Boy Man Boy

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The dogs rounded her up.  We followed their barks through the acned hills that lay low and shimmering around the homestead.  And suddenly there she was, entirely motionless, as we came breathing hard over the warm rocks. The goat watched us, its body turned sideways to us, only its eyes moving.  Like it knew that the time for running was ended.  She was alone and we were become God. Everyone was still. Even the dogs stopped and were uncertain. I stood behind the rest where they couldn’t see me making signals with my hands trying to warn her. I pretended to scratch my head, kicked at a stone noisily while they decided who would shoot her.

 

You were fifteen. The men said, “Do you want to do it, Andrew?” You blushed but then you nodded and knelt against a dead log. You were nervous in case you missed and the men laugh at you. Then I closed my eyes behind my sunglasses and only pretended to see, opened them after I heard the shot.

 

Now the goat was lying amongst the rocks and the dogs raced down and began tearing at the trembling throat.  Then they tried to mount her.  The men called them off laughing but embarrassed.  A man spat. “Bloody dogs,” he said.  You stood up saying, “It’s no fun at this distance.”  No one answered.  They called the dogs off again and this time they ambled back to us.  We walked away. The goat turned cold in the sun and someone patted your head.

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5 Comments

Filed under australia, boys, death, Men, youth

5 responses to “Boy Man Boy

  1. The last line of this is the perfect conclusion; very good write.

  2. Kym

    “acned hills” set the whole tone perfectly. Very apt imagery.

  3. loubird

    Not quite the same arc as your other stories, but you’ve got some beautiful, poetic imagery. I particularly like “acned hills”. Very chilling indeed…

  4. I did this with a pheasant in the fork of a tree. I had tracked it through the snow in the woods and came upon it suddenly and shot it without thinking. It isn’t any fun at that distance, and for me, from that moment, at any distance. Thanks for the piece.

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