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.


23 comments:

Gabriela said...

I tried to picture every word, as in a movie. Breath taking.
All the best from Peru.

Ken said...

First, awesome picture. Second, I love the suctioning boots and the strap pulling through the sweat.

Danielle La Paglia said...

Thank you Ian for entrusting me with a story for your special project. I love the photos in this series.

And thanks Gabriela & Ken for the great comments.

It is an awesome photo!

Jax said...

The photography is wonderful. I've seen several photos on Dani's page from you or Sandy, and I'm always impressed. Thanks for sharing them!

John Wiswell said...

Danni is a heck of a writer. Glad you two could work together.

Pat Hollett said...

Another fantastic picture from Sandy & Ian. I love how you make a wonderful story from each picture and it becomes a full story in a few short lines. Breathtaking delivery of a scene or part of someone's life. Always well done and such amazing stories! Love them! I think you both make a nice collaboration with the pictures and words.

Eric J. Krause said...

This was short, but it had a great pace to it. Each word carried its weight and it all added up to an excellent story. The last line was chilling and awesome!

Angela Addams said...

Great picture...it reminds me of Toy Story a little!

As usual, wonderful writing, amazing detail, well done!

Joely Black said...

A breathtaking story, a brilliant use of a great prompt.

Marisa Birns said...

Held my breath as I read this great flash - didn't want to make a noise to disturb the MC! Description so vivid, I became uncomfortable with the heat and humidity. Sure there were lots of biting bugs, too.

Great flash!

Gracie said...

That's a great photo, and Danni did it great justice.

I'm always amazed how you can pack so much into such a small space. Excellent writing as always. I could feel the icky hot humidity, and the soldier's tension throughout. Amazing story.

jasonwarden.com said...

Great photo, and a very clever story. Well done to both of you.

Maria A. Kelly said...

Very intense story and it goes so well with the photo.

Metz Photography said...

Fabulous image! Love it. And the story, you could really feel the tension.

Cecilia Dominic said...

Yikes -- great tension! Nice portrayal of humidity -- that's how I felt while going out to get the mail today.

CD

Matt Merritt said...

Great snapshot! Quick and dirty ending; very authentic.

Alan W. Davidson said...

awsome story, Danielle. Very vivid descriptions. Ian's excellent photo was perfect for the story.

mazzz in Leeds said...

short, but with quite some punch! The picture and the writing make great bedfellows.

brainhaze said...

Nice piece and the picture is awsome. Great work

Danielle La Paglia said...

Thank you for all the great comments everyone.

And, once again, thank you Ian for the most excellent photo prompt and for letting me hijack your blog this week.

SusanKMann said...

Amazing story and picture.

Seleste said...

Dani, you always pack so much into such a short space. It's truly inspiring. Loved this piece and the picture :)

melissalwebb said...

Great story. It really drew me in. I felt as if I was really there.