The Last Bison

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a man in the wild.

Submitted: July 09, 2012

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Submitted: July 09, 2012

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The Last Bison

By Patrick Hurd

The hunter licked his fingers, tasting the traces of fur in the dirt. His prey had fled quickly, sensing danger nearby. The hunter had searched for years for this particular game. The people of his village had scorned him, totally extinct, they had said. But he had found it, and finally the man known as the solitary bison had some company.

The snapping of a twig in the distance awakened the hunter from his trance. The sound would have gone unnoticed by a normal man, but to the hunter’s trained ears, the sound might as well have come from a few feet away. All of the hunter’s preparations were about to come to fruition. The countless hours spent listening and watching. And waiting, always waiting. Waiting for this moment, this affirmation of his power, this assertion of his dominance. This would be his crowning achievement, the thing that set him apart from the rest. This is what would make him different.

As he crept through the forest, the hunter could feel his anticipation rising. He could feel himself approaching his prey. Prey that was completely unsuspecting of the danger to which it would soon become acclimated. As he came closer and closer, the hunter could see the path that the creature was carving for itself. Closer and closer still, now the hunter could hear its prey, as it trudged along towards who knows what. Then finally, there it was. It was a marvelous sight. There it stood; regal and majestic, and without the slightest idea that it was being watched. The hunter crouched behind a tree stump and drew his gun, the familiar touch providing instant comfort. He raised it to his eye, took aim, and stopped.

The thought occurred to him that he had no plan on what to do with himself after this ordeal. For many years, he had focused himself fiercely and undividedly into what even he wasn’t sure could be done. With his task so close to completion, this new dilemma was staring him in the face for the first time. A realization came to him suddenly and violently; he was not prepared to face this new and seemingly unbeatable enemy. He was struck with grief at this new discovery, and marveled at the hopelessness that is life. The hunter raised the gun up for the last time. The shot rang throughout the forest, heard by none accept one lone soul. As the gun clattered to the floor, the glassy eyes of the hunter; the bison, watched the glade. 


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