A YEAR UNDERFOOT – entry #219

A Year Underfoot


June 5th, 2034

Every day is an adventure, and today was no different.

I sometimes forget the Threak aren’t the only going concern out here. Case in point, early this morning I had a small black bear poking around my camp, at first take, innocent enough, a fifty-pound little bundle of fur and mischief, – no worries.

But, as soon as I spotted the little guy, – and promptly, his two siblings, I had a much bigger problem on my hands.


Five hundred and fifty plus pounds of snarling motherly love reared up on her hind legs, gnashed her teeth and bared her claws. I stood still, but it was too late. Her mind was made up the second she saw me and she dropped on all fours and charged.

I raised my blaster to have at it, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pull the trigger. I couldn’t kill her. If I did so, I knew I’d be killing the cubs as well and there’s been too much killing – over too long a time, to both human and animal alike. A protective instinct rose inside of me, much like the mother bear’s, I suppose. I couldn’t kill her, no more than I could kill myself. Not today, not ever.

I fired off a warning shot into a cluster of oaks next to the charging bear and it stopped her dead in her tracks. She rose back up on her hind legs, curiously craning her head to make sense of the exploding tree beside her. When none came, she let out a great roar, all three of her cubs scampered quickly to her side and she dropped back down to all fours, turned tail and slowly ushered her clan back into the brush.

Au revoir, – aufwedesein, – see ya!

Thirty seconds later, and we both were long gone.

Crisis averted.

Well, – almost.

In all the excitement I’d fired my blaster. Not good. Not good at all. I knew that I’d have every trooper within fifty miles on my butt in half a heartbeat. I had to run, I had to leave the area, – my location had been compromised. I had no choice. I had to flee. I packed what I could and hit the road.

The air base would have to wait.

So, here I sit, eighteen hours and eleven miles later, blaster in hand, catching my breath under a lofty oak, thirty miles from the air base, chewing on some extremely dry fish jerky and wondering how long I can operate on borrowed time.

Come morning, I’ll start the trip back. Ahab wants his whale, now more than ever.



About paul nevins

Fiction writer, reader and baseball fan.
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