The Firearms Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Posts: 30
(3/29/02 7:03:17 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del All A snippet from book 2 950words

The descent into the valley was slow as they picked their way along the game trails. With the sun cut off by the big trees, the air was chilly, and Simon was anxious to get out of the shade. Spud had disappeared again, searching dark secluded places, catching scents he’d never smelled. Soon, more and more low bushes and aspen trees appeared and Simon knew they were nearing the edge of the dense forest. Still, the transition from dark to light was abrupt. The horse snorted his pleasure as they stepped into the sun, some two hundred yards from the creek bed below. Simon looked upstream and saw the narrow defile that had prompted his climb two days before. He looked around for the dog and couldn’t spot him, then urged the horse toward the creek.
On nearly level ground again, he turned downstream. Ahead loomed the first of several outcrops of rock that partially blocked their way. Simon carefully maneuvered the horse over the rock-strewn ground, the head-high wall of mountain granite on his right made him nervous. As they approached a wider section of the trail, he caught a glimpse of something moving.
“Spud?” He quickly glanced uphill and then toward the creek. Nothing.
Simon halted his horse and looked up at the huge boulders on the hillside. Nothing moved, but the feeling of a presence was strong and the back of his head tingled with fear of the unseen. He tugged the rifle loose in the scabbard and then reset it. The feel of the cold steel was reassuring. As he straightened in the saddle his horse snorted and he felt a tremor course through the animal. Casting about for the cause of the horse’s agitation, his breath was taken by the sight of a mountain lion, crouched and completely immobile in the trail just ahead. The yellow eyes, unblinking and steady, were fixed on Simon’s own and the tip of the incredibly long tail twitched back and forth like a metronome. Simon judged the distance to be about fifty feet.
He rapidly sorted through his options: turn and run, charge straight at the cat, or shoot it. He didn’t want to expose his back. A charge might be net with a counter-charge. Simon reached behind his leg to grasp the stock of the Winchester, thankful he had eased it loose only moments before. The long barrel quickly cleared the scabbard and Simon swung the rifle to his shoulder. He pressured the horse with his left knee as he levered a round into the chamber. The horse wouldn’t turn toward the rock wall and snorted anxiously. Simon realized that the twitch of the tail had stopped and he saw the cat lift its belly off the ground with a fearful ripple of bunched muscle. Panic rode hard over his common sense and he aimed the rifle past the horse’s head, struggling to center the front blade on the cat.
He took the heavy blow on his right shoulder a fraction of a second after the sights settled and the trigger released the hammer. The Winchester recoiled with the crash of the shot, and the horse reared back as the concussion slapped the top of its head. Simon, the Winchester still in hand, was bowled off the horse by the weight of the second mountain lion. He lit flat on his back in the willows, his mind gathering information frantically, trying to work out what was happening. He heard the second cat splash into the creek and the ungodly howl of the first cat as it reacted to the heavy bullet pouring fire into its lungs. The sound of his horse bolting up the trail was nearly lost on him. Simon scrambled to get up, and had barely reached his knees when he saw the second cat turn to catch sight of him. The deadly concentration in the golden eyes matched the ferocity of the hissing cough as it bared yellow-brown teeth. Simon could not get the rifle unsnarled from the willows, and watched as the cat dug its claws into the bank, and lunged toward him.
The dog clamped his teeth into the cat’s cheek as he flashed by. Ninety pounds of enraged canine twisted in the air as his clamped jaws ripped the cat’s upper lip back. Spud crashed into the willows. Growling ferociously, he scrambled to get his feet set again, and instantly pressed his attack. He seized the cat’s tail and viciously twisted his head back and forth. Tawny hair flew in every direction as the lion defensively blew its fur, and with a screaming snarl, jerked loose of the dog’s grip. In two twenty-foot leaps it was out of sight.
Spud rolled the big patch of hair and skin out of his mouth and shook his head. Breathing heavily, he looked at Simon for a moment, and then in the direction the lion had gone. He growled nervously and then walked over to Simon and sat down, shivering. Man and dog sat silently, touching each other for reassurance.
His horse had not run very far and its limited brain was concentrated on the lush grass by the creek, the smell of the cat long gone, therefore no longer a threat. Simon mounted and after some coaxing, rode the horse past the dead cat, and out into the widening valley. Several hours later, the familiar sight of Tay’s dugout and the blue-gray tendril of wood smoke brought a smile of anticipation to Simon’s face.
* * * *
Tay stepped out of the dwelling as Simon whipped his reins around the hitching post.
“Thought it might be you. Jist in time for coffee.”


*TFF Senior Staff*
Posts: 4368
(3/29/02 7:52:05 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: A snippet from book 2 950words
..........I wus there! Thanks. LTS

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 594
(3/29/02 8:14:36 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: A snippet from book 2 950words
Kudos! You ARE getting this published, aren't ya?
1 - 1 of 1 Posts