Leap

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Since before the day I was born my home was being torn apart by another species' merciless hands. As the herd celebrated the new spring, chainsaws screamed their killing cry off in the distance. Twigs snapped under the tramping feet of an invading army as I took my first steps on unsteady legs.

Even as she was ripped to shreds, the forest still kept her role as mother and protector of all. In my early years, the worry and fear was there, but it remained on the outside, replaced by the typical worries of finding food and shelter. Humans continued to greedily lap up whatever they could of the forest edges. Yet as time flew by, their malicious tools began to gnaw towards the central forest area, closing in around the herd like a strangling net. As the toxic scents and screeches grew nearer, living became even more of a struggle'

My hooves swept over the leaf litter, blood pounded in my ears and fury gripped me inside. I skidded to a halt as another deer, older than me, emerged from behind a large tree. Feeling like a helpless youngling again, I spilled out my report;

'They're not that far now! Everything that was over that way has been killed!'

We both stood stared up at the moon, almost a full circle, but being swallowed up quickly as the autumn nights marched by.

'I wish,' my leader started, 'I wish we at least could have hope. I want so much to stay loyal to the forest' But we have to leave. The lives of the herd take priority over loyalty or honor''

'We can't! There's nowhere else we could possibly go. At least I'll stay. I want to at least try to do some damage before I die.'

She took a step forward, her aura was a mess of pain, concern and ferocity, 'I can't let you.'

'Other deer have helped. If there's any cause worth dying for, it's this. There's a road nearby, some of their transportation is easily damaged by crashing into one of us,' I tried to be rational, despite knowing that no herd member would let another kill themself.

'That not helping, that's dying. And fighting even half as brutal as they do makes you just as bad as them! Actually, it's worse because you should know better.'

'I will!' I cried, and crashed off towards the cacophony of the disgusting path that had been carved in the earth. Behind me, I heard the leader's hoof beats as she gave chase. Desperately, I pressed on harder.

The near stillness of the air was smashed by the sound of a human weapon being fired. I stopped and turned to see my leader fall to the ground. Blood burst forth from the wound and spread over the ground. She did not shift. Pain and fear held me captive in place, staring helplessly at her gore splattered body. After a few seconds of terrible agony, a rush of rage set me free. I charged at the filthy murderer, intent on tearing him apart so he could die and plummet to the depths of where he belonged.

He did not see me coming as he gloated over his kill. It was that arrogance that gave me an opportunity to end that life. I did not have antlers, but like most does, I had a powerful bite. My teeth closed around that warm neck and snapped the vertebrate. Then, still burning up inside, I set off to do my duty.

The trees and the dark of night together gave me cover in my final moments. The desolate strip of foul ground was locked in my sites as I waited for an appropriate target. I needed a car small enough that the driver would suffer at least bad injuries from it. It would have been nice to be able to take out a larger vehicle, but that was impossible.

The mid-sized monster came hurtling down the road; I sprang out from the bushes to meet it. The hunk of metal crashed into me, and I was thrown up and into the window. I felt so many bones crack inside my body as I rolled off and fell to the ground. There on the hard, unnatural coldness, I lay with my life seeping out'

A dead deer lay before the dented car in the middle of the road. Inside, the elderly driver had died from a head wound. The ambulance carried away his body, and the man who had once stalked through the forest in bloodthirsty delight was laid to rest. Later, the car was carried away to the junkyard; a few of its parts were recycled and used to repair a bulldozer. The deer was unceremoniously dumped back into the forest, where a multitude of insects gave her the hero's send-off that she deserved.





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