How to Have a Foxhunt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Instructions best taken with a friend on a Saturday afternoon in a fort.

Submitted: July 02, 2015

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Submitted: July 02, 2015



How to Have a Foxhunt:

First, sit in your fort peeling oranges and tossing the papery skins into a coffee can.  The day should be hot and full of sun.  Wait for the perfect moment to decide to have a foxhunt – just as the first skin thumps in the bottom of the can.  Suggest it to Whitey.  He will always say yes.

With Whitey now on your team, seeing what you see here in the beginning when the plan is just as soft as the skinless orange growing warm in your fist, you may now start to write the name of every girl in the neighborhood on a piece of loose leaf paper.  Tear each name off as you write and mix it into the coffee can with the orange peels. 

You will both need helmets.

Now that all of the names are in the can you must put your orangless hand inside the mixture and stir.  The one that stirs and the one that draws must never be the same man.  Make Whitey draw.  He is better at it than you are, and he will let you read the name in a serious voice – Monica Fielding.

There are no maps in a foxhunt, but if Whitey does not know where the house is you may remind him.  As he holds its graceful architecture in his mind you can sharpen the scissors against a large, flat stone.

Now select a leader.  The leader must never be the stronger of the two men because the leader must always gain something from the foxhunt.  You and Whitey both have your advantages.  Whitey is more alert, but you have always been more cunning haven’t you?  If it comes to this, then draw orange peels from the can.  Whoever has the smallest is the leader and must take the scissors. 

The leader must also wear a cape.

So you are the leader this time.  You have your cape.  You both have your helmets.  Now it is time to walk your bikes up the trail to the top of the street and pedal fast down the winding neighborhood roads.  Let no one ask you where you are going.  Let no one see you, if you can help it.  Let no one stand in your way.  At the rate you are going you will reach the Fielding house in six minutes and twenty two seconds.  And there it is.

It is down at the end of the cul-du-sac.  Park your bikes far away from the house.  Lay them down gently and use the slope of the hill to guide you to the creek that runs behind the houses.  Walk along this creek and think about each house that you pass.  When you reach the white one with the pool then stop.

Creep up to the fence.  If you have chosen the right day you will see her on her stomach lying by the pool, soaking the sun in her body making her drowsy and ripe.  Her top is undone in the back exposing a cool ribbon of pale skin.  Auburn hair tied in a ponytail sleeps on one shoulder. 

So lower yourself to the other side of the fence now, a careful thought for each step that flattens the grass beneath your shoe.  Let not one blade of grass betray your presence and, with that in mind, proceed up the lawn at an angle.  Choose the angle based on the position of the sun so that your shadow never crosses your target.  She is wild, this fox, and she will spook easily.

There is no more grass now that you have reached the pool.  Do not fall in because that would ruin everything.  Ease your way around the pool to the patio.  Her face is toward you, but her eyes are shut.  If she opens them you must run, but if she does not open them then proceed directly to her and take the scissors out of your pocket.  Whitey will follow.

And then, when you are standing on one side and Whitey is standing on the other side, and the graceful beast lies dozing in the sun with candied thoughts, snap your fingers.  If you are both in synch, you and Whitey, she will not have time to look up before Whitey leaps onto her back, pinning her down.  Put the scissors to the milky, un-sunned nape of her neck and crunch them together.  Then lift your prize:  her ponytail glinting like a ruby in the sun.

Now, run.  Both of you.  Get out of there, hold the ponytail tight as she bucks Whitey off like a mare and comes screaming at you.  She will swing at your head, but you have your helmet.  You must leap over the fence like a gazelle as she scrambles about with her top, collecting what has happened to her.

Back to the fort.  Study your prize.  Caress its length and breadth between the two of you and remember how it was won.  Then: put it in the drawer with the others.






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