Thursday, May 3, 2012

Deer Story

Generally I do not post twice in one day. Truth be told I wrote today's post yesterday and posted it this morning once I had regained my sobriety. But now, I have news! This short piece, excerpted from a longer short story I am working on, has been rejected by Geist Magazine's Postcard Competition so I am free to publish it here. I am not embarrassed to report my failures, why should I be? If you've been following this blog closely you'll know that failure gets us closer to success and if you've really been getting the gist of what I am putting out there, you'd know that success and failure are meaningless concepts. Just Do It, like the folks at Nike say and I did.(ps, if you read this post previously, re it again, I posted the wrong version of the story)

Deer Story

The woman who walks down the road each day, hound at her side, imagines the injured deer tucked into a little iron bed, propped up on thick pillows with feathers poking out under a duvet that is cozy despite being a little bit worn, attended by two doting deer parents. She imagines the deer is a
doe, immature, in her first season. White cotton bandages wrapped around her delicate legs, an ice pack rests on her head. Above the bed is a picture of a Robins nest filled with blue eggs, likely cut out of a book about birds, hung there to suggest beauty and perfection. Its an old room built inside an
old growth tree stump by a small family of settlers who, with their jagged tools, logged these foothills ages ago. She imagines an opening in the forest canopy, a beam of sunlight raining down on the family assembled below. One resting, comforted by the other two who are feeling worried about their
only offspring. The woman projects hopefully that the patient will sleep for a few days and then the three will go back outside, unscathed.

She and the hound had arrived on the scene and had waited silently up the hill as the men stood below, talking and gesturing over the prostrate animal between them. The hound drew in the morning air, filing away the information, revealing nothing. No one seemed excited. The first man must have struck the deer and the second man stopped to help. The first man, picks up the deer, wrapping his hands efficiently around its fine ankles, two in his left, two in his right. He crosses the yellow line holding the deer’s body out in front of his own body pausing on the white line, rocking back on his heels engaging a pendulum effect with the limp carcass, swinging it toward and then away from himself and at just the right moment releases his grip letting it fly in a low unceremonious arc into the grass and skunk cabbage that fill the ditch at the road’s edge. The two men get into their vehicles and drive away. The woman snaps the leash, and the hound instinctively follows her in the opposite direction, the days walk cut short.

For weeks afterwards she searched the edge of the road and found nothing. No evidence. No bent grass. No indentation. No smell of rotting flesh by the seventh day. She considers getting down on her hands and knees, to follow the scent into the woods to where it crept away. Or was it dragged? Abandoning her sight at ground level, turning all her focus into her nostrils quickly drawing in air, considering the elements and implications of each morsel of humus
moving as the cunning hound does in a predetermined pattern in order to find the
answer she seeks.

1 comment:

Farmer Mark said...

Well done R. I have no idea what the 'rejectors' were looking for, but it obviously wasn't a well written and intriguing story.

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