Flowering. Approach. Part 22: Hunt
Survival isn't about winning. It's about living.
Reader discretion is advised: This series contains death, violence, and sexual content. Flowering is not a lighthearted series. Flowering is meant for a mature audience. It is not my intention to mislead those who read it, thus misleading the perception of the series itself, leading your hearts astray.
Please, "take this lesson to heart." - LaRha and Wetah
All of this he remembered, until, “Zephyr!” Wetah had called to him. He had strapped an axe across his back, along with a bow and several arrows within a quiver. His bow was special. It was designed with two guiding holes. This helped to increase the effectiveness of a direct shot.
Kneeling down to his son, he asked him, “Do you think you can lead me to where you saw her?” Nodding his head eagerly yes, Wetah said, “Alright then, I’m going to need you to help show me the way. Keep your head on a swivel.” Reaching behind him, Wetah handed Zephyr three rocks. “It’s a bola. You’ve used it before. Keep it ready to stop them from running after you.”
Following his Dad into the forest, Zephyr stood closely behind him, and stepped lightly. He treated each leaf as if it were an echoing branch within the forest. This was a hunt that needed more precision than deer. However, unlike deer, this hunt focused less on sitting and waiting, but more on decisive action.
First he showed his Dad where he had dropped an apple days before, when he first saw her. It was the first spot along the way. Then, using the sound of the river to cover their footsteps, they crept along the river’s edge.
When they first saw the valley hills off in the distance, Wetah had Zephyr walk further off to his side. Instead of approaching directly head on, they had decided to use one of the hills as an ambush tactic. Before climbing it, they hid behind a log.
“Is this where she grabbed you?” Wetah whispered to Zephyr.
He nodded his head, and pointed in a direction before whispering back, “Over there.” He said, “It was closer to the river. She had to leap.”
“How do you know she lives there?”
“There’s a tent.” Zephyr made a symbol by pressing his fingers together. “A small one. Right in the center.”
“Okay,” he said. “Stick close.”
Ascending up the hill, Wetah, had three arrows readied in his bow, with Zephyr close behind. Hiding behind a tree, he told Zephyr to wait, and keep a lookout for any movement in other directions. Swiveling from the tree to the forest floor, he crawled up behind a log, and peered over it. There, within the valley of the hills, on one side of the river, was the tipi tent. Zephyr was looking in every which direction that he could, trying to ensure that he didn’t give away their position. Making eye contact with his father, Wetah told him to stay where he was. He wanted to make sure that Zephyr could throw his bola with full force if needed, and be on his feet to run away at the earliest chance.
“Survival isn’t about winning,” he thought as he climbed over the log, “it’s about doing whatever it takes to live!” As fleet footed as a deer, he stormed down the mountain in a few feet. Barely a leaf crunched. Bounding across the river he rolled across the forest floor. With a sharp grimace, he pointed his arrows towards the tent. Sprinting forward, he lifted up the tent’s flap with an elbow.
Yet, nobody was there. The only thing he found was a small ring of rocks where a fire had previously been. Touching the ground with his fingers, the ashes that were there were cold. “Somebody’s either been cooking here, or just trying to stay warm.” Looking back up the hill he waved for Zephyr to follow him down the hill.
Apprehensive at first, he looked around making sure that nobody else was watching them. Looking at where his father’s footsteps landed, he bounded his way down the hill like a gazelle landing in each footprint with only the tips of his toes. Bouncing across the river to his father’s side, he stood there, fearing the noise he made had echoed greatly.
“Nobody’s here,” his Dad told him.
“Should we wait for them to return?” Wetah weighed out the decisions, “We could wait for them to come to us. Don’t find the deer. Let the deer find you.”
As much as Wetah enjoyed the idea of lying in wait for an ambush, he also figured that he might capture whoever else was roaming around the area. Regardless, even if there was only one other person, especially if it were a man, he’d rather not risk his son’s life if such were the case.
“I may still be capable, but I’d rather not have to find out.” He ruminated on the potential for violence, “If I’m capable, then so are others. Given the scenario, I have more to lose, and they have more to gain.” Looking at Zephyr, “We should get back to LaRha and the girls. She’s strong, but she’ll have a difficult time trying to protect them both at once should hell cross water.”
Walking back faster, he kept his head on a swivel as his eyes darted back and forth, looking for potential threats. Straying away from the main paths they didn’t even take the deer trails through the woods. Making it back out, he had Zephyr find his sisters. Meanwhile, he had to talk with LaRha.