10:13:38 pm on
Sunday 14 Jul 2024

Real Men
M Alan Roberts

The kill spot has been determined for weeks now - the stage is set for death. As he sits, motionless, quiet, not quite comfortable, he breathes with intention and attempts to blend with his surroundings. He has taken stems and leaves and grass from his environment and placed them on his body. The camouflage outfit and painted face help to this affect. He has been here for hours now - waiting for the target to arrive. He knows what he must do. He must extinguish the life force of the enemy; he must bring an end to this vile creature.

His global positioning system (GPS) unit has delivered him with pinpoint accuracy to this place. There have been no mistakes. He has covered his scent. In his ears are unidirectional microphones that enable him to pick up even minute sounds with superhuman efficiency. He will not be taken unaware. He is in total control of this natural domain. He shifts himself minimally, and cautiously - a slight repositioning to allow him to go on. His mission is of the up most importance. His very success as a man depends upon its fruition.

As he waits intently - calming his stormy emotions - he remembers the lessons taught to him by his mentors in this play for control. He hears them, in his mind, telling him to always focus on the goal. He is to never falter for even a second and allow compassion - weakness - to set in. He will remain steadfastly determined to take down his quarry. Victory will be his alone and he will be amply rewarded for his courage and forthrightness.

He hears it.

To the left, a rustling in the undergrowth. He ever-so-slowly scans the scene through the high-powered scope on his higher-powered rifle. Slowly, slowly he moves the weapon in a slow arc - searching for the enemy. Does his nemesis travel alone - or with a convoy? He considers the possibility for a multiple kill - even though it is forbidden. The details of his mission are clear: take out the leader and the rest will fall. Sever the head and the body will be dislodged.

He scans.

Nothing there. He waits - silent - about to explode through his own skin. He moves his finger off the trigger and uses the free hand to raise the infrared binoculars to his eyes. He is able to see the heat signatures of his intended victim (or victims should he decide to become a rogue agent of death). He is a master of deception and covert skill - he is a hitman for an order unspoken. He will not fail here. He will assassinate his target without remorse or even a second thought.

His reward surfaces breaking his silent thoughts. He feels his pulse quicken and intends to slow it to no avail. The moment has arrived - time to perform - time to dominate the enemy into an early demise. He again raises the weapon and takes his aim. He doesn't rush. He knows that too many kills have been wasted with shaky hands. He breathes deeply. He takes his time. He allows his target to move closer still - facing his fear and knowing that the enemy could strike out against him if he is spotted.

The time is here now. His finger places itself on the trigger again as he prepares for the kill shot. He aims for the heart - wanting to save the head for showing. He will need to provide proof of this kill to his comrades. One chance - one opportunity - one motion away from his manly reward. He steadies himself. His finger tightens on the trigger and the rifle discharges with surprising force and a resounding BOOM!

The shot veered slightly and the heart was missed. He senses what he feared. As he descends from his vantage point, he pulls his side arm, a .357 Magnum, and searches for the spilled blood. In the early morning light, he finds it, and he begins tracking his wounded victim. Trailing the blood for only a hundred yards or so, he hears the wheezing of the lung-shot whitetail. He comes upon it - weary that it may kick and lash at him - a final attempt at life. He lowers the revolver and takes the second shot at close range into the heart of this wicked beast - a shot that he will never speak of. In his story of courage, it will be the first shot that delivered a humane, clean kill.

He sets up his time-lapse digital camera and snaps a field photo of his dead enemy. He has achieved victory here. He has reigned supreme over this challenger. The buck is older than he thought - and only an 8-pointer. Not a trophy, but not a baby either - ample bragging rights and a decent wall mount. The meat won't be very tasty, but should make some adequate sausage. The rest can always be fed to his dogs. His wife surely will not eat it, nor the children. At least he bagged a deer and won't have to endure the chastisement of the unsuccessful hunters.

Afterthoughts: It is the beginning of deer season. I have spent a considerable part of my life in the woods and love nature implicitly. For you hunters that take an old-fashioned approach - get downwind in the dirt - and hunt with a bow responsibly and efficiently - bless you. You are providing meat for your families in an honorable fashion.

And for all you "hunters" in the tree stands - sniping innocent deer simply to mount their heads in your living room - to brag and boost about your falsified manliness - I hope you fall out of your stands, break legs and shoot yourselves in the asses.

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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