I was finally feeling a little better. Driving down the 121, listening to Leonard Cohen when a deer jumped in front of my car. I pushed down on the brakes as hard as I could and my vehicle skidded and slid to a stop inches from the ignorant creature’s body. It blinked with my high beams blasting its face with a double shot of halogen while I caught my breath. Hitting a deer is messy for everyone, especially the deer and I was glad I had avoided it. It’s also murder on your car.
I’m glad my car was safe and I’m glad I didn’t hurt the deer.
I changed my mind. I still want to hurt the deer.
So I opened my car door and stepped out into the windy, mountain air. It was still warm and the sky was gigantic. I always take for granted how big it is, here. I swear it’s not this big in the city. I made a mental note to look at it more often.
The deer must have heard the car door close because it took to its hooves and ran past me into the field. Although, I wasn’t totally done with my mental note, I gave chase, pounding the dry grass with my boots. I could see the deer in the dim light and was miraculously gaining. The acid I had eaten earlier must be giving me the extra boost; I’d heard of stuff like this happening.
The distance between me and the velvet hide of this graceful beast was lessening and I could smell its musky breath. The noise from the hooves was hollow and the rhythm produced was a cadence to my double time march. I could see the white tail, only a few feet away so I lunged. My hands felt soft, short fur and I wrapped them around the narrow frame of this galloping beast. While we were tumbling to the ground, I caught a glimpse of that amazing sky and made a quick mental note to finish the mental note I had started earlier.
My left shoulder was crushed under the weight of the deer and its legs bucked at my chest in a futile attempt to escape. The LSD had given me strength beyond my own limits because, not only did I hang on, I was able to claw my way into a controlling position on top of the struggling deer. With one hand around its neck and the other pinning its front legs I sank my teeth into its shoulder. I had seen hunter’s targets before and they always had the bullseye on the shoulder; I figured that this must be its weak point.
Warm blood filled my mouth with a bitter saltiness but the rage of battle had clouded my senses. I struck again with a savage bite to the shoulder and wrenched my head from side to side. The chords in my neck were steel. My jaw was iron. I released my grip on the front legs and used my hand to claw into the soft flesh of the deer’s throat. With my other hand I punched again and again into the side of the deer’s body, feeling the dull thudding soften as ribs collapsed under my super strength. Rearing my head to that perfect sky, I howled at the stars and finished my mental note.
Click. Bright light.
“What the hell are you doin’, boy?”
It was a highway patrolman. I wondered, for a second, how much trouble you could get in for killing a deer without tags if you didn’t use a rifle.
I looked down at my victim to find nothing but prairie dust; my one hand full of grass and the other filthy with cow manure. I spit dirt and rocks out of my mouth and into a fresh, shallow hole. Staring at the empty ground in front of me, I noticed that I was kneeling in fresh cow patties and there was no deer in sight. My teeth hurt from digging into the ground, hard from the lack of rain and my fingernails were broken with dried grass and grit underneath them. The lawdog’s flashlight had cleared my head and I realized I was alone, filthy and busted in a field off the 121. I looked to my right and, behind the lawman, my headlights shone onto empty freeway; my dome light still on.
I could still hear Leonard Cohen from my open window.