Monday Matinee - "The Hunt" Part Two

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, April 09, 2007

MANIC MONDAY WORD OF THE WEEK
"Snap"

Find other entries over at Morgen's




FIND PART ONE HERE




CONCESSION SPECIAL THIS WEEK:
CHICKEN PARMIGIANA HOAGIE & LARGE DRINK
$3.00

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As Lee took a step, the SNAP of the branch underfoot caused a covey of quail to scatter from their resting place in a nearby meadow. The sound of their taking off caused Lee to stop in his tracks.

He knew that any stray sound could be his undoing and reminded himself to watch where he stepped.

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As his eyes opened, it took Lee a few second to remember where he was. Looking around the room he noticed things that had escaped him the evening before. The paintings on the wall, the figurines on the dresser. This room was bigger then his parents entire house.

As he got out of bed he saw his clothes neatly folded on a chair by the door. When he picked up his shirt he realized it had been washed and ironed. Shaking his head, he padded to the shower.

Inside the shower had 15 different heads. This amazed him. Turning on the water the different heads each began pulsing on his body. For someone who normally showered in less then 2 minutes, Lee spent 15 minutes letting the shower massage his entire body.

After he dressed he opened the bedroom door and looked to his left and then to his right and realized he did not know how to get downstairs. He decided to go to the left and passed a total of 6 doors on either side of the hall, before he reached a dead-end. Shaking his head, he turned and walked the other way. Laughing under his breathe he knew that he could not pick the room he had come from as he passed door after door and then finally, turned a corner and saw a staircase.

When he reached the bottom, Simon came out of nowhere. “Do you sleep well Mr. Lee?”

“That is some bed. I have never slept on a mattress that soft. And thanks for cleaning my clothes, but ya didn’t have ta.”

“Mr. Jonathan would have it no other way Sir. Please follow me in for breakfast.”

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When Lee walked into another room he had not yet seen, he saw Jonathan sitting outside on the porch reading the paper. When he was Lee walking toward him, he stood and held out his hand.

“Lee! I hope you slept well and that Simon took care of your clothes. One thing I hate is to put on dirty clothes in the morning. Come, come, and take a seat. Coffee? Juice? Some eggs perhaps? Mrs. Natalie is here this morning and she makes the best Western Omelet in the world.”

“I don’t drink coffee, thanks, but some juice and that omelet sounds super.”

Jonathan looked over at Simon and the later silently slid back into the house.

“So, Lee, I was hoping you didn’t have anything to pull you away today and would spend the day. I was planning on doing some quail shooting out on the back forty acres. Have you ever gone on a quail shoot? It is so invigorating to watch as the dogs flush them out and then swinging your gun into position and squeezing the trigger hoping to hit your mark.” As Jonathan spoke his face lit up with a satisfying grin.

“I do some deer huntin’, but I ain’t ever shot birds before. I am not sure I am dressed for a hunt.”

“Oh, my boy, I am sure Simon can find some things to fit you” Jonathan looked down. “What are you a size 11 shoe?”

As he said this, Simon appeared with juice and an omelet and placed it in from Lee. “Simon, can you did up some camouflage in Lee’s size and … size 11, Lee?”

“Actually 10 ½, but I could wear an 11 iffen that is all you got.”

“OH, I am sure we have a size 10 ½ boot for you sir.” Simon spoke. “Is there anything else you need Mr. Jonathan?”

“Just put out my camouflage and get Lee set please.”

As they spoke, Lee watched and thought he saw something in their eyes, a sparkle, but he was famished and the aroma of the omelet drew his attention and he grabbed a fork and began to shovel the eggs and accompanying home fries into his mouth.

“Didn’t I tell you she was a wizard with three eggs and some peppers, onions and ham?” Jonathan spoke.

Lee responded with a mouthful of the omelet, “Ummm yeah so good, I ain’t ever had one so good. And these home fries are even better.” He reached for the bottle of ketchup which Simon had also left, and began to bang the bottom to put a pile on top of the potatoes.

“I am glad you have decided to join me today. It is so boring to go out on a hunt by oneself. They have begun to get so boring of late. I so have thought of going over to Africa to do a hunt against something more challenging. The birds, well they are so dumb. They get flushed and all tend to fly in the same pattern. Oh what I wouldn’t do for a more exhilarating challenge.”

“You should try deer,” Lee said, “They can smell ya half mile away. You need to be so much smarter. I got a 10 pointer last season. We are still eating meat from that kill. Do ya like venison? Momma makes the best chili with black and red beans. I could eat that three times a day, I could.”

“I have never had a venison chili, but in New York I have the most delicious Roast Rack of Venison with Creole Mustard. It was divine.” Jonathan answered. “So, Lee, are you a gambling man? I enjoy a good wager on occasion.”

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At that moment, Simon reappeared. “Sir, both of your outfits are laid out. I placed Mr. Lee’s in the lower bedroom for him. Mr. Lee, are you done with this?” Simon asked, noting the plate which was as clean as when it emerged from the dishwasher.

“Yes, thanks. Please let…ummm….Mrs. Natalie know it was the best I ever ate.”

“I shall Sir. Would you like to follow me and I will show you where you can change.”

Lee followed Simon to another of the rooms in the mansion and when he was alone, looked around in awe. This room was as big as the one he had slept in upstairs and was filled with paintings and figurines. He went to a case and examined the figurines in it. His mom would love these things, he thought.

Then he looked closer and realized that all the paintings in this room had the same theme. They all depicted a man, standing over another man in a pose of triumph. Some were soldiers over Indians, others Indians over soldiers. Some appeared to be men from back in the Roman times, wearing tunics and holding swords. One painting looked like that mad-man Genghis something-or-other wearing animal skins hold the head of some guy, blood still dripping from where it had been cut off the body.

One picture on the far wall was the strangest Lee had ever seen. It showed a man holding a ling leash and on the other end in a spiked collar was a man. Not an animal. Lee was looking at this as he slipped into his camouflage and tying his boots, all of which fit perfectly. Something about the picture was so familiar, but he could not quite decide what. He knew for sure, he had never seen this painting before.

When he was done he walked closer and when he was about two feet away he studied it closely. His head began to shake slowly. Nah, it must just be my imagination, he thought. The man holding the leash could have been Jonathan when he was Lee’s age. They had the same eyes.

His examination was interrupted by a knock at the door. “Mr. Lee, does everything meet with your approval?” he heard Simon speak.

Lee walked back to the door and opened it. Simon was standing there, also wearing full camouflage. “Yeah, thanks, these things could have been made for me they fit so well. Hey, that picture in there, the one with the guy holding the leash…”
“Mr. Jonathan is waiting for you out by the dog kennels, please let me show you the way.”

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He turned and began walking and Lee followed along. They went out yet another set of glass doors and sitting there was a golf cart. Simon climbed in and Lee got in on the passenger side. They drove for about 5 minutes through some trees on a paved path.

As they came into a clearing Lee was amazed at the size of the kennel. He has presumed it would house 3 or 4 dogs, but here, in front of his eyes was a kennel that had to house, at the least 30 hunting dogs of all breeds. It also surprised him how silent they were.

All of the doges were standing around Jonathan as he passed out treats to them.

Off about 200 feet was a large barn and Lee would see two men saddling horses.

“Come over and meet our hunting partners Lee” Jonathan called.

Lee walked over cautiously. He had never been a dog person and these dogs looked as if they could do some damage if allowed. He walked into the gate and joined Jonathan. Some of the dogs immediately began to sniff around Lee’s legs and one pushed his snout into his crotch. Lee jumped back quickly and the dogs all came to alert.

“The one thing you can never show around dogs is fear Lee. Here feed them some of these.” Jonathan handed Lee some of the treats.

Lee put his hand out with a treat in it and one of the bigger dogs came over and took the treat. “That’s Max; he is one of my better hunters. We will be taking him with us today. Are you ready?”

“Well, I guess so, like I said, I never done this before.”

“Can you ride a horse? The area we are going hunting is out a-ways.”

“Yes sir, I been riding since I was a young man. My granddaddy had a farm down in Alabama.”

Jonathan said something to the dogs and they all sat. Lee was amazed at this feat and watched as Jonathan tapped 5 dogs on the head, including Max. Those five dogs proceeded to get up and scamper out of the gate. The others stayed still.

Jonathan walked out the gate with Lee following and then closed it, shutting the other dogs in.

“How did you do that, with the dogs I mean?” Lee asked.

“Many years of training son, come let’s check out our mounts.”

They walked over to the barn with the dogs selected following behind quietly.

When they got to the barn, Jonathan said “This is Sheik; I think you will like him. Not knowing if you had ridden before, I had the stable boys saddle a western for you, is that ok?”

“Yes sir, I have ridden English, but I prefer western. That probably ain’t what you are supposed to wear on a hunt, but it is what I know best.”

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They mounted their horses and Jonathan took the lead with Lee next and Simon trailing behind. The 5 dogs took positions around the group. Lee could tell that this was something they had also been trained to do. The group took off at a gallop and were soon deep in the woods following a winding trail.

The trail opened wider and Jonathan called Lee up to ride alongside. “So, Lee, you never had a chance to answer my question earlier, are you a gambling man?”

“Well, I have been to the track a few times, and I play the lottery and my friends and I play poker sometimes, so if that makes me a gambling man, then I guess I am. Why you asking Jonathan?”

“Well Lee, I thought we could make a little wager today. Whoever bags the most birds will win the wager.”

“Well Jonathan, I really don’t have money enough to bet against you. I mean, I make minimum wage at the Highway Department.”

“OK Lee, I’ll tell you what. If you get the most birds I will give you $15,000.00. If you get the most birds, you have to do something for me. Now, don’t give me that look, I told you that I am not into anything kinky with men. So what do you say?”

Lee thought about it. $15,000.00 could really put him on easy street. Really, what could this old guy want? Maybe some company on the weekends? That would mean some good meals and maybe a nice bed to sleep in.

“So what is it that you would ask me to do?” Lee finally asked.

“Look that is part of the bet. If you don’t want to make it we can call it off right now.”

Without thinking again, Lee spoke, “OK you are on.” He was counting on Jonathan’s age working against him, and Lee had not mentioned the three medals he had won at the shooting range just last year. He could feel that $15,000.00 in his pocket already.

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They finally came out from the forest into a large meadow. Jonathan reined his horse and in one motion alighted to the ground and pulled the double barrel shotgun from its sheath on the saddle.

Lee climbed down and grabbed the gun that had been on his horse. Simon followed suit, staying behind them at all times.

“OK, now we will let the dogs do their thing and the bet starts now.”

Over the next hour the dogs flushed out coveys of quail and the three men did their best to shoot them out of the air. Lee found it tougher then he thought in the beginning but then began to learn the technique of leading the quail as they took off.

He tried to keep track of how Jonathan was doing against his own tally but in the frenzy of the hunt it was not easy.

At the end of the hunt Simon took the three sacks filled with birds and the three mounted their horses and began the ride back to the mansion.

“Come on Lee, $500.00 says you can’t beat me back to the stable” Jonathan shouted as he kicked his horse forward. Lee kicked Sheik and took off after him. They were neck and neck as they made it into the forest when Lee took the lead. On the narrow trail it was almost impossible for Jonathan to pass him.

They pushed their horses hard and when the trail narrowed did not let up. As they came out into the open with 200 years to the barn Jonathan began to gain but Lee beat him by a neck.

The stable hands came out and took the reigns from both men and walked the horse into the barn to unsaddle and cool them off.

Jonathan was laughing hard “I have not had someone beat me on that race in at least two years, well done!”

Lee was feeling good about the $500.00 and felt real confident about the $15,000.00. He was sure he had taken down at least 5 more birds then Jonathan.

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Just about then, Simon came trotting into the barn area followed by the dogs. He tossed the three bags onto the ground at their feet and then climbed down off the horse.

The three bags were a different color and Lee immediately grabbed his orange bag and dumped it out. The dogs began coming forward and Jonathan yelled a command and they all scurried back over toward the kennel and sat at the gate.

Jonathan grabbed his green bag and Simon the blue one he had used.

Lee counted his birds and then counted again. He had thought he counted 15 quail drop from his gunfire, but there were only 14 in his bag.

He looked over and counted Jonathan’s, and his eyes bugged out. Jonathan looked over and said “OK, 15, how many for you Lee?”

“Ummm I could have sworn I had 15, but there are only 14 in my bag, so I guess you won.”

“Well, you both beat me, I only bagged 10.” Simon chimed in.

Lee felt a pain in the pit of his stomach. His brain started circling around on itself; ‘what would he be asked to do? What if this old geezer did want to do something sexual with him? No stop, if he had wanted something he would have tried already. No, you jerk, he was setting you up for this, now he will lean over and kiss you. No, he won’t do that out here in the open. What if he wants you have sex with Simon and watch? Yes, that’s it; he never said it had nothing to do with sex, just not sex with him…:’

Lee looked over at Simon who was staring at him. ‘Oh god, that is it, he is going to tell me to have sex with Simon…well I am not going to do it and I will walk away. I don’t have to come back here again, who is to say he is going to offer you any more money after today anyway?’

“Lee? Lee, is there something wrong?”

Lee looked up and realized that Jonathan had been talking to him the whole time. “Oh, sorry, I guess I was just thinking about losing and…”

“…and what was I going to ask you to do?” Jonathan finished his sentence.

“Look, it is late and you have to work tomorrow. Why don’t you just plan on coming back next Saturday afternoon and this time plan on staying for the weekend? We will do some more hunting, only this time on Saturday and we can eat what we kill that night for dinner. I will let you know the favor then, and please, stop thinking it has anything to do with sex.”

They walked back to the mansion and Lee changed into his own clothes, leaving the camouflage on the floor as Simon instructed.

He drove home with $500.00 in his pocket and some questions ruminating in his brain.

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“Do you think he has any clue that I took one out of his bag along with four birds from mine sir?”

“It doesn’t matter. He will be back next Saturday morning. I will bet you $1000.00 he pulls up to the gate before 9:00 AM. I told you he would be perfect for what I need. He is perfect, a lowly tollbooth clerk with a yearning for the almighty dollar. Do you think I had you spend 6 months watching him because I wasn’t sure he was the right one?”

“He is perfect. Next weekend I finally get the one thing I have been waiting for.”

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That week Lee could not keep his mind on work. ‘What would Jonathan ask him to do?’ Well it didn’t matter. The one thing about Lee is he believed, as his grandfather told him “A bet is a debt of honor.” As long as it was not something like robbing a bank or killing someone, Lee would honor his debt.

It did bother him that he had miss counted the number of birds that he had shot and could not believe that Jonathan had shot as many as he had. The old guy struggled at one point and didn’t get a bird out of two of the coveys the dogs had flushed.

On Wednesday morning after he got off work he stopped at McGhees bar, as was his custom and used some of the $500.00 he had won in the race buying drinks for the crowd that was gathered.

These were the guys and gals that worked the overnight shift at the local lumber mill.

“Hey Lee-boy, where you getting money ta buy drinks? You never have more then $5.00 in ya pocket.” This from Jason Conway, one of Lee’s oldest friends. Lee was two years older then Lee and was a big time basketball player in high school, but had blown his knee out his senior year thus losing out on his full-ride scholarship to college relegating him to working the debarker at the mill.

He didn’t even play pick-up games after an accident two weeks after he started when he lost the thumb on his left hand while not paying attention.

“Got a little lucky this week Jas, but if you aren’t interested I don’t have to buy you another shot of Comfort” shot back Lee.

They both laughed and wandered over to a booth with their shooters and beers.

“So, really, what the hell are you doing, dipping into the till at the toll booth?” Jason asked as they sat down.

“God, Jas, ya think I would be that stupid? Nah, hey you know that old guy lives in the big mansion up on Applebie Way? Well, he came to the toll booth a couple of weeks ago and gave me a tip when he paid the toll. In fact he did it a few times and then he invited me to dinner last Saturday. On Sunday we went quail hunting and he challenged me to a race back to his stable and I beat him.”

“Ah, Lee, you talking about Jonathan APPLEBIE? What were you born yesterday? You didn’t even know who the guy was? He just owns most of the land the lumber mill leases. What were you born yesterday?”

“Hey man, he never told me his last name and how the hell would I know that? I had only been up that way once in my life and you were there with me, when we got chased away by that rent-a-cop, remember?”

Lee turned around and signaled the waitress for another round of drinks for the two of them.

“So, did the old geezer ask you to suck him off too?” Jason said laughing.

“No, you ass…like I would even do that. He just seems lonely and asked about me and why I was a toll booth clerk and shit like that. Anyway, I am going back this weekend. I lost a bet on the number of birds we would shoot and now I gotta do some sort of errand around his property. Coulda one 15 G’s if I woulda done better. Going out to the shooting range and gonna do some skeet shoot tomorrow to practice up. He said we would be going out again on Saturday and this time I am gonna make sure I win that bet.”

“Man, you are a fool, ya know Lee…always have been…”

The next day Lee shot for about an hour and got to a point where he hit 25 of the clay targets in a row.

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Saturday morning he was up and dressed early. He through some clothes in a bag, and dressed in his own camos. Better to go prepared this time he thought.

Driving up to the gates a short time later he pushed the buzzer and heard Simon’s voice “Good morning Mr. Lee, drive on up.”

Lee could have sworn that Simon was chuckling when he spoke to him. The clock on the Pinto dashboard read 8:56 AM.

This time Jonathan was standing on the front steps as he pulled around. Turning off the car, it belched and emitted a large cloud of blue smoke.

Lee hoped out, “sorry Jonathan, this old beast is on its last legs.”

“Well, Lee, glad you could make it. Maybe we can change the wager this week, follow me.”

Lee tried to hide his disappointment as he followed Jonathan around the drive toward the garage. He thought a wager of $15G’s would be just what he needed to junk the Pinto.

They stopped at the front of the garage and Jonathan pressed a few keys on the pad located on the wall. The first three doors slid upward and Lee was staring at the nicest collection of cars he had ever seen.

Lee knew his cars, a black ’56 Thunderbird, a silver ’72 Mustang Cobra, and a bronze ’74 240Z were staring out at him.

“Tell you what Lee, you win the wager this week and besides $100,000.00 one of these is yours. Your choice.”

Lee stood with his mouth wide open. “You gotta be kidding me? One of these AND 100 grand?”

“Well Lee, this week, the wager is a bit more serious.”

With that, he began to describe what he had in mind. As Lee listened his brain kept screaming at him to jump into the Pinto and get the hell out of there.

But, if he could win the wager he could jump in the Cobra (he had already decided which he would take), and be out of this rat-hole town within a day.

They made their way to the barn and Lee recognized Sheik, all saddled and ready. Simon was standing there holding the reigns of the three horses

The one thing he also noticed was the empty sheath where the shotgun had been last week.

“So, Lee, that is the wager. You get a 20 minute head start. You stay out for 10 hours and make it back to the barn without me capturing you. You get the car of your choice and the $100,000.00”

‘RUN...RUN NOW’ Lee’s brain screamed, but instead he grabbed the reigns for Sheik from Simon and mounted the horse.

He looked at Jonathan and smiled. Lee was an expert deer hunter and knew how to hide and make himself unnoticeable to animals with a great sense of smell; he could avoid an old man and his servant for ten hours.

He laughed and said “Game on” and kicked Sheik into a gallop.

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Simon looked over at Jonathan. “Did he even ask?”

Jonathan watched as Lee disappeared into the woods. “Poor boy doesn’t have the brains to ask. He thinks it is just you and I tracking him like a game of capture the flag. I’ll get the dogs ready. You make sure we have enough ammo for the shotguns.”

Jonathan turned and walked toward the kennels….

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CREDITS:

MOONFLOWER CLASSICAL
Carlos Santana

THE RAIN SONG
Led Zeppelin
Composers:
Jimmy Page
Robert Plant

HIGHWAY BLUES
Franklin/Clover Project
Composer:
Marc Seales

18 Of Your Sparks

  1. You have a twisted mind, Vinny.

     
  2. Bond Says:
  3. SONGBIRD: :::in my best Elvis voice::: TY TY TYVM

     
  4. Travis Says:
  5. I must agree with Songbird. I'm curious to see which direction you take it.

     
  6. Meribah Says:
  7. I knew this was coming, I knew it! As soon as they started talking about hunting, I knew it. Hunting human prey...**shudders**

     
  8. Coco Says:
  9. **squeeeeeeeeeeeee**
    I KNEW it , i just knew it! That was an incredible ride, Vinny. Dang, I read it so fast, I finished before the first song did. Been thinking about it all week, and couldn't wait ... gonna re-read now. Thanks for the rush.

     
  10. Bond Says:
  11. MERI: Sheesh.. fake being a little surprised... ok!? LOL

    COCO: Setting the music is so touch. Everyone reads at a different speed. I try and read through at a normal speed to see where the music should fall.. not always sure I get it correctly...

     
  12. Angell Says:
  13. I knew it too - but I have NO idea how it's going to turn out - so many possibilities.

    Vinny, another brilliant installment and I'm STILL on the edge of my seat....

     
  14. Bond Says:
  15. TRAVIS: YOU are interested??? Sheesh, so am I ...bwahahahahahaahahahahahaha

    ANGELL: Damn, I was hoping someone knew how it would turn out! and TY

     
  16. Morgen Says:
  17. I've got "Heartache Tonight" by the Eagles in my head now...
    "some body's gonna hurt some one, before the night is through..."

    Looking forward to The Hunt next week!
    You certainly are a master of expressing the dark nooks and crannies of the human mind, Mr. Bond.

     
  18. Mimi Lenox Says:
  19. Oh my LORD, this is riveting. You had me at every turn of this story.
    I've got the shivers.....what will happen to him??!

    Great writing, Bond!

     
  20. cathy Says:
  21. There you are,I thought I'd lost you until I saw "I'm not touching any monkeys!"
    This time I'm linking you so I can find my way back.

     
  22. Travis Says:
  23. Not only interested my friend...but curious. Because there's an easy way out of this, and a much darker way, and many other possibilities in between. And I'm wondering if you'll go full tilt toward the darkest side.

     
  24. Bond Says:
  25. MORGEN: I just love those nooks and crannies.. just like in a Thomas' English Muffin....bwahahahahahahah
    And MO...ya gotta know I picked the name on purpose!

    MIMI: Thank you Mimi.. hope you had a great visit.

    CATHY: I was never that good at hide and seek!

    TRAVIS: Me? go full tilt on something???? The dark side??? What could you mean??? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

     
  26. Anndi Says:
  27. For once, I preferred reading without music... that's never happened...

    I'm torn... not sure I actually want to know what happens.. I'm enjoying the game too much.

    Very entertaining.

     
  28. Bond Says:
  29. ANN: I always wonder if the music adds or detracts from the story, which is why I tend to go toward instrumentals for the matinee. Glad you enjoyed....

    KISS

     
  30. ...and...what's next???!!!

    Great story, Bond!

     
  31. Good Lord - I guess I'd better watch out for how you name the characters in your next serial. I may regret telling you my given name!

    I'm with Travis - gotta see how tilted you get. I'm on edge here...

     
  32. Turnbaby Says:
  33. Glad I waited until I had time to really read. I always read with the sound off btw--your writing generally does not need enhancement. Even though I could see where this was going it was still very thought provoking getting there.
    Very nice Bondbaby

     

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