With steely eyes and a sure grin, she aimed the rifle casually at the unsuspecting deer. She watched as it nibbled absently at a tuft of grass, and paw the ground a bit, oblivious to its fate. Her partner knelt next to her, shivering despite his thick coat and fur lined gloves.
She wore a little smirk as her fingers slowly tightened on the trigger, waiting for the right moment to strike. Suddenly, the forest exploded in sound as she pulled the trigger, leaving the echo. The deer had a frozen look of fear and went down midleap, twitching, spasming, as its life’s blood trickled from the small circular wound in its majestic chest, eyes rolling back revealing the whites before shuddering still. Silence encompassed them now as the other creatures of the woodland bounded, fluttered, or skittered away with the gunshot, leaving the two hunters completely alone.
The man looked at his partner, the huntress, the killer, the triumphant gleam in her eye of victory, dominance, and superiority. He shivered again, rubbing his gloved hands together to ward off the additional chill he was experiencing. She approached the corpse and took out her knife. The man found himself looking away, uncertain. He’d done this before himself, but somehow watching her, experiencing her gutting the animal was different. Something about the look in her eyes as she confidently went about her business, about the lack of stereotypical femininity, bothered him. She became unreal, animalistic; a lioness in her environment.
He had the feeling that he could be next, that he was merely one kind of conquest among many, and that she would carefully gut him, detached from it when she was through with him much like a biology student dissects a frog. He knew these thoughts were irrational. He knew she wasn’t a lioness. She wouldn’t devour him or break him into a million pieces like glass. But the fear remained and formed an invisible barricade between them.
Ironically, her willingness to learn to hunt was an attempt on her part to bridge the gap, to break the barricade down. But like everything else, it was her nonchalance, her over capability, her ability to achieve easily that added fuel to the fire of his increasing insecurity. He wanted to break their engagement but he could imagine the look in her eyes, the “How dare you…who do you think you are” moments. He was paralyzed by the fear of indecision. Like a deer caught in the glare of the headlights of an oncoming car. No matter what he did he heard the warning in his mind,”danger,danger!”