Not the Answer He Was Looking For

For once, I don’t know how to respond.

Instead of answering the stranger, I back away slowly while still pointing my rifle in his direction. I glance around quickly to double check that we’re alone. The stranger jumps towards me. My attention snaps back. There is no hesitation.

Bang-Bang. My rifle shouts twice and falls silent. The stranger’s body hits the ground with a soft thump and puff of snow. The stranger makes no sound and is still.

I realize what I’ve done and scurry back into the treeline. Its a minute before my heart and mind alike slow down. I scan the trees for movement, but there is nothing. Far away, a crow caws.

“Shit.” I move back towards the stranger and flip him on his back. I feel for a pulse, but I already know the answer. I take a deep breath of cold air but then take one of my coats off and lay it on the ground. After rolling the body onto it, I begin dragging it back to my cabin. I leave the snare but throw the remains of the lynx into the trees.

Todays going to be a long day.

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