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Graham Lauder
Graham Lauder

Date of Birth: 6/12/52
Location: Tokoroa, New Zealand
Email: Yorick@zipmail.co.nz
Website: http://www.internettrash.com/users/yorick
 

HUNTER


The scrub parted, scratching at his flesh as he plunged head long towards the pool, his shrieks of joy, mingling with the chitter of fantails. The bracken attacked his nakedness as he launched off the cliff into the ice cool, cleansing waters.

His head broke free of the water and he screamed to the tops of the crowding Beech trees. The mud on his body began to wash off, his hair, to soften. With a flashing smile he plunged into the depths of the pool, revelling in once again being clean. His toilet done in moments, he moved quickly to the shore and in an instant located the old fire.

He pulled a handful of ash and charcoal from the old bed of embers long since surrendered itís heat. Quickly and efficiently with the ease borne of long practice he ground it into paste mixed with a little water. He quickly chewed the end of a piece of dried bracken took a small mouthful of the charcoal paste and cleaned his teeth with the fibrous stick.

He plunged his hands into the stream and washed his mouth out and splashed the cooling water over his face. In the distance a Heron screamed, his reply bounced off the surrounding cliffs, shattering the solitude.

He was shaking, the adrenalin was still running hard despite the surrender to routine. He turned, spied his target, walked swiftly to the Ponga tree and snapped off a young fern frond, he quickly stripped the hair and bit into it. The oily sap oozed over his mouth as he took it in his hand and smeared it over his limp member, with a few swift, gentle strokes his penis gorged itself standing erect. As he brought himself to orgasm he shrieked again and leapt into the pool.

His head flopped back on his shoulders with his eyes closed as the moment of release passed. His breathing slowed as he opened his eyes, for a moment he stared at the blue sky invading the gaps in the bush canopy. Rolling his head forward he watched floating ejaculate follow the current.

His eye noted the sun, time was moving on. His nose arched into the air, trying to detect hunters. He had been careful, scanning wide in a looping spiral run to the pool, looking for sign. The late afternoon was when the hunters preferred. He had always evaded them before, too fast for their foolish lumbering. The forest was his, he knew it as he knew little else, even if the hunters knew he was here, they could never catch him. The dogs however, were different. There was a grudging respect, they made him careful to disguise his smell, stay down wind, at least confuse them for a moment so he only had to deal with them singly. Alone, they were a comparatively simple task, in a pack, as was their nature, they were dangerous. The sun was getting low, soon it would be the time of the dogs. The air stilled, cooled, body scent clung to the moist air longer.

He started moving with renewed urgency, settling into a low crouch, a swift energy saving lope. His ears tuned to every sound in the forest, his eyes picked out trees, bushes, small hollows in the ground, each a sign post on his journey, every minutae as familiar to him as the pieces another existence.

He paused at the junction of two paths that only he could see, quickly glanced around until he spied the metallic glint. The Mercator was lying exactly where heíd dropped it. The neck loop dropped over his head as he retrieved a plaited leather thong with a piece possum skin attached. The thong went quickly round his waist, the skin pulled between his legs and tied back up either side. He quickly thumbed open the blade and carefully wiped it dry. His fingers ran quickly down the inside of his crotch between scrotum and top of the thigh. For a moment his hand brushed his penis, he fingered it for a second, feeling the thrill it gave him.

He paused, time enough later.

He wiped the grease from his crotch onto the blade of the knife carefully making sure all was covered to protect from rust. The blade unlocked and closed in one smooth movement.

A noise, faint, away in the distance.

Hunters! His breathing slowed to a shallow noiseless long inhale, his mouth open to listen and to silence his breathing. Pig! Moving west. Good, it would keep the dogs upwind and the hunters moving away. At another moment he wouldíve gone after them to amuse himself, not many hunters came this way, the ones that did were hard men, a challenge to race. He smiled to himself, not today, today they could have the pig, today he had hunted and been successful, tonight he would feed well. No! tonight he would Dine! He chuckled to himself...Dine!

He came down past the old Kauri towards his camp, moving quietly. Suddenly the hairs on his neck stood on end, something wasnít right. His nose flared, all his senses shifted to high alert, he circled around the front of the camp. The Male! The male was coming out of the cave, that meant the female was probably right behind, waiting for an all clear. No time to pause... ATTACK! The noise would scare the female back into the cave, then he would only need to deal with one at a time. Have to take the male first, the male will always defend the female under attack, the female will sometimes fight in unison, but take the male separate and most often the females self preservation instinct will cause her to leave the male to fend for itself... survival of the species.

He was too slow to make it a quick kill and cursed himself for an instant of indecision. The male saw him and charged, but it was clumsy,unused to this strange environment. He went onto the balls of his feet, knees bent, He feinted an attack then using the momentum, in close- down- spin. The male, caught by surprise, and carried by its own weight, tried to turn, but lost traction on the loose ground. The Mercator came out and open in a fluid movement. The male slipped, dropped to a knee and was hit full in the rib cage in a low, fast shoulder charge. The mercator, with merciless efficiency plunged into the neck just behind the ear and up into the brain. The male went limp. He swiftly rolled the limp body onto itís front put his hand inside the mouth and pulled the head
back. He drew the mercator across the throat as close to the jaw as possible being careful to go far enough to take both carotid and jugular. Another cut to open up through the oesophagus to the spinal column. Wrapping his fingers under the males jaw he pulled back firmly and plunged the knife through the spinal column between two vertabra severing the tendons, another pull, then the cord. He dropped the head onto the ground, grabbed itís feet and pulled it over to the gambol hanging ready on the end of itís rope.

Swiftly but carefully he made an incision through the flesh behind the achilles tendon on each foot. The gambol's hooks went effortlessly through the resulting holes. Three good pulls on the rope and the carcass was suspended in the tree.

He checked it and cursed when he realised it was hardly bleeding. Too stressed, the meat will be tainted and tough. It was a good thing heíd made the male take his boots off he might have to eat them instead. He chuckled at his own joke as he quickly washed his hands then turned towards the cave.

He paused, sniffed the air. The scuffle was for the most part quiet but in moments of high stress, noise levels were invariably ignored. He had to check. The female would start to think about coming out of the cave soon to find out if anything was happening. At the moment though she would be trying to find another exit. It would be a futile exercise, but it meant he would have time to ensure that his patch was secure and the female would have time to calm down.

He headed for high ground all the time listening. In close bush, hearing was his best defense. The big Red Beech he was looking for commanded the best view of his patch, in fact it delineated it's extremes. If he couldn't see it from the tree then it wasn't in his patch. The sun was getting low now the air was getting moist, any noise would carry, and from the old Beech at this time of day, he could hear a Weta sneeze from a mile away.

At the bottom of the tree, he pulled out the rope hidden amongst the Rata vine and quickly scaled to the bottom branches. The tree was old, it remembered huge volcanoes, a land of only birds, a land before man. But the old tree was dying, strangled by the mass of Rata. A hundred years ago he was taller, twice as tall, but then his top half died and one day, probably in response to the killing, by axe, of a neighbour, his top succumbed to the insistence of gravity. As the years passed his core began to rot providing a fertile place for other plants to grow, birds and insects to nest and at this moment in time, a place of shelter, of retreat, a place to observe.

He stood in the bole of the tree, eyes closed, mouth open, head inclined. Every noise was familiar music, the whispering wind, the water gurgling along a crystal clear creek, the creak and groan of the old man Beech, the strident snapping of the ubiquitous Tawa. In the distance a Kiwi awoke, ready to begin it's nightly patrol, the heavy wing stroke of an overladen Wood Pigeon who had spent too long at the Kowhai Bar. But hold! There! the jarring unnatural noise, Dogs. He opened his eyes and checked the direction. The Hunters, the dogs were barking, they had the pig bailed.

The hunters would be running now, crashing through the undergrowth, the anticipation of the kill driving the adrenalin to their screaming muscles. The dogs would hold the pig but would be unlikely to able to kill it unless it was small. There! a squeal, not high pitched, but deep, menacing. It was big, probably more than a match for three or four dogs, the Hunters would have heard it and would be running even harder, now thinking about their dogs' safety. As if prompted by his thoughts as he listened to the unfolding drama, the noise changed. He understood immediately. The Wild Boar, pound for pound, is
one of the most powerful creatures on earth, when his brain goes from defense to attack, someone had better take notice. He knew what was probably coming. If the Hunters didn't get there in time, the dogs would take the brunt of the Pigs counter attack, death was a possibility, serious injury almost a certainty.

He smiled, for him either result was good. A maimed Hunting Dog would result in a fast exit for the Hunters who think of and treat their Dogs as family, as close companions. Treatment for a wounded companion could not wait. A dead Pig, especially a big one would have the same result, with Hunter and Dog celebrating their success but with the anticipation of the gutting and singeing upon the return home. With a grunt of satisfaction he dropped from his vantage point and headed back.

He paused outside the cave, covering the possible scenarios. The females, in this state, were unpredictable. Some would simply collapse and cry constantly, others, if they gauged the situation hopeless, would attack with great ferocity. He crouched outside the mouth of the cave as the sun was setting. He dared not try to go into the cave yet, the sudden transition from light to dark would put him at a disadvantage, he needed time for his eyes to adapt. As the light fell he moved slowly into the mouth of the cave. His feet rolled as they landed each step keeping the noise to a minimum. As he reached the main chamber of the cave, the light increased, some of the glow of sunset still filtered down through the crack in the cave roof. The female was sitting at the back, he approached warily. He could smell her fear in the still air. He stepped into the light. She
started, crouched, nostrils flaring like an animal at bay. He knew his best weapon was hope.

"Iím going to keep you apart until I can be sure you wonít try to escape again."

"Where is he?"

"In another cave on the other side of this ridge."

"He will try again."

"I donít think so, I have him tied a little more securely."

"Can I have my clothes back."

"Why?"

"Iím cold"

"Iíll light a fire."

"You will? thank you"

"Iíll have to tie you up again though."

"Is that necessary"

"What do you think?"

He could see her calculating, there was a sigh of resignation, he had won. He pulled two long spliced slings from his pile of rope, he made her sit while he tied a prussik knot with a short loop to each leg. Through each loop he threaded an inch diameter rope and tied these to opposite sides of the cave.

"Youíll be able to move about a bit, but not enough to get to and undo the knots on the big ropes which is the only way youíll get loose. Unless, of course he comes for you... Which I can assure you he wonít."

He knew of course that she wouldnít believe him, too many American movies. She was expecting the cavalry. An hour passed while he busied himself. Small conversation passed between them as he came and went and the fire warmed the small cavern.

Finally he came into the cave with a poncho and a meal.

"Put this on, itís gotten cooler."

She took the garment and put it over her head. He noticed her force a smile. He smiled back at her.

They sat and ate. As he finished he relaxed with his back against the cool rock. She looked at him.

"Who are you."

"It doesnít matter, but weíve probably talked."

"But I donít know you."

"It doesnít matter, I know you."

"How can you know me?"

"Because, you are a user!"

His tone stopped her.

His groin was beginning to feel tight again, he slowly slid his hand inside the possum skin, and took his quickly growing penis in hand and with a slow rhythm between hand and groin, he began to enjoy. She watched repulsed, fascinated, strangely excited. Her breathing deepened a fraction. He could again see the calculation, morals struggling against the instinct to survive. He saw the decision, when it came, in her eyes.

"Here, let me do that for you."

She carefully unlaced the leather thong and pulled off the possum skin, she lowered her head.

"No, not that."

She looked at him a moment, then understood. She wrapped the Possum skin and took him in hand gently and slowly at first, then gradually faster until he could hold it no longer and with a yell he burst.

"Thank you."

He knew gratitude was what she expected, it was done, the loop was complete as it often was. He couldnít say why, he didnít understand people, but he understood survival.

The female lay down on her back near the fire. He observed her carefully, she had been stressed on fear driven adrenalin now for close to 16 hours, her body given the slightest excuse would demand rest, she would sleep quickly. He crawled over to her, put his hand under the blanket and gently touched her breast, the nipple was soft. The hairs on the nape of her neck were smooth, the breathing measured. He quietly moved his nose down towards her crotch he sniffed long and slow, the rancid stench of fear was gone, the little still there, was old. He smiled.

He sat back and watched her breath. As if by some hidden signal her eyes opened and stared directly into his.

"When are you going to let him go, if you let him go I'll stay with you?"

They always thought it came down to that, in the same way they thought because he was mad, he was stupid. He held her eyes with his.

"Thatís not possible"

"Why not?"

"Because you just ate him for dinner."

His smile was almost gentle. As she was just about to scream he plunged the knife into the base of her skull. He grasped the hair, pulled back and with measured strokes he severed the head. He quickly recovered the gambol and put it through the ropes prussiked to her legs and dragged the lifeless weight out of the cave, ..2, ..3, pulls and another carcass hung in the tree.

He looked at blood splashed on himself and at the pool that was gathering on the ground.He smiled with satisfaction and nodded, a good bleed, relaxed meat is always the best. Tender, no taint.

The sun was just rising as he came down off the ridge, in the predawn light he had run a wide loop and recceeíd his destination. No sign of hunters or other people. All seemed clear. It was good, everything was going to time. Out of the bushline to the derelict house. The floor boards, in what was once the kitchen, came up easily. Lifting out the clothes and day pack, he dressed swiftly and slid on the watch, 0530. Good. On time. He moved quickly, anxious to be on his way.

Down from the house, into the creek bed, he leapt from rock to rock, covering the ground with practised ease. Two kms downstream, the Bridge in 12 minutes, he grunted with satisfaction, climbed up under the abuttments and retrieved his boots. Boots on, then on the road his pace hardly slowing, he smiled as he rounded the last corner before the carpark. The Landrover's V8 burst into life at the first touch of the key, 0612. Excellent, 45 minutes to the motorway, a quick shower at the truck stop, change vehicles, easily at work by 0800.

At precisely 7.52 as he did every Monday morning, he swiped his card to the company carpark, he parked the Laser in his labelled spot and quickly scampered to the lift. 4 other people entered the lift as he did, none acknowledged the other. Their existence unshared in a box of muzak. The lift doors opened, finally allowing escape.

"Morning Mindy."

"Simon."

He greeted the receptionist as he went straight through to the operations room, the early shift were in already. Just time to visit the coffee machine while everything boots up. He returned to his desk quietly sipping his coffee.

"Simon, we have a User here, who needs someone extremely reasonable! She sounds right up your alley, line 4"

A nod, a smile, headset on....

"Good morning, Software support, youíre speaking with Simon, how may I help....? Yes madam, could you please check that the plug has been inserted into the wall socket....."