This week’s Tipsy Lit Promted is about a character doing something new.
Sweat dripped from his scalp, rolling down the bridge of his nose like a stream. Deep breaths, he reminded himself. The air was chill and still, the only sound a slight rustling of the ripe corn stalks at their bases, where the ground gave them life. The prey, he thought, that’s them.
He scanned the sky, looking left to right and sweeping with his gun.
Let’s go! his dad called from the end of the field.
The group slowly walked forward, boots crunching the harvested corn stalks laying in the field.
Bird! Someone to his left called.
He could hear his heart beating in his ears and raised his gun, finger on the trigger but stopped short of squeezing it. Pop! Pop! Pop! Shotguns went off to his left and right. Pheasants fell from the sky.
The sky was empty; the clear blue no longer sprinkled with brightly colored feathers. He lowerd his gun.
After all the lucky birds flew away and the unlucky ones were retrieved by overeager labs and vizslas, his heart beat slowly made it’s way back to a normal pace.
With his adrenaline lowered, he realized how cold it was. The sweat across his forehead began to freeze. He reached up with his forearm and wiped it away.
Did you get one? the man to his left asked.
Nah, I don’t think so, he responded. Of course he knew he hadn’t; he hadn’t pulled the trigger.
Well, next time, he said kindly as his dog approached with a dead pheasant limply clutched in its mouth. Good boy! he said enthusiastically to the grinning black dog.
After the commotion and back patting–dog and human–stopped, the line reformed. He resumed his position with his gun firmly held in his hand.
Walk, his dad said after a brief look to his right.
His hands gripped a little tighter as he took his first step forward. The only sounds he heard were the ground crunching under his feet, his deep breathing and the excited panting of dogs. Then a rustle, crow and wings beating as a dozen birds rose up in the sky to escape.
He took a deep breath, aimed the gun and tracked the colorful rooster’s movement. He placed his finger on the trigger planning to squeeze it as he’d been taught. Another deep breath, but he couldn’t do it. The birds cleared the air again. He lowered the gun.