The driver tears through the dry brush, the wheels kicking up plumes of dust behind them as they chase after the animal.

Alastair kisses the seal of the gold ring on his middle finger, cocks the rifle and stands up in his seat to look through the open-topped roof.

The animal’s cries of terror cut through the dusk’s calm silence.

He aims his sights at the animal’s hide, tries to stay steady.

Finger tightens on the trigger.

Breathes in.

Breathes out.

Trigger pulls back.

Shot rings out, echoes.

Animal runs faster, roars in anguish.

He orders the driver to stop.

The animal runs into the trees.

Alastair jumps out, gunning after it.

The earth rumbles as the animal flees for its life.

The sky rumbles in response.

Alastair catches the animal as it becomes caught in the trees.

He cocks the rifle again.

Dark clouds light up from within.

The animal yelps.

Alastair aims.

They look at one another intently.

Alastair sees nothing but himself in the animal’s eyes.

He fires.

The sky explodes…

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