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Fair Game (standard:westerns, 989 words)
Author: mike0kAdded: Dec 10 2003Views/Reads: 2582/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The ultimate price for the ultimate picture, in less than a thousand words

Fair Game 

I'm floating in a light blue mist.  I can hear voices or maybe just
echoes.  A great weight pushes me deeper into the soft earth.  I'm 
gasping for breath again and I see shadows flickering back and forth.  
God what a terrible smell and I'm choking in the encroaching darkness. 

"This one's alive, Jake!  Call in the chopper!  Jees, I've never seen
one like this.  ---  No, no lets not move him yet.  He's lost too much 
blood. ---  Ok.  No the other one's DOA.  ---   Yes, I'm sure. ---  
Looks like she broke his neck." 

It's lighter now.  The air is foul but there's more of it.   Who's
pulling at me? ---  I can't seem to form the words.  I've got to tell 
them not to move me.  Oh the pain and flashing. ---  Spinning again and 
now the darkness. 

"Easy, mister.   Don't try to move.  We'll have you out of here in a
little bit.  ---  Watch him, Jake.  I'll get the board and some 
compressess.  No.   Don't let him move his head." 

I'm cold.   So damn cold.  I don't remember it being so foggy.  I hear a
helicopter.  I'm sure of it.   Thank God.  Must tell Frank it's Ok now. 
 We'll be Ok.  Stupid damn move though.  Got to have one 
good close up.  Why can't he use a long lens.  I know he's got several. 
 Closer and Closer.   I'm shaking again.  Must reach out.  I told him 
to wait for the damn Guide.  --- 

"That's it.  Try not to roll him too far.  Stay with me, Jake!  Don't
get sick 'till we get him up in the chopper." 

I can't feel anything now.  I can't move but the pain is going away.  I
want to cry.  Maybe I am crying.  Let's see... Treat for shock...  No, 
stop the bleeding first.  I'm sweating again.  Screaming!!  'Frank, I 
only see the two little ones, the cubs.'  Suddenly there's something 
behind me. --- I try to turn around but get slammed to the ground.  --- 
 I hear a terrible crunching...Oh Jesus the thing is biting me! ---  
I've got the shotgun but it's underneath me. ---  I must relax.  I feel 
a wet trickle in my ear.  She's so heavy,  and the smell!! 

"Yea, Doc.  ETA about eight minutes.  No.  No.  Head and shoulder
mostly.  No.  Weak but stable.  Ok. ---  Ok.   Tell them to go on up.  
What?  Say again?   Looks like a coupple of city fellas wanted to get 
their picture took with a family of Grizz.   No.  I seen one cub but it 
run off.   I think the one we got here killed the sow." 

I see it over and over like a grade B horror movie.  It won't go away
and I'm so sick to my stomach.  She's off me now and I hear Frank 
hollering at her.  Why am I moving so slow?  Got to stand up but my 
hands are so slick.  I wipe my eyes and pick up the twelve gage.  It's 
slippery.  I look down at my hands;  they're all red and wet.  I can 
see her now.  Frank's trying to get up a small tree but he won't make 
it.  I push the safety button to the fire position and wipe my eyes.  
She's got to Frank now, I can hear him screaming.  I pump in a round 
and try to remember what the Guide said.  With a short barrel and 
doubble-ought buck you need to be hand shake close.  It's still to far 
but maybe it will draw her off.  Frank's screams are drowned in the 
sound of the blast and the recoil against my torn shoulder blinds me.  
I can't see again and wipe my eyes with my torn jacket front.  I can't 
move and I know I'm going to faint.  Oh, no!  Here she comes... 

"Easy, friend.  Try not to move.  We'll be at the hospital in a few
minutes.  You're chewed up pretty good but I think you're going to make 

Hospital?   Yes, that's good...  Going to need the hospital...  But
where the hell is she?   No don't sit down...No!  Can't run.  Too 
weak...  Maybe she left...  I call out to Frank but can't hear an 
answer...  My ears are ringing something fierce.  Pump in another round 
just in case.   I'm loosing too much blood...  Must try to stay 
awake...  Oh no!  Oh God no, she is coming straight at me!   This is 
crazy.  Stupid crazy...  I want to laugh...  Can't stop it, can't help 
it...  Must get control...  Mad...  I'm getting mad as hell!  Come on 
you whore bitch bear...  You'll never feed those little bastards again! 
 I'll feed you nine lead balls to take home for supper.   Steady now... 
 Wipe my eyes, they sting so bad...  The guide said you had to be close 
with this short barrel.  First one goes when she clears that old 
stump...  Then as many as I can put into her before she gets to me.  
Run you bitch...  She's in the clear now and charging hard.  God what a 
sight.  Hold another second...  Head bobing and she's making some kind 
of 'clop - clop' noise with her mouth...  Grunting in between...  Blood 
all over her face and those eyes...  Two little bore holes into the 
depts of hell...  Hurry your fat ass...  My God I can't believe I want 
her close now...  I would run toward her but I can't move...  I want to 
kill her with my bare hands!  Must be going mad...  So angry and so 
scared...  I don't want to die, not like this.   Two more strides...  
Close enough now;  I grit my teeth and jamb the stock into my torn 
shoulder...  Now!!  I feel the stock slam against my shoulder and a 
blinding white-hot flash of pain from forehead to tail bone...  Pump in 
one more and squeeze...Not so painfull this time but she's on me...  
Down into darkness. 


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