Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Boar in the Woods (a short story)

Boar in the Woods

((A Chick Evens Story, 1977) (Babenhausen, West Germany))

The sun woke Cody and Shawn up, across their bunk beds, on the third floor in the Military Housing Compound in Babenhausen, West Germany. Streaks of sun rays seeped through the curtains, and cracks of the windowsill, brightening the walls in the bedroom, and they both lay a while longer in bed, with a warm chill, bright smiles on their faces, it was the weekend, and their father had promised to take them into the residing woods. Then Chick Evens woke up, remembered his promise, he was a bit stiff with a light stale coldness to his bones, his blood beginning to warm up, with some exercise, his limbs moved slowly, then like bird wings ready for flight. He dragged his legs to the kid’s room; the twins were putting on their socks. And he stood bending his knees and ankles, as to wake the rest of his body up; it was 7:00 a.m. His body felt like needles stinging him all over.
After breakfast, he and the boys descended the steps slowly and carefully into the woods, some three-hundred yards from their housing unit, onto a path that led into this wild patch of woods: extending a mile north and south, and a half mile east and west. The sun fell heavily onto the path, and the birds were like a blare of soft squeaky trumpets. No one had farmed this land it was all private woods. Chick Evens thrust his slender muscular arms over the shoulders of both his boys, he had his Colt 45, automatic with him, he knew there were wild boars in the woods, that farmers nearby had caught a few. The boys were a wee scared, having heard about the boars, but their father touched their cold noses—assuring them all was safe, and then drank some hot coffee from a thermos.
There came a sound of bushes being trampled. They all became utterly still, Evens saw the greasy looking black hair of a large creature, nondescript, and he watched the configuration with rolling eyes, his muscles twisted into tight knots. It was too high off the ground to be anything that might crawl; he made a gesture for the boys to be quiet. Somewhere behind him, he heard another noise, as if a dog was approaching—steadily, and with watchful gravity, and without movement and sound, he pulled out his gun. The boar was fast on its feet, the children moved then behind their father, only their own shadow behind them now, the dog had run in the thick to challenge whatever was lurking. Then with a sizzling echo, Evens shot a round into the bushes, and a grayish dark object jumped and ran off; the dog, played quietly-dumb, by itself, he didn’t want anything to do the boar—once he knew it was a boar, he looked like a pail of mucky milk.
The children now found time to jump and play on their father’s shoulders, as the other boy attacked the father—the father being the horse, and the boys being the knights of the famous Roundtable—each having their turns, as the boar most likely had vanished, and was miles away by now.

Note: written 12-27-2010
No: 648