09/19/2022:in-class writing prompt based on a picture prompt. the photo displayed a young boy holding a large gun!
The day was young, and the two headed fox had crawled deep into a fallen log where the young hunter couldn’t reach him.
“Daddy!” He called out, bounding over tangling roots and dead leaves, holding the shotgun he had been entrusted with just for this task. “He’s hiding!”
His father, a large man of sturdy frame wearing a camouflage vest, bounded over with the same tenacity, almost childlike in his excited stride.
“Don’t let him get out, Finn!” He came to a stop before the opposite end of the dead log, flanking the panicked creature.
“He’s cornered, dad!”
“Good! Point the gun and shoot, lad!” The older hunter reflected to him the motion of aiming his old shotgun, eagerly waiting for him to mimic him.
And so he did. He shifted his small hands to carefully grip the gun as he had been taught, his finger close to but not on the trigger. He got down low to stick the nozzle into the log, and the fox shrank back only to be cornered by the father’s leather boots.
Finn poked his head down just enough so he was
able to see the fox, and when he did, he was met with twice the amount of fearful eyes he had grown used to. Its chest rose and fell rapidly and sporadically, and it wasn't growling or attempting to scare him off at all—its two heads sat still and simply watched through four petrified eyes.
“What’re you waiting for, son? Shoot ‘im! We’ll be rich!” The father shouted, arm brandished in the air. The two hadn’t eaten a proper meal in ages. Finn longed for something more than chowder and bread, but when faced with the true cost of it, he began to reconsider.
The fox was absolutely ordinary when separated from its two heads. But Finn knew what its fate would be if he didn’t shoot it now. Its heads made it clumsy and weighted, so if someone didn’t find it and stuff its body up for display, it would surely get itself killed on its own.
He readied his hands. The fox gave him a knowing look in return. For a moment, the two spoke, albeit wordlessly, and came to silent agreement. The fox held a human understanding in its eyes, one Finn reflected back to it like a crystal mirror.
When the trigger was pulled, the pair took the corpse by the tail and slung it over Finn’s shoulder. The blood ran warm on his shoulder, and he felt its limp heads sway into each other as he walked.
“You did good, Finn,” the father said as they made the walk back to their camp. “We should be eatin’ well for the next few months because of ye. It’s a beautiful fox, too.”
Finn didn’t respond.
“Ah, don’t get so caught up with it,” his father tried to comfort him. “The fox was doomed from the start. From the moment it was born, it was a freak. Nature ain’t kind to those special ones. Surprised the fella was as big as it was—do you see its coat? So sleek and clean!”
The fox, as Finn had expected, was soon cleaned out and shipped off to someone who gave them a generous cash prize in return. And as Finn had expected, they ate well for the next few months, with meals that tasted rich and filling, and freshly pressed juice that made him lick his lips for the last few drops. But even for the months after the food had been burned through and the money had run tight once more, the two headed fox and its weary, human eyes never left his head. He had done it a favor, and it had left its thanks while it could, but now as its blessing fled from his life and slipped into its hole, all that remained for him was its orange, sleek fur haunting his camo coat.
i am scared, i want to go home