Fiction Friday – 14 March 2008
This Week’s Theme: Backstory: Tell about your characters feelings toward animals, and why she feels that way.
One hand gently cups the slender barrel, the stock nestling in my shoulder. The other hand gently curls around the trigger guard, my index finger poised and waiting. I shut my weak eye, and peer through the sniper sight with my strong eye.
And then wait. The game is on.
I can sit here for hours, immobile, waiting for the big game to pass. I laugh when people tell me there are laws against this kind of thing. Laws? Please. Out here it is the law of nature, kill or be killed. They are dangerous creatures. They could kill me, just as easily as I kill them.
Some do it for the money. Poaching is a huge moneyspinner, so what I and my colleagues do is very well rewarded. But it’s not about the money for me. It’s the sport. It’s the kill. You spot them, shuffling about, and you drop one. Quick, clean, efficient.
Even though the ivory trade is illegal, the trade carries on. And here comes the valuables. A nice little herd. A few young ones, some juveniles. There. A bull elephant. Look at those tusks. Worth a pretty penny if you know who to sell them to. I tense up the rifle slightly. Here we go…
I pick my target. Best place is right between the eyes, into the brain cavity. Good aim, keep steady. One breath in and hold. Now, gently, squeeze…
The thundercrack of the rifle scatters the herd in all directions, but my bullet is faster. In a fraction of a second, it finds flesh and bone, and as the herd stampedes I emerge from my hiding place, and calmly walk over to my trophy.
The body lies half in and half out of the underbrush. I kick the rifle away, an automatic reaction, but I knew he was dead before I pulled the trigger. A quick glance shows that he hasn’t got any colleagues. One less poacher in the world. One more day the elephants live.