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A Hunting we will go!
by Michael Bard
Michael Bard -- all rights reserved
 

Crouching in silence, the man watched the snow drifting around him. It was early evening, the only light the silver glow of the full moon slowly rising above the trees. He was dressed warmly, in thick thinsulate, with heavy boots, and a hood. Resting easily on the blind and against his shoulder, was a rifle. Before him was the clearing full of deer spore. Their scent was thick in the air, he wondered if maybe he'd doused himself with it a bit too thickly. He laughed. A rifle was a far better weapon than a buck's amorous advances.

Slowly the night passed, and the man waited patiently, his mind wandering. There'd been reports over the last few weeks, reports of deer attacking hunters. The hunter remembered when they'd found his old friend, Bob, dead. His chest had been ripped open and his innards eaten.

People had been mystified, until that ecowacko had come forward and claimed responsibility. Said he'd released a retrovirus that spring using deerfly as a vector, a virus that modified a proportion of deer to near sentience, and to a carnivorous diet.

Right--

In the distance a wolf howled, and another, and another.

The hunter, king of the woods, just shook his head, and continued waiting for the deer to come.

Then he saw it! A gorgeous beast, an 18 pointer. He moved his gloved finger near the trigger, and slowed his breathing. All his attention was focused on his prey.

Behind him something screamed, loud, inhuman, close. Startled, the hunter jerked, the gun fired into the woods, the buck raised its tail and fled.

"SHIT! GOD DAMN IT ALL!"

The hunter stood up, holding his rifle at the ready. It was probably some damn fool scientist, scaring him, saving the deer. He'd give the bastard a piece of his mind he would! Turning around, his boots crunching in the snow, he looked through the silent woods for the idiot who'd cost him his kill.

He'd turned 180 degrees when he discovered he was face to face with a buck, its eyes looking down its muzzle at him. It was a big beautiful monster, at least a 24 pointer! Slowly, making no sudden moves, he slipped another bullet into the rifle. The buck watched him, hot breath misting out of its nostrils. Its muzzle was stained, black in the moonlight; its scent was rich and pungent, a hot stickiness that surrounded the hunter.

God but that head would look great on the hunter's wall!

He began raising the rifle, loaded and ready, amazed that the deer was so stupid to just stand there. The buck just looked at him, silent, majestic.

The hunter's rifle was just half way up when the buck ended it. The creature shoved its muzzle into the hunters chest, ripping and tearing with its sharp carnivore teeth through the fragile thinsulate and into the warm flesh.

In the silent winter night, the hungry carnibuck fed.

 

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