What peculiar days; bright sunny not a cloud in the sky, dead hot stagnant air, not a breath of a wind.
I haven’t seen this kind of strange weather before; rain snow cold weather is the norm. Summer like conditions this time of year is nothing like deer season I’ve known over the last thirty years in these mountains.
I found a decent spot to make camp took the obligatory pictures and settled in for the next fourteen days.
Been here since Tuesday and deer season doesn’t start until Saturday. I decided to leave for the hunt early and have some camping time before the big hunt starts. Two more days until season starts and I’ve about had enough of the camping mode; remind me next year arriving four days before season is way too long.
I’ve driven around for last two days picking up wood and looking for the perfect tree to cut down “logging” is what I call it. I’m trying to get enough wood cut and stacked for the camp fire to last the ten days of the hunting season, there won’t be time for logging once it starts.
I’ve worked all the components of my pack, even wrapped my gun with camo cloth. I’m as ready as I’m going to be.
I’ve got a plan; I’m going to hop in the truck after the sun rises Saturday morning and road hunt my way to Airplane ridge; there’s even a sign nailed to a tree as you bounce along the rutted road towards another ridge in the myriad of ridges that tells you, you’ve arrived at Airplane Ridge. I’ll hunt the opening morning along the ridge and hope to spot a deer, after that I’ve got nothing, no plan as of yet.
Sitting in the trailer in the late afternoon heat I decide to watch a movie about an alien invasion. My son gave me a hard drive with about 500 movies on it for the long nights in camp by myself. I choose to watch “Invasion” staring Nicole Kidman; I’m going to lose it if they show her in her panties one more time...
The movie is half over and I’ve drank two going on three beers while Nicole flaunts her perfect behind in front of the camera. I’m having some rather evil thoughts towards Nicole and woman hood in general after an hour watching her prance around. I’m thinking we’d be the perfect couple rolling and twisting the sheets into tight knots as I expertly make love to her hours and hours into the night; yeah right.
Popping the tap on beer number four the movie is just about coming to an end I find myself needing to relieve the bladder; pausing the movie I head for the trailer door; I don’t use the trailer’s bathroom when you can step outside and use the great outdoors and pick any ol’ spot.
As I clear the door and step down the three steps I realize there’s a man sitting in my camp chair not ten feet from me; he’s facing away towards the fire as though he’s part of my camp and enjoying the warmth of the fire I’ve made. I skid to a halt just clearing the last step; he turns his head while sitting in my chair and with a wide smile on his face he welcomes me.
“Hello brother; come enjoy the fire a spell.” He says with a big welcoming smile; he turns further waving an arm in a huge gesture towards the fire.
“What the fuck?” slips from my lips as I have a massive adrenaline dump; feels like I’m going to pass out or run a marathon.
“Who are you?” I gasp as the adrenaline whips snakes up and down my legs and spine.
“I’m Brother Theodore!” Standing up from my chair, turning towards me; “I and Jesus are here to save you!” He says with fevered enthusiasm, his arms and hands emphasize his statement; again he jesters towards the fire welcoming me to join him. I was in such shock that I didn’t even realize now standing he must be at least seven foot tall if not taller; He towers over me at my height of five foot eight.
He’s dressed in clothing from another time. I’d suppose one might have dressed like that if you lived in the early nineteenth century and were a dingy cowboy preacher. He wore dark trousers with what might have passed as a white shirt decades ago; a slim black tie hung from around his neck bound by a lose knot. He wore an open black duster with dull dirty brass buttons that reached nearly to his knees. His face was cast in shadows by a heavy wide brim dusty sweat soaked black hat set low over his eyes. His appearance beckoned one back to the past; his boots once black now covered in streaks of dust clinging to the leather soles heavily worn.
“How’d you get in my camp?” I squeak standing on shaky legs; not ten feet separated me from the aberration.
“Jesus works in many ways; I’ve come to bring you his word; I’ll take you home.” The stranger says in a low but somehow booming voice in my head even though it’s not loud to my ears.
“I’m not going any where’s.” I say while trembling on wooden posts that once were my legs. I inch shuffle backwards towards the steps I’ve just come down.
“Join me brother and I’ll show you the way to his kingdom in heaven, AMEN!” explodes in my head. He steps around my camp chair taking a step towards where I’m standing closing the distance with one huge long step.
“No……….” I shout as I step up onto the first step leading into the safety of the trailer.
“Jesus loves you; it’s your time to grasp the loving hand of your SAVOR!” The booming voice roars in my head. He takes another step closing the distance between us as I mount the second step into the trailer.
Shaking my head from side to side “No; I don’t’ know what you want; stay back” I shout weakly from frozen lips.
With both arms stretched straight out he takes the last step to me “Stop now or I’ll shoot!” I shout into his face as I pull my side arm from its holster.
With grasping hands he reaches for my gun, grabbing towards the protruding barrel.
The blasts echo through the trees; bright flashes of light as the mussel blast flashes against the dingy white of the stranger’s shirt like flash bulbs. Two, three, four explosions from the stubby forty five shake’s the still hot afternoon air.
Clothes flap from impacts; dust clouds jet into the air evaporating the colors of the day; one long overlapping calamity of thunder bouncing and rebounding off the distant hills.
I step back into the safety of the trailer slamming the door and twisting the lock; the blinking light of the computer screen asks “Play again.”
My ears ring from unprotected blasts of .45 auto max loads at point blank range; I fall into my chair as I drop and push a fresh magazine into the stubby .45
Looking out the window I can’t see the stranger; he must have fallen where he was hit multiple times. Standing I can’t see him anywhere from any of the windows; I press my face hard against every window; I wait numbing minutes on end.
Forty five minutes with gun in hand waiting for the scratch at the door, the dragging pulling of a hemorrhaged body along the dirt, none comes. My hand aches from grasping the .45 with such force for so long.
Opening the trailer door a quarter inch; further, I can’t find a sign of struggle, only the burnt shell casings from my .45 lay on the dusty ground gleaming reflections of the sun where he should have fallen.
Where has he gone? Was he ever really there? no blood, no torn flesh, not a drop of precious blood marks the quarter of our fight.
I’m heading home early; I’ll tell the wife that I just wasn’t seeing anything. She’ll believe that. I think I’ve had about enough of deer hunting; I never get one any anyway.
I’ll sell my guns, the trailer; I think I’ll just stay a little closer to home from now on; I never really enjoyed hunting by myself anyway.
From the Ramblings…………….