Friday, November 2, 2012
G.W. perused the trophy room, ecstatic with the life-like stance of each beast. If he hadn’t made each kill shot, once the hunt master had felled them that is, he’d think the room was filled with live animals. It was just the way he’d imagined the finished product.
“To right you are, Dante. Thank you again for the crew to get them all set up. You sure did call it right with that group, strong as ox they were. Now, word on the street is there’s a mess of unique creatures in this town to be mounted and stuffed…and not just the bitches. Ha! Right Nick, mounted…stuffed…bitches, see what I did there.” G.W. slapped his knee and looked between the two gentlemen with the most knowledge about this town. “Geez, you need to lighten up, buds.”
“So, where exactly did you hear there were—how did you put it—unique creatures in this town?”
“Glad you asked, Nick, or should I call you Mr. Editor?”
“Death would be fine.”
G.W. looked at the duo standing as still as his trophy’s and felt a chill crawl up his spine. There was no way to disguise the killer in each of these men. If Nick was Death, then surely Dante was Dismemberment.
“It’s important we find out where you heard such tales of our home, Mr. Frank.”
“Absorificly, Dante, we don’t want the other big game enthusiasts like myself crowding in and stealing our kills.” Neither man broke a smile, what this town lacked in humor he hoped it made up for in his missing pieces. “Now then, it was actually good fortune on my part that I ran into this dirty hippie—he had seaweed in his hair, for fucks sake, and smelled like he bathed in the ocean. His name was Bob and insisted he’d seen an elephant and a peacock whipping a penguin. Can you believe that, I mean really…I should have asked if his first name was Sponge? Anyway, he had all kinds of stories about animals being in Montana that shouldn’t be here, so I was compelled to take a looksee.”
“Do you know what became of this Bob?”
“Sure do, some sissy by the name of White Fang—can you believe that name—came by and took him out to lunch. Lost track of him after that, but who cares. I already had the name of this magical town—Talbot’s Peak. I can’t wait to start the hunt. How about you two, do any hunting?”
“Glad you asked G.W., we sure do, right Nick?”
G.W. watched his visitors put away their assorted paraphernalia and start loosening their clothes, worried that they thought him something he was not.
“And do you know our favorite quarry, Mr. Frank?”
“Ah, no, but gee look at the time…”
“Stupid humans who kill defenseless animals.”
G.W. stood quickly and reached for a gun that was no longer where he’d put it. Fear was a funny thing, first it made you brave, and then it screwed with your head. The longer he stood frozen to the spot in the middle of his trophy’s the more he could convince himself he was not seeing them move. They were not surrounding him, Death and Dismemberment had not just turned to wolves and they were not currently sheparding him out into the night…heading to his last hunt. The one that made him the prey…
Nick looked over to his partner in crime, wondering how many more times they would have to do this. “I hate this part of protecting the town.”
“I know,” said Dante, his focus on the slow burning carcass of one of the natural animals G.W. had brought to town. “But it has to be done, Nick. And this way, we get to give these beautiful creatures a respectful end…not an eternity on some dillweed’s wall.”
“True.” Nick nodded “And letting each shifter brethren of the animals on display take part in the take-down was poetic justice.”
As the fire burned low, Dante and Nick showed their respect by beginning to shovel mounds of mother earth back over the ashes. It was labor intensive, but it gave each man a sense of peace.
“By the way, Dante, thanks for suggesting the Oxen brothers for the mover’s job; they’ve had a rough go of it this summer. They can use the work.”
“It’s important to lend a hand to our own here in the Peak.”
“Yeah,” Nick grinned, “Plus, G.W. got to foot the bill…”
Nick watched Dante continued shovel even as his shoulders moved up and down. One day he would get the big guy to actually laugh out loud at his cheese ball sense of humor.
Have a happy, cheese ball weekend!