The two old friends arrive at dawn, as they have every Saturday for sixteen years. Toting shotgun and shovel, the man slowly, lovingly leads his dog toward their favorite blind.
Ducks rise. Clouded, intelligent eyes and soft grey muzzle scan skyward.
Forevermore, the retriever anticipates the roar of the gun.
Lou is trying to write stuff that makes sense to dogs and ducks. He has given up on people with guns.
Bill and Martha: more than friends, less than lovers.
Born to different parents, he was a him, and she wasn’t. For now, just dinner companions.
When a hunter appeared, lost, alone, and out of ammunition, they looked at each other, two hungry lions with the same thought:
Dinner for two!
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include reading, golfing, and writing.
The hunter: you get kicks from their fear, enjoy asserting your masculinity.
Doe eyes lock with mine, mirroring my vulnerability, my defeat.
You raise your gun but I find the trigger first. I smell your blood on my fingers, on my soul.
Now she can run free, into the woods.
Vikki Gemmell lives in Renfrewshire, Scotland, and enjoys writing short stories, flash fiction, and novel-length pieces. Her work has appeared in The Puffin Review, The Bohemyth Literary Journal, FlashFlood Journals, Postcard Shorts, and the WordswithJAM anthology, An Earthless Melting Pot. She likes to blog about observations of life at throughthelookingglass-vikki.blogspot.com.
He revels in his mystic communion with wildlife.
Birds perch on his wrist and peck birdseed from his palm. A skunk visits his porch nightly to be petted. He hand-feeds squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, even deer.
Their trust in him is a blessing. He’s having rabbit stew tonight and venison tomorrow.
Alex Markovich lives in a suburb of New York with Jackie, his wife of 57 years and his toughest literary critic. His stories have appeared in 50-Word Stories, Blue Lake Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Still Crazy, and other lit mags.
Every morning, as the sun comes up, the stars awaken.
Stars are not nocturnal, as many assume. They actually sleep all night and dance during the day, when their predators, the owls, can’t see them.
So when you see a shooting star, remember: a hungry owl is chasing after it.
This story is based on a title suggested by @facelesscog.
“You have a gun? That’s crazy! I don’t want that in here!”
“Relax. It’s perfectly safe.”
“But guns are used for shooting things.”
“Yeah, like bad guys. Or moose.”
“But… Wait, what about bears?”
“Sure, I could shoot those.”
“The fewer bears in the world, the better. Get on it!”
This story is dedicated to Kate, who provided the title that inspired it.
Darla’s commute was awful: it took two hours to get from her downtown apartment to the wastelands, where she hunted the secret dragons.
Her friends thought she was a paralegal. They might ask uncomfortable questions if she moved to the suburbs, and it was already hard enough hiding the scars.