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The Woods

By , San Jose, CA

I often had times where I would run into “The Woods”, which was really just a slightly larger patch of grass with a slightly larger amount of trees. In “The Woods” stood two towering redwoods and a handful of skinny white birch trees, swaying to the winds. “The Woods” were now layered with redwood needles, and the birch trees remained barren.
There they were, like always during a bright evening, the three of them. They were leaping throughout the trees every evening, always gray, swift, and too small for me to hit. This time, I could contest their location, with my trusty “shot” (my slingshot). It was made from a carefully sanded stick, at least sanded to a certain extent from used sand paper that our neighbor threw out. The intricately coiled pieces of rubber band curved around the “Y” shape of the slingshot. It is my pride and joy, because I had little else.
“Thuack!”
“Crack!”
As the round pebbles scratched the bark off  a tree, rousing up the squirrels to be leaping all over, while scattering their nuts across the “forest” floor. Eventually with a few more cracks at it, they all scurry down their stupid hollow tree holes. Not a single squirrel peeps his c***amamie face above their hole.
I let out a couple of useless shots in rage at the trees, making the green tinge of “tree blood” seep from the birch. Every single time, they bait me by venturing so close, that I could barely reach out to grasp them, but they would always, leap out of the way, just in time. It was a mutual hatred.
As I await for them to come out again, my slingshot was trained at one of the trunks where a squirrel scurried down.
“Twing!”
The tiny squirrel stayed perfectly still, as if the heavy stone had never touched his face.
“Twing!”
Weird, the squirrel didn’t move, although red gashes started painting its cheeks. I raised my slingshot again and took aim slowly.
“Crash!”
The final moment of victory had come and yet I didn’t even release my pebble. The squirrel collapsed from its statue like form, falling slowly, as time itself mellowed and slowed. As did something else did too. A few more pebbles leaped out from my slingshot at the for good measure. I hadn’t really considered what would happen when I actually shot it out of the tree.
A predator always feels a frenzy from their heart when they successfully brought down a kill.
I had no frenzy.
Only mortification of what I have done. As I closed in on it, my eyes brimmed with tears. A red river flowed from the gashes, with red soaked pebbles that leaped out of my hands, trapped behind flesh. Splinters of bone sprinkled the carcass from the impact of falling off a tree. A couple of strides away, a half bowl of woven twig and mud laid on the ground. Pieces of mud covered sticks stuck out on the grass. Struck out of their snug place by one stray, smooth stone.
Then there were the eggs.
Small chunks of shell were littered around the half bowl. Liquid oozed from inside the bowl. I spotted a tiny brown-flesh colored thing sitting inside a piece of shell, curled up tight enough to throw, not that I wanted to touch it at all. 
My whole body jerked away and I fled from the scene, not even bothering to cover up my wrongs. The once familiar, friendly trees now seemed to stare at me in disgust. I never ventured into the woods again, knowing that something there will surely punish me for my actions. The event stuck in the back of my head, leaping into my mind when it took a walk into yonder. As I try to push it out with thoughts more current, it always finds an opportunity where my mind is exposed.




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