Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Irritated Deer

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming novel that I think works well as its own little flash fiction/short story. I truncated some extraneous bits that would have only confused readers.


Captain Rescue spun around and there it was, waiting for him. It must have tracked him; it must have been following him. His face went white. He thought he was safe, that he had lost it, but there it stood, trembling close to the ground, legs spread—the irritated deer. He took a step back and the small deer advanced, it could not have been much older than a fawn, but its belligerence knew no quarter. Frothing from the mouth, growling, and with a psychotic look in its eyes, the deer had decided that it would be the end of Captain Rescue, and he had never seen anything so frightening.

He tried his luck waving at the fawn, hoping to curb its rabid heart. It just barked at him, something he felt rather certain normal deer did not do. He took a step back and then another, for every step the hero too, the fawn took three, taunting him—playing with its food.

“Please little guy, I don’t want to have to hurt you,” Captain Rescue begged of the fawn.

The fawn just continued stepping towards the hero, trembling while foam fell from its mouth in globs. Captain Rescue threw up his dukes, expecting to have to do this the hard way. The deer accepted his challenge and began to sprint for the hero, leaving a contrail of frothing saliva hovering in the air. It launched itself into the air; its thin tiny legs spread wide, head shaking intensely with its tongue hanging out of its mouth. Just as the fawn was about to crash head first into Captain Rescue, he dropped to his knees, hands covering his head while screaming like a baby. The small fawn flew through the air, right over him, hit the tree with the force airborne deer, and then just dropped like a rock to the ground.

Captain Rescue gradually uncovered his hands from his head and then looked at the deer motionless upon the ground. He immediately felt deep pity for the creature as the frothing brew in its mouth leaked onto the ground. He crawled over to it and placed his hand gently upon its neck, caressing it softly. The hand traveled upwards and he patted its forehead, looking down at its closed eyes.

“I’m so sorry!” He cried out, tears welling in his eyes, as he pulled the unsanitary creature close to him and embraced it. Captain Rescue rocked back and forth, squeezing the tiny deer. Soon, he could feel a faint pulse within its fragile body. Alleviation filled the hero’s heart with the realization that he had not killed the fawn. His head fell and Captain Rescue noticed the creature’s eyes staring up at him. They interlocked gazes and the deer opened its mouth and almost immediately lunged for the hero’s throat. With his right hand, he shoved the snout to the side and then curled that hand into a fist and proceeded to relentlessly punch the fawn, hoping to render it unconscious, or dead, or anything. He really didn't care, his survival instincts had taken over.

Captain Rescue released the deer and it fell to the ground, motionless. He rose to his feet and headed into the trees, refusing to look back at the deer as it lay there. It was finally over; the beast would trouble him no longer. He could finally be free, but if he had bothered looking back, just once, he would have noticed its eyes staring intently back at him from afar.  It had only begun. 

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