Worth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man and young girl fight to survive the cold and unforgiving winter. Starvation is inevitable and so is death.

Submitted: February 10, 2017

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Submitted: February 10, 2017

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“Just shoot it.”

 

“I’m scared.”

 

“I said just shoot it.”

 

“I’m scared.”

 

“I know. Pull your hair back it’s too long.”

 

I wrap my finger around the trigger, but the rifle is heavy and strands of hair fall on my face even after parting my bangs. I try to keep the sight in check, but the front of the rifle is sliding downwards due to my strange grip. I bite my lip by accident.

 

“What are you doing? Line it up correctly.”

 

“I’m sorry,” I mutter. My heart pounds so hard that each of the thumps feels like small bombs going off in my chest.

 

“It’s good now. Shoot!”

 

Bang.

 

I watch his body plummet fast into the ground. We both rush over while avoiding the protruding branches coming from the snow.

His head twitches. Each little spasm pushes more blood from his neck. I watch in horror as my breathing’s pace fastens. I missed his head by just a few inches and hit his neck. Blood from his wound and mouth soaks his pink and blue parka. His head is pointed away from me. I do not dare meet his gaze.

 

“Good job. Grab his bag.”

 

“Okay,” I mutter.

 

“What?”

 

“I said, ‘okay.’”

 

I watch as the old man grabs him by the legs and pulls him through the snow. The bloody trail reminds me of a river my mother showed me once. I want to cry. But I won’t. I just can’t.

 

Crunch. Crack.

 

The sound of each cut the old man makes into him is deafening. His face is stoic and his dark grey beard is soaked with more blood after each cut. The fire in the cave sparkles a bit and catches my exposed feet. I yelp and the old man tells me to be quiet. He finishes his cuts and dumps the parts into the large pot.

 

“Wish we had some damned spices. Tastes worst each time, I swear” he says bitterly.

 

“Can’t we go back to hunting deer?”

 

“Are you stupid? You see any other deer around here? They all dead. All of ‘em.”

 

After stirring a bit, he passes me some meat on a plate made from sticks and leaves. I grab it and bite. The meat is chewy and tastes plain and gooey. I want to puke. But I don’t. I can’t. I look at the old man asleep after his meal. His snorts and groans remind me of a pig. I sit back and breathe out slowly. I close my eyes and try to sleep. The warmth of the fire holds me tightly and lovingly. Like my mother. I miss her. I miss everyone. But I’m alone now or so I think.

 

The old man’s snorts remind me that he is still here. I manage to muster up a little grin. I’m not alone anymore. I have someone. Someone who needs me.

 

Months pass while less and less prey are visible. The storm thickens that nothing but an angry shower of snow is visible. I can’t see anything and rush back. The old man is circling around with his hands rubbing on his head. He looks crazy.

 

“No food. No food. We gonna die like this!”

 

“I can get us some food.”

 

“The hell you talkin’ about? There ain’t no deer, no people, no damn nothing!”

 

“I’ll find something,” I say with my heart pounding uncontrollably.

 

“Gonna die. Gonna die. Need food,” he mutters to himself as he ignores me.

 

I walk outside the cave with my coat and rifle. It’s cold and the storm is fierce. My hair along with tons of snow pelts my face. However, I continue deeper into the storm. I can’t believe my eyes as I stumble across a huge, brown animal walking towards snowy bushes.

 

 

A deer! I rub my eyes a bit to makes sure I’m not too delirious from starvation. The deer remains in sight. I pull out my rifle and aim directly at the deer’s head. The snowstorm is fierce, but I won’t miss this shot. I won’t.  It doesn’t see me due to the storm’s thick snow. I pull the trigger.

 

Bang.

 

A perfect shot sends it down to the ground as quickly as the trigger was pulled. I walk up to the animal with its neck and face stained with blood. Dead.

 

“I should pull him back home. I can’t wait to the old man’s face,” I joyfully think.

 

The deer is too heavy for me to drag all the way back. So I pull it behind a tree and grab my knife. I tear off a piece of my shirt and use the knife to prop it up on the tree to mark it. I run back in the direction of the cave.

 

As I rush over I take a look in the cave and see the old man starting a fire. Strange. Why would he start a fire without food? I drop my bag and rifle next to my sleeping spot and walk over to the old man. 

 

“I’m back,” I say gleefully.

 

“Are you now? Come over here, I’m starving.”

 

“Did you… find food already?”

 

He looks up at me with eyes I’ve seen before. My eyes widen and as I try to take a step back he grabs my legs and pulls me down. My head hits the floor hard. I yelp. He lets go of one of my legs and grabs a knife in his bag. I kick him hard in the face. He grunts and falls back.

I run over to my things and grab my rifle. He’s up now and we both face each other.

 

“Gonna shoot me? Go ahead. You damned coward. Go for it!”

 

“Please don’t do this,” I plead with tears streaming down my face.

 

“I’m not gonna die. I won’t. I don’t wanna!”

 

He lunges at me and I shoot.

 

Bang.

 

I look down at him, the blood glistening from his head.

 

I want to die.


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