A shot rang out. A small spot appeared on the left side of Garry’s shirt. The bitter smell of his skin burning accompanied the heat eating through it.
Another shot woke the forest’s spirit. Blood sputtered from the wound in Garry’s chest.
He stumbled backward, eyes on the move, his heart racing quicker as the crimson liquid soaked into his palm. Remembering his training, he slowed his breathing.
Clarity was at the end of each exhale.
Claiming a girthy tree limb as his weapon, he pressed his back into the nearest trunk, the jagged edges of its bark livening his senses,
each movement reminding him that he was behind enemy lines.
Flirty gusts flicked the tops of his ears. The canopies’ saliva dripped down the back of his neck.
Having been under his surroundings’ influence for the past five hours, his body began to turn on him, sweat burning his eyes, numbness settling in his fingers. A shadow rushed across his vision.
Bolts of adrenaline shot through his body. He assumed a major league stance. “I’m armed and I have back up on the way.”
The leaves shook, laughing at his threat. Pine cones rocketed from nausea inducing heights, pelting the ground around his feet.
His eyes narrowed and his jaw tightened. He slammed the limb against the trunk. “Come out. Face me like a man. I don’t have a gun. We’re even.”
The bolt of lightning that lit the sky blinded, the following roar of the thunder shook the ground, making him unsteady on his feet, dark grey clouds rushed to cover the moon and stars,
casting the area in darkness. Another clap of thunder excited the audience. Exotic birds, crickets, frogs, and snakes created a deafening shrill. The shadow flashed across his vision.
Garry bolted, slapping down limbs, not caring about the muck filling his shoes. He ignored the fresh cuts decorating his hands and neck.
Though his legs burned, the faces in his peripheral forced him to continue on. “Almost there. Almost there,” he said, racing toward the large gap in the trees.
50 yards out, he suddenly dropped to his knees. Dirt gathered under his fingernails as he clawed at the ground. The ground rumbled underneath him.
Vision blurry, he could only make out the size and shape of the figure standing over him. His eyes locked onto its hand.
The Remington rifle’s barrel left a line in the dirt, dictating sides, bringing up the controversial question: Pro life or Pro Choice?
Kicking himself backwards, his words ran into one another, a combination of explanation and pleading. “I was just, please, I’ll leave right now and never come back.”
The figure remained silent as it towered over him. Just at it had seen many of its enemies do before, it settled the butt of the weapon into its shoulder.
Carefully lifting the bolt action, it snatched it backward before pushing forward, loading a fresh bullet. The sights lined up with the center of Garry’s forehead.
The thunder rolling across the sky denied his cries the chance to be heard. A thick finger eased around the trigger.
“I have family. They’ll look for me.”
The figure hunched its shoulders. Narrowing an eye, it zeroed in on its target. A flash of lightning enabled Garry to see his hunter for the first time.
The gorilla’s roar traveled to the Earth’s core. It pointed to a hairless patch of skin, lying just above his heart.
The disfigured G was a constant reminder of the man that had taken five members of his troop. He took aim once more.
“Please. I’m sorry. I’m –