Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Hunt

Written By Danielle La Paglia
Photo by Ian O'Neill

He steps carefully afraid to slip, his boots squishing into the moist earth. Easing forward he slowly pulls his rear foot from the mud suctioning it to the jungle floor. Humidity presses in on him, filling his lungs with more moisture than air. His fatigues stick to his skin, soaked through at his belt and the strap of his rifle. Shifting thick leaves aside with the tip of his weapon, he searches for the enemy. His progress is slow, but steady. He pushes on knowing they are close by. He can feel their presence, taste victory on his tongue.

Then he hears it, a twig snaps to his left. Muscles tense, he shifts only his eyes at first, then twists at the waist. One step closer and he catches a glimpse of them through the trees. His pulse races, he holds his breath, and inches forward. Blinking sweat from his eyes, he leans into the scope and takes aim. Finger ready, he steadies his arm, releases his breath, and pulls the trigger. He shifts to the second man before the first has fallen and hears the unmistakable sound of a pistol cock behind him.

A small jerk and he crumples to the jungle floor.