I know this probably isn't what our lovey Aussie host had in mind this month, but this was the mood I was in! Hope you all enjoy it. 620 word count. Make sure click on the link below the photo to visit the other blogs for more great stories...
Coyote slunk down to watch the three deer cross the high trail. Alone, as usual, he surveyed carefully and kept his ears alert to any sound, his nose to any scent. He didn’t need any bears or wolves to surprise him while he hunted this mother and her two offspring. He only needed one baby. Experience had taught him that the weaker prey yielded easier, tastier dinners, if one could avoid the mother. Coyote knew himself to be smart, more apt than the others in his pack and so he hunted alone and never shared with anyone. Idiots all of them, he often thought to himself.
Coyote crouched, still, like a desert pine, waiting for the right moment. The three deer moved past the high trail and, not catching his scent, fairly moseyed toward the barren expanse just past the growth of stunted pines in which he hid. Muzzles to the ground, they rooted for anything worth nibbling on, ambling close to each other, yet not too close for him to take a chance. He had to watch for the mother’s hooves, which were sharp and could cut and bruise him.
There, now, the smaller of the two young ones had moved almost within range. Coyote tensed, focused his senses. He ignored the rest of the world, fading it out until all that remained was the small spotted piece of meat now approaching on brittle spindly legs, which held juicy marrow in their slender bones. Coyote trembled with anticipation. He inched his paws forward just a tad, his haunches wound tight, ready to spring. Just a little closer. He spared a glance at the mother. She raised her head, quick, like a darting rabbit, and stared right at him. Frozen, as he was, her shiny doe-eyes pierced his concentration as if to say, ‘I see you. Don’t even think about it.’ Yet he knew he was invisible to her. He had to be. He was downwind from her. He lay so low his belly scrubbed the clutter dropped by scrappy pines and other debris.
When she continued to stare, when she didn’t move even one eyelash, Coyote tore his gaze from the mother and concentrated again on the young one now even closer to him. It was now or never. One second he scrunched his muscles into full spring mode, the next a heavy weight landed on his back pinning him to the ground. A great roar shook the world, made the short trees tremble, the clouds in the blue sky shudder. Animal dander, the heavy scent of thick fur and pungent odor of bear invaded his senses. How had he not noticed it before? That could have been his last thought, but the weight lifted slightly and Coyote rolled to one side before the great rough paw could pin him again.
Deer forgotten, Coyote scampered away, and then plowed into a full run, getting as far from the horrible bear as possible. Later, when he slowed at what he hoped was a safe distance from the mistake that had almost cost him his scrabby life, Coyote turned to look behind him. No bear lumbering after him. But no deer either. The tantalizing image of the young deer, so very close to him only moments ago, made his stomach growl. He took one tentative step back the way he had come, and trod on a scorpion that promptly stung his ankle. Backing away and shaking his leg at the same time, he put his back to the scrubby pines along the high trail and the dinner that might have been. Oh well, he thought, that’s the way it goes sometimes. Some chances just weren’t worth taking.
That was a surprise at the end, to me and the coyote. I think it's a different twist on our human idea of taking chances. Ours chances don't usually include our dinner. For Coyote, it was his dinner or his life. . .ReplyDelete
Very nice, Lisa.
Thanks so much DG! I agree, at least in this country...Delete
Lisa, I never have a particular idea in mind when I think of a theme, as usually, not always, everyone comes up with something different. I just think...that's a cool prompt, then puzzle over it for weeks.ReplyDelete
Love this take on the prompt. I think you enjoyed writing this and it flows well. Very realistic. I admit I kept wondering if Coyote was a human or animal.
Thanks for a great flash.
Neat that you thought that, like NR did. That's why I love your prompts! They always surprise me when I start to write...Delete
Cool that I wasn't the only one who thought Coyote could be a humanoid!Delete
Loved it. I wondered if the Coyote would morph into a human. I guess the mother deer was staring at the bear.
I thought about it, but wanted to stay with the animal part. Yeah, I guess so too, because that part came as a surprise, the stance she took and the bear. Didn't know that was going to happen when I started writing. Love that part of writing, the surprises...Delete
Hi Lisa .. wonderful bush story ... animals are amazing at how long they can wait immobile .. and dinner is a necessity. Poor coyote had a few lessons that day didn't he ... and for us - keep our wits about us, we never know what is heading our way in the publishing world .. or just life in general. Take care .. and this has sent off into coyote lands ... cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Thanks Hilary, it was fun to write. I love what Denise comes up with for us to write about...Delete
Great writing, really felt as though I was in the moment with the coyote. A wonderful take on the prompt.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sally, glad you enjoyed it!Delete
This coyote had one bad day! Still, I think he was content to have taken the opportunity to find a meal.ReplyDelete
He sure did. Glad he didn't end up someone elses meal!Delete
Very nice! The "hunter" becoming the "hunted". :DReplyDelete
Little twists of fate one thinks one has in hand! Ha ha!Delete
Animals with almost human qualities...your story draws the reader in until the end. And yes, there are some chances not worth taking, lol.ReplyDelete
Thanks for coming by and commenting Adura. I love your name and am headed your way. Glad you liked the story...Delete
Loved this. Adore you! Fun writing. Great pictures. All fabulous. <3
Me too Morgan! Thanks for coming by and commenting!Delete
Sunday August 24th, 2014ReplyDelete
I love this. Great animal story, wonderfully rendered with the predator as POV-character! I'm so glad that you took this route. You have really shown the range of possibilities with the theme of 'taking chances'. In the wild, most hunting parties end in failure. Coyote is a great protagonist and villain. He is also a good sport!
Love the characterization: 'Frozen, as he was, her shiny doe-eyes pierced his concentration as if to say, "I see you. Don’t even think about it."’
And what a surprise-ending for Coyote! He was too distracted to notice the bear.
Thank you so much for your kind words about my story, which was not really that much of a story, but rather the retelling of someone else's memories, I once heard long ago, and just giving it a new framework.
I liked the atmosphere you created, tranquil in the setting and tense in the action and a twist in the end. A very refreshing angle on the prompt to use the wild, and a polished flash. True that some chances are not worth the risk :)ReplyDelete
I was there with my belly on the pine needles too! Very descriptive, but I kept wondering if the bear went after the deer? I hope not, but, even the animals have to eat. LOL Truly, well done!ReplyDelete
Better to give up a meal than become one!ReplyDelete
I know coyotes are scabby creatures, but I feel sorry for this one! But I'm glad he didn't eat the baby. :PReplyDelete
Nature sucks, sometimes. ;)