Monday, December 6, 2021

Microstory 1771: Arrow

I know what they want; what they’re expecting. They have obviously done this before, and they know how it goes, because all of their victims have been predictable. They want to get as deep in the woods as possible as fast as possible. But I don’t know where I am, or how far I am from civilization. I could wind up heading straight for some kind of secondary base camp, where an entire regiment is waiting to finish the job. Things used to be a lot easier for me. I had a pretty cushy life, and I didn’t worry myself with the state of the rest of the world. I’m sure that’s why they chose me, because they’re angry, and I’m an easy target. Well, I’m about to show them just how wrong they are. I am not going to make it easy on them. I’m not going to run as far as I can. I’m going to hide, and find an opportunity to hunt them right back. They’re counting on the fact that I’ve been so sheltered. They think it gives them some kind of advantage over me, like they’re the only ones who are all right with getting their hands dirty. I may have less experience than them, but there has been a darkness inside me since I was a boy, and they just gave me permission to let it out. If I manage to kill any of these people in my pursuit of freedom and safety, no one will blame me for it. It was self-defense. They may have all the weapons, and probably even the skill. But I have something they could never understand: the ability to shut out my feelings, and turn feral. I’m no straight arrow, but I don’t drink all that much, because if I want to lose my inhibitions, all I have to do is let go of my grasp on the moral code that I developed to avoid getting in trouble. That’s the only reason it’s there. I don’t really value human life, and I certainly don’t value these people’s lives. If they want violence tonight, they’ll get it, and they’ll be sorry they asked.

Just as I’m crossing the tree line, an arrow nearly catches me in the ankle. They promised they would wait five minutes before they began the hunt. I don’t think they have their eyes on breaking that promise. They’re clearly a cocky bunch who have no reason to suspect that I might actually survive this. I think that was just one of them showing off his bow and arrow skills. That’s good to know. When I think I’m out of eyesight, I speed up. I run as fast as I can, as far as I can, using up nearly all the energy I can muster at once. Once a minute has passed, I stop. I turn around, and head back towards the barn, but at an angle. I walk slowly and carefully, avoiding every fallen leaf on the ground. I spend the four minutes I have left getting right back to the starting point without alerting anyone to my presence. They’re going to walk straight into the woods, thinking that I’ll be a kilometer away before they catch up to me. I start to hear their voices as I get closer. I can’t tell what they’re saying, but their tone doesn’t sound like they know what’s up. My plan is working. What I’m gonna do is make it back up to the barn, kill whoever they left behind to guard it, steal their weapons, and then go after the rest, one by one. I stay low, and peek around a tree. Hm. I don’t see anyone there at all. Did they really all go off on the hunt? What a bunch of morons. I wait for a moment just in case before bolting towards the barn, getting myself drenched in the floodlights, but not staying visible too long. I find an old pickup truck inside. Perhaps there are some weapons stored in here. There aren’t, but the key is in the ignition. This forces me to admit to myself that they left me with no excuse to fight back and kill people. So I reluctantly get in the truck, and drive to the police station two counties over.

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