there. Very well written. Many people could probably relate and may appreciate reading that if it were to get circulated through hunting magazines.
 

rrr

Senior Member
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#8
Thanks guys I appreciate it. I enjoy writing quite a bit, though most of it happens in the form of articles and papers these days. I will without a doubt do some professional outdoor writing at some point in my career, I just love it.
 

rrr

Senior Member
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#14
Thanks fellars.

There is another being written in my head "A tribute to bow season", we'll see if it comes together or not.
 

rrr

Senior Member
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#15
Forgot to 'bump' this for the season yesterday, I wrote this a year ago today. Just reread it myself, that's awfully purty :D