Pretty Rare Creatures – Curse #35J

Posted on October 20, 2011

2


She was at the screen door. A young woman with a frail appearance.

I knew about frail.

I was ninety three years old.

There is a dinosaur on the loose, she said through the screen.

I got up and went to the door. Yea, I said. I’ve heard the screaming. And?

Didn’t you use to be a hunter, she asked. The dinosaur is stealing Christmas wreathes all around town. It’s only July. We’ll never make it to December.

I was drunk on whiskey. Apparently it was July. I was only wearing a pair of long johns.

I said, so what do you want me to do again?

The police won’t do a thing, she said. She pushed the screen open and came in and started waving her hands in the air like she was dancing only she wasn’t, she was just pissed off and venting with her gestures.

I repeated myself, what do you want me to do?

She pushed me with a growl and said, Kill it!

I caught my balance. It was a fair request. Dinosaurs were probably dangerous. I had never really seen one except in a museum. It definitely needed to be shot and stuffed. Someone would need to kill it.

I can’t kill it, I said. I’m out of bullets. I don’t even have a gun.

What are those over there, she said. She was pointing at a box labeled bullets and an elephant rifle I used on my many hunts.

Those, I said, are just toys. Besides, I’m retired.

She pushed me again. Don’t be a coward, she cried. I fell this time, almost broke my hip.

Hey, I yelled. Stop pushing me. Maybe she wasn’t as frail as I thought. I took a few swigs of whiskey to ease the pain in my hip.

The whiskey convinced me. In matters of both great and little importance, there are few things as convincing as alcohol. Moments later we were outside. I had my rifle and she was leading me to the last place she saw the dinosaur. The gas station.

There it was. This huge green dinosaur and sure enough there was a Christmas wreath about it’s neck.

Are you religious, I asked. Is the dinosaur offending your sense of Christ?

No, she said. I’m Jewish. I just hate dinosaurs.

The dinosaur hasn’t done anything to you, I said. Are you sure you want me to kill him?

KILL IT, she screamed. I hate dinosaurs!

ARE YOU SURE, I screamed.

DO IT, she screamed.

THEY. ARE. PRETTY. RARE. CREATURES, I shouted.

KILL IT, she screamed. KILL IT NOW!

I didn’t like loud noises. The one thing I hadn’t lost was my sense of hearing. I aimed my rifle right at the dinosaur’s head. I squinted. My sight had not fared as well as my ears. I took the shot and hoped that I wouldn’t hit a gas tank instead of the wreath stealing Dino. There was a certain pang of guilt in killing something that was as old as my body usually felt.

(Dedicated to the pretty rare creatures out there. Unicorns, goblins, and especially Bengal Tigers.)

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Posted in: Year 1: Curse