The Hunting Accident

Red Squirrel on a Branch by matthiaskost in Pixabay

The authorities found Dunk Briscoe, mauled and unconscious, lying at the base of an old oak tree at the edge of the woods. His thick vest and camouflage overalls were shredded as if cut by a storm of small razor blades. He bore dozens of shallow angry wounds all over his body.

Except for his face. His face was untouched.

The game warden investigator concluded that Dunk was drunk and fell from his improvised hunting stand in the crook of the tree. After all, Dunk’s shotgun was still up there, along with a couple beer cans, open and empty. Dunk fairly reeked of beer, too.

Except Dunk was an excellent climber and not much of a drinker. And he hadn’t gone out for long. He never spent a whole day out hunting squirrels — just enough to bag four or five for a good weekend stew. Everyone knew that. But, thought the investigator as he followed the medics hauling Dunk toward their ATV, nothing’s perfect. Just another drunk squirrel hunter.

That’s when Dunk opened his eyes, rose up on the gurney, and screamed.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!! I’ll stop! I swear! No more…plea…no….” He fell back, terrified and shaking. “Squirrels,” he croaked. “No more hunting. It swore…their leader…kill us all…showed me…” Dunk made a cutting motion across his throat that sent a hard chill up the investigator’s spine.

What he heard next chilled him worse — the dry, angry sound of countless clawed paws rushing through the woods. Toward them.

Dunk screamed again.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? For various reasons, the largest of which involved a toilet tank leak that flooded our apartment, I’ve not had a ton of clear space in my head to write anything I’ve wanted to publish here. But the brain clouds are starting to lift and today is a good day to see if I can still write a fair story. What do you think?

Play along with the prompt here.

(Photo Credit: matthiaskost on Pixabay)