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Dear, whoever is reading this,
I am writing this letter in hopes that you will save a good many lives.
All of the events that changed my life started at about 9:50 AM, March 23, 1997. A blue pickup, in desperate need of a paint job wheeled into the parking lot of my shop, Randy's Deli and Butcher, located two-and-a-half miles south of a small town called Aurora. In the bed was a cow, must've been 650 pounds. Sure was a beauty. The man in the driver’s seat, clad in a blue flannel and a pair of jeans, looked well near the weight of the cow. I was guessin’ he was probably a logger from a couple miles north, just getting’ back from a hunting trip. When he walked into the store, he was forced to duck, just to clear the door jam.
"Mornin’." I called. I didn’t get an answer. As the guy limped towards the counter, it took my brain a few seconds to see there was somethin' wrong. His right hand was pressed down on his gut like a C-clamp, and his bristly, red face was contorted in an inhumanly manner. One of his massive, mud caked boots caught on a card rack near the entrance, and he went down, bringing the rack down with him. It was all a real loud ordeal of clanging and grunting.
I ran out from behind the counter to assist him, and as I got closer, it was easy to tell that this man had seen better days; the top of his ear was clean gone, and there was a large gash underneath his right eye, just spillin' blood. His nose was broke, and he had a nice cut trailing down his chin, dangerously close to his throat. Around his hand that he held protectively over the right side of his belly, the hunters’ flannel was drenched in red. There was a bullet hole in his shirt. The clothes he wore were in tatters.
"Damn, man, you alright? What happened?" I inquired, stumbling awkwardly to his side, 911 already punched into my cell phone.
Clenching his teeth, and gasping, the man managed to utter “The bears!” -Another gasp- “The grizzley tracked me down, but I escaped…” He then shuttered, and passed out.
Now, I'm no expert, but I’m pretty sure bears can't use guns. I didn't think about that part too much though, the guy may have accidentally shot his gun at himself. Plus, he was half-dead - he was delirious.
Around 10:45, after about 20 minutes of trying to clean the massive man up myself, the police, ambulance and fire department showed. I shook hands with a couple guys, answered a few questions, they left with the "victim". It all happened so fast, and now, I was alone, as if none of the prior events had happened. This left me to all by myself to my thoughts. People who know me don't tend to leave me to my thoughts, cuz I gotta bit of an overactive imagination.
After finishing a slow day, I got in my dirty old pick up, and started my hour long drive to the small apartment building, (in which I occupy the closet under the stairs) just on the outskirts of the city. Thoughts of bears with prehensile fingers, and things that could make a man of that size scared kept slithering in and out of my mind.
It was about half way to my apartment where I hit the deer. The small doe was loitering on the side of the road, and something spooked it, forcing it to burst out into the middle of the nearly empty highway. My reaction time wasn’t quick enough, and my truck collided with the animals body, creating a loud thud. I climbed out of my truck and inspected the animal. Having collected a few broken legs, and some obvious head trauma, the best thing for this deer was to just put it down.
Before this moment, I had never actually shot or killed an animal. The .22 rifle behind the seat of my truck was always used for target practice, and punching holes into small objects with my buddies. So as I lowered the barrel of that gun to the quivering animals head, I had the brief consideration of just leaving it there, and driving home. Honestly, I wish I had.
I didn’t though. Closing my eyes, I felt the trigger jerk backwards, and heard a fairly anticlimactic crack. The animal was done suffering, and I was happy about that, but just something about ending another living beings life… I don’t know, it just freaked me out.
Feeling a bit out of my jurisdiction, I attempted to call my older brother, Kent, and ask him about the protocol in this situation. Should I take it somewhere? Should I put it in the ditch, and leave? However, with my whole being out of cellular range, he never picked up. After a few rings, I heard the familiar ornery drawl of Kent’s voice: “Hey, this is Kent Shaub, as you can tell, I ain’t here, so leave a message with your name and number, and I might get back to you.”
With the quiet slapping sound of plastic on plastic, my cell phone flipped shut. There was no point in leaving a message, he wouldn’t call me back. I slouched down on the edge of the passenger seat of my pickup, with my legs dangling out of the cab, contemplating my options, when I heard a rustle in the bushes behind me. Acting on basic survival instincts, I twirled around to see what had disturbed the silence. ‘Course, with my incredible lack of balance, I managed to trip in the sitting position, catching the slightly closed door with my shin and ending up on my belly on top of the truck seat, facing the passenger door. At this point, you can probably tell that I’m not the most coordinated person there is.
Sitting up-right, I looked to see if there was anything there. There wasn’t, and I just assumed that my imagination was making things up on its own. I went back to pondering my options, when, again, I heard rustling in the bushes. This time I went to investigate. As I drew closer to the thick, Oregon brush, my heart rate started accelerating. Something had hurt that man, and as far as I knew, what ever was in these bushes, could be the same beast. Warily, I reached an arm out, and batted at the bush. The shrub moved with a great jolt, and something burst out from underneath it. Letting out a scream, I fell backwards. It was just a jack rabbit. A big jack rabbit, but a harmless jack rabbit none the less.
Walking back to my truck, sweating and trembling, I decided I had had enough of this. I hauled the bloody mess of a deer into the bed of my truck. When I reached town I would decide what to do with it. For right now, though, I just wanted to get to town without having a panic attack.
Finally, I was seated in the driver’s seat, buckling my seatbelt and ready to leave this isolated part of the high way when I looked up. Standing on two legs, 50 yards away in the middle of the road was a bear. A grizzley bear, to be exact. But, there was something off about it. What was it? I started sweating and trembling again. “You’re being stupid.” I thought to my self. “It’s just a bear. They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”
I laid on the horn. It just stood there, staring at me like a cop staring at a drug smuggler who’s just been caught red-handed. Then it started walking forward. My adrenaline kicked in. The shaking got worse. One of the most peculiar things about this bear, was that he obviously wasn’t more afraid of me, than I him.
When he got about 35 yards away, I reached back and grabbed my .22. Then I realized something. This bear, walking on two legs in the most humanly way possible, was holding a gun. What the hell? He was holding a goddamn gun.
Panic settled in, and I tried to start up the truck. It wouldn’t start. The engine wouldn’t even make a sound. Something had tampered with the vehicle, because 20 minutes earlier, it had been working like a charm.
The bear was 20 yards away now. Why was it walking like that? I then realized, now that my brain had settled, and I was trying to think of a real way out of this, that that was not a bear at all. Of course it wasn’t. Judging by the hands with five fingers, and the awkward, jerky movement, this was a person.
Another huge burst of adrenaline came, and I slammed the cheap car door open, nearly taking it off of its hinges. Something stopped me from moving, and I realized that my seatbelt was still on. The bear was 10 yards away, when I unbuckled the belt, and bolted into the woods on my left.
There was a crack of gun shot, and a surge of pain went up my right leg. The leg stopped moving mid-stride, and I tumbled to the forest floor. It took a second of intense processing, but I finally realized I had been shot. With a grimace on my face, I tried to get up to run, walk, even, but I couldn’t. Hearing footsteps behind me, I twisted around to get a look at my attacker. A grimy face peered out of the dead bears open mouth. The last thing I remember seeing before I woke up in tight, cramped cage that I’m in, was a pair of blood shot eyes. One was blue, and the other was a distant-looking shade of gray.
As I sit here, writing this note with a pen and a piece of paper that I found in my pocket, I am hoping to god that someone finds this. All I have heard in the last two days has been the constant whimpering from my assailant, and the occasional scream of “Daddy, all I wanted to do was go hunting!”
The blood flow from my leg has stopped, but my spirit is low. I’m dying. I think it will most-likely be over in a couple days. I am not writing this letter for my self. I am writing this letter in hopes that someone will find it, and give this psychopath whatever the fuck he deserves. So, as the final act in my life, I just want to save more people from going through what will soon be over for me. Goodbye.

Created: Apr 06, 2014

Tags: fiction, story

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