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Daily Sunrise

Categories
nature photography

Daily Sunrise

Categories
adventure danger evil family good mystery nature Sci Fi SyFy travel writing

The “Bevan” – Intruders

Part VI

Michael was watching the cameras and saw a flicker on the screen, it was quick and moved swiftly along the fence until it finally disappeared from sight. He did not immediately jump up or sound an alarm. He did what he was supposed to do, he kept watching, because as of yet, there was no need to make the others worry. Several minutes later, Michael again saw the flicker, but this time it was inside perimeter, and near the main house. He immediately recognized it as the Loarn, one of the portal watchers, and he was now on the deck of the main house. Michael alerted Matthew, His mother Elena, Liam and Van, telling Matthew and Liam to meet at the main house where Elena and Trinity were.

As the others were gathering at the main house, Van was not idle, he was gathering supplies via the internet, to have them dropped off at the property, and all the while guarding the young children and other wives. Van knew that despite wanting to rush off and help the others in case of some confrontation, he alone was the last protection for the rest of the extended family and he would not let anything happen to any of his wards if he could stop it.

Michael got to the main house first, and was met by the Loarn and Elena his mother, she relayed the message that 3 Braks and a Wrack had passed through the portal nearest the house about an hour ago, where they were now he did not know, but his scouts were looking for them, as Elena was relaying this message, the Loarn turned and looked towards the east fence and watched as two of his kind slipped through, and avoided the traps that they were warned of, as they headed straight to him. The Loarn met them, and there was a conversation between them that Elena could only hear part of, the Loarn turned and relayed the scouts’ message that six more total had passed through different portals, 2 more Braks and 4 Wracks, bringing the known total to 5 each. Elena told the others, who had now all arrived, and paused turning to the Loarn “Thank you my friend!! We will be ready for them, but only because of your help.” The Loarn then turned and he and his kin left.

Michael, Liam, Matthew, and Elena moved inside and sat at the table, “Well, things are accelerating quickly it seems,” said Michael. “Ok, we need to really tighten security up I think” and the others nodded in agreement.

Matthew said, “Mom, the first thing we need to do is get you and Trinity,” looking up at the teenager that had slipped in and was standing behind her dad Liam’s chair. “ The first thing we need to do, is move you to one of the other houses, as surreptitiously as we can, and set this one as the trap for as many as we can. It’s obvious they know where you are, and in which house, so we can use that to our advantage.”

Liam said, “I agree, Sis. Let’s put her in my house for now,” he said addressing his nephews. “That way there are several people who can help keep watch, in the same place. I also think we should move her from place to place, so as not to let them pin her location down.”

“Are you ok staying with her Trinity? I know it’s got to be a bit tough and stressful”.

Trinity replied in that quiet voice she has, “Wouldn’t have it any other way, Dad, I think I could help, if need be, but I will stay with Aunt Elena as long as you want me to, or until I am needed someplace else.” Trinity was also thinking to herself, that she needed her wooden practice blades, and if they moved back to their house, she could grab them and have them handy, not cutting sharp but they were formidable weapons to strike with, and could be used to stab if she needed.

Elena started to protest not just the moving, but putting Trinity into such a precarious spot, but Michael said before she could, “Well, that’s settled. Let’s make the move in the next hour or so, as I think they would expect us to stay quiet during the day”.

Van heard the sound again, like something dragging across a screen very slowly, so you hear each time it hit a new square. He was busy sending emails to a network of people asking for reports on anything that he could relate to the Braks or Treslanders. Van slowly tore his eyes away from the computer screen, after hearing the noise again, seemingly coming from outside the window. Turning his head towards the window in the room, he faintly saw movement through the curtain and blinds. Van picked up his pistol and as silently as he could, he stood up and backed out of the room. Stopping in the hall just outside the bedroom door, Van was noticed by River who immediately realized something was wrong. River quickly and silently, gathered all the kids and others together in the den.

Van stood by the doorframe for a second, then glanced down the hall to the den, seeing River had everyone there, he slipped down the hall to the den, “Stay here,” he said to River. “Look after them, I’ll be right back. Do not leave this room, ‘til I get back and use that,” he said, nodding towards the shotgun by the door. “Point it down the hall, and if anyone comes, just shoot, don’t think, just shoot,” and with that he was gone, slipping out the side door.

River picked up the shotgun and pointed it down the hall like she was told, and waited. Van slipped around the opposite side of the house quietly, silently thanking whoever thought to leave the area closest to the house covered in pine straw, as it was pretty silent to walk on. Looking around the corner, he saw a figure crouched by the window with a blade, slowly cutting one tiny square at a time, trying to be a quiet as possible.

The Wrack was cutting the screen. He had done this before, plenty of times, when searching for his prey over the years. These unsuspecting humans were so self secure in their lives, that they could not believe there were other lives out there, and things that could, and would, take their lives in an instant, if the price was right, and this price was the highest ever heard. As he continued cutting, he suddenly got the sense of danger but he did not stop, he slipped another knife out with his other hand under his cloak and prepared to meet the danger he felt.

Van hesitated for a half second, as whoever or whatever it was at the window, could just be a stupid burglar who picked the wrong house, and shooting him would lead to all kinds of issues. But in that hesitation, he did slip his gun up and point it at the figure. Once he was set, he said, “Door’s around front, Mister.”

Faster than he would have thought possible, the figure spun away from the window, slinging a knife Van had not seen, towards the sound of the voice. The knife hit the wall just short of where Van was standing, and glanced off, sliding past so close, that it nicked his shoulder that was exposed. Van was caught off guard for a spilt second, and the Wrack moved with lightening speed away from the house, slinging a second knife while trying to get an open view of Van, who was still protected by the house corner. The Wrack saw no knife or bow in the humans hands, but did see something he was not familiar with, yet it did not look like a weapon to him. He thought this stupid human would be easy to deal with, as he started drawing his skith, a wicked looking curved short sword, thick bladed and serrated on the back half.

Van felt the blade nick his shoulder and twisted back a bit, amazed that anyone could move so fast, as then a second knife struck the wall, where his head had been milliseconds ago. He then saw the face under the cloak and realized it was not human, seeing whatever it was drawing a nasty looking sword thing, Van hesitated no longer. He took aim and shot two times for the center of the chest, both striking, and the figure raised on his toes, then collapsed in a heap.

Everyone in the main house at the same time said, “Gunshots!!” and started to head that way, but Matthew said “Hold on!! We can’t all go running out there, it may be a trap!” Quickly it was decided Matthew and Michael would go, and the rest would stay and wait for word.

Michael and Matthew checked their weapons, then slipping out the back door, and starting to work their way towards the direction the gunfire came from. The rest of the families were supposed to be at Van and Rivers, so that’s where they headed, but they would circle around!and check the others, just in case, on their way.

Working in the bound method, they took turns moving, while one covered the other. They worked around two houses, and at the second house, stopped and watched the third, which was Van’s, and then both moved forward, Matthew towards the front corner, and Michael towards the back, both reaching them at the same time.

Michael immediately noticed a cloaked figure crumpled on the ground by the far corner, a large wicked looking knife/sword laying beside him. He signaled Matthew with his hand, got a negative hand sign, and then signaled that Matthew should move around the front, to the far side, and they would both meet on the farthest corner, where the figure was. Matthew started moving, and Michael counted 30 seconds, then started moving, keeping his weapon trained on the figure. They timed it perfect, except Van met Matthew, as he rounded the corner, and they both met Michael back at the figure on the ground.

All three examined the figure, and Matthew asked “You alright, Uncle Van? You look a little pale,” Van nodded yes.

“It’s not that I shot hi..it..whatever, it’s just unbelievable it really happened”, declared Van.

“Well, let’s get inside and check on the rest of the family.” Michael said.

Van cautioned, “Be careful! River has a shotgun, and I told her to shoot anything she saw in the hall”.

Matthew stayed with the Wrack, “I’ll be along in a couple, kids don’t need to see this.”

Van and Michael went around front, opening the door a bit, and Van yelling in “River? It’s me dont shoot!!!” To which he got the reply “Of course it’s you! I saw you in the mirror I set up, you and Michael come on in! We are all ok”.

Matthew studied the creature for a couple minutes, and took several pictures of it with his phone. He also collected a total of eight small throwing type knives, QQ and the weird sword. The sword had a snake with red eyes that glowed when light hit them and it had 36 lines down it’s body reaching less than half way like it was incomplete or something. “Well, you ain’t finishing it now are ya, Bub? Let’s get you outta sight,” Matthew said to the corpse, as he was dragging it away from the houses, and towards an out shed.

Matthew arrived at the house a bit later, at the end of Van filling the others in on what occurred. Michael had already texted Elena and Liam to let them know all was well. While doing so, he noticed that Uncle Liam’s oldest daughter ‘Lena, who was named after his own mother, had her sketch pad and he caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure she had drawn. He also noticed she was looking at him, like he had caught her doing something wrong. He did not say anything, and smiled as he turned and joined the others in plans as what to do next.

Matthew and Michael left everyone inside with Van, and they went to the house closest to them, which was Liam’s. Once sure it was safe, they went and got everyone from Van’s, and escorted them to the new place. They put the timers on in different parts of Van’s house, so the lights and TVs would come on at different times, in different rooms, and even on different days.

Michael went to the main house, while Matthew returned to the shed, and started up the tractor, “Funny, Dad always harped on needing a tractor, but I don’t think he meant for this,” he said to himself, as he dug a hole and dumped the Brak’s body into it.

After he was done, Matthew returned to the main house, and they all moved Elena and Trinity back to Liam’s. Now that everyone was in the same place, Michael, Matthew, Liam and Van, all sat at the table, and devised a plan to move everyone in two groups, from now on. Different houses each night. Sometimes even, both groups staying at the same house, at the same time, on occasion.

Trinity had gone to her room as soon as she could, and retrieved her two practice blades slipping them into the two sheaths she made that fit on her back. Handles down where she had easy access. She put on an over shirt, much like the one her Uncle Lee was always wearing, so it covered the blades perfectly. Trinity smirked at herself in the mirror, then went back out to where everyone was, and joined the group.

It was decided that for the night, everyone would stay here together, where there was safety in numbers. According to the Loarn, they had at least nine more “things” that had come through the portal, and were intent on stopping their family bloodline, from existing any more.

Matthew and Michael set several wireless trip alarms around the main house, before going to the house Michael and his family had been staying in. They slid the pivoting bookcase away, and went down a flight of steps, with the bookcase closing behind them. The brothers turned right, towards Uncle Liam’s home, heading along the tunnel that Lee had constructed, between all the houses on the property. They emerged in one of the spare bedrooms, after first stopping to listen for any signs of danger. Then they joined the others in the den, and kitchen. “Matthew and I will watch after dark tonight, and see if we can surprise any unwanted visitors. Have we decided who’s staying where, starting tomorrow?” asked Michael.

Liam had devised a plan, where every house was numbered. This one was #2, for example, and the groups would roll a dice and where it wound up is where they would stay. That way no one had prior knowledge, and no one could be forced to tell.

That night went by without incident for the group, and the next day they split into three groups. Elena, Trinity and one of the men would take turns being with that group, Van, River, Liam, Natasha and Elena would be in another, leaving Matthew and Annika with their infant, who would stay with Michael, Sophia and their six children. That way there is always a male with them, also.

As luck or fate would have it, Elena’s group drew the main house as theirs for the day, and prior to dawn, they made the move back, this time using the tunnel. The other groups moved to their locations, but did so normally, so that if there were watchers, it would seem that Elena and Trinity were still in Liam’s house. Matthew stayed with Elena his mom and Trinity as they settled. He then said, “Back in a couple. Have to check the triggers and traps. Don’t go outside, I’m going through Dad’s tunnels, and coming out of the shed, and I will come back the same way when I’m done”.

30 minutes later, as Trinity was alone in the den doing a bit of practice, she suddenly heard a strange noise come from the room her aunt was resting in. She got up heading rapidly towards the door, and as she got there it was flung open, and almost knocked her down. She saw the most scary, disfigured face, and the body of a man, and it was dragging Elena, who was either unconscious or almost so.

Trinity hesitated a second, and before she could cry for help, the Wrack drew a curved sword dropping Elena at the same time, thinking to himself that he could get rid of this brat quickly and make a bigger bonus. Trinity saw the blade, and she paled and her blood seemed to turn cold, but instinctively she backed away and out of the hall into the open den. She drew one of her practice blades as the Wrack lunged at her, trying to stab her in the chest. She swatted his blade with hers, knocking it off line, and it slid past her as she spun past the Wrack. Her blade kept going with the spin, and came full circle, striking the Wrack with the sharp edge on the back of his neck, and with enough force to knock him over the couch.

The Wrack made a grunt and growled, as he quickly sprang to his feet, twisting to face the young girl, and his eyes narrowed as he moved around the couch, to have a clear shot at her. Trinity knew this was no longer some computer game, and that she could easily not get out of this, but she was determined to stay and fight. She drew the second blade from its sheath, while at the same time the Wrack attacked again. This time swinging his blade straight from over his head, in an attempt to chop her in half, or split her skull.

Trinity barely arched back enough as the Wrack’s blade sliced through the air, and the tip barely knocked her shirt, cutting a hole in it at her waist. Trinity took the advantage, as the Wrack had over extended himself, and the move made him lean forward so much, he was almost off balanced. She swung one blade down with all her might, striking him in the neck area where it met his shoulder, and without slowing, the other blade swung and struck him in the forearm which was holding his sword, and he dropped it, as his muscles were temporarily stunned.

The Wrack lunged forward with his body, and hit Trinity in the stomach with his shoulder, driving her against the wall, and taking her breath away. He then grabbed her and slung her across the room into a coffee table. Trinity realized she was not going to be able to take much of that as she got up, her small body was bruised and she was breathing hard. The Wrack picked up his sword in his left hand, and slowly started to approach, sensing his opponent was weakening, and it wouldn’t be long before he could finish her off.

Trinity had somehow managed to hold onto both blades, was desperately trying to buy time, so she could catch her breath. She kicked the coffee table towards him, and he kicked it out of the way. There was now nothing between him and her, as he circled warily, several times lunging at her, and each time Trinity was able to knock his blade away, or dodge it. The last time though, he swung his sword at her, and she barely stopped it, slipping on something on the floor, giving him the opportunity he needed.

Trinity knew it was over as she slipped. She could not defend against him grabbing her from behind, and wrapping his arm around her waist, pulling his sword up to her neck to finish her off.

Categories
adventure family fantasy mystery nature reading safety Sci Fi SyFy travel writing

The Bevan — Moving Pieces

Part IV “Moving Pieces”

As soon as Michael and Matthew got back Elena started contacting her family. Liam responded positively almost immediately saying “I need to talk to Lee asap there’s some strange stuff I may need help with”. River, Elena’s sister, who has never handled a gun and is not sure she wants to, was a bit more reluctant to leave their home, but finally relented saying she and her husband Van would come over and see what it was all about.

Liam, his wife Natasha and his girls Trinity and Elena (named after his older sister) all arrived several hours later, and were met by Matthew, who let them in the locked gate. An hour later Van and River arrived and were let in.

Once all the families were settled in their lodges, they all walked over to the main house, where Elena started telling what it was all about. The entire group looked in disbelief as the story was relayed to them, and did not know what to think, until Elena showed them the pictures Matthew had taken of the ambushes in the woods, and Michael and Matthew described what they saw.

The faces around the table had that stunned look, at seeing something so foreign and hideous, all except one of Liam’s girls, but she held her tongue. Elena was watching and thought she saw a look of recognition in Liam’s face “Liam? Have you seen someone like these?”

Liam replied in a hesitant voice, “I have seen someone dressed like that one,” pointing at the woodsman, “and that’s what I wanted to talk to Lee about”. Several times over the past months and with increasing frequency he had been seeing someone resembling the person in the picture. “I wanted to see if they could have someone check him out and see what his deal is”.

Van said “You know, I saw one of them several times, near home and near the office”. River chimed in “Yeah, now that you mention it, I did keep seeing someone like that when I go running or walk the dogs”.

Van got up and walked to the kitchen with his phone and making several phone calls, arranging several crates of ammunition to be shipped to there where everyone was staying, as everyone began to realize this may be more serious than at first thought. “I thought it best for us to get stocked up on ammo and anything else you guys think we need. I’m going to be contacting some business friends discreetly and see if I can find out if any strange things have been going on,” said Van.

Matthew was outside along the eastern fence line, when his attention was drawn to what appeared to be a cut in the fence that was tied together with cord making it seem like it was whole. He moved closer and saw it appeared fairly recent, and on the other side of the fence there were broken and trampled branches, where it looked like someone had stood or perhaps sat for an extended time. He immediately recognized it for what it for what it was, an observation spot. Someone here could easily see the gate and the front of most of the houses, and would be out of easy view. Matthew sent a text to Michael “I’m over by the east fence, near the spot where the boat used to be, and I’ve located an op. Do me a favor and get two of Dad’s steel traps and meet me over here will ya?”.

Michael told the others what was up, and headed out to the shed, Liam started to follow but Michael said “Uncle Liam we really need you to stay here, that way there will be two here at the main house, that can handle anything that may pop up”.

Uncle Liam hesitated and then acquiesced, “You’re right. I also need to sort out Natasha, ‘Lena (pronounced Lay-na) and Trinity with weapons. Holler if you need me!”

“Will do!” with that Michael headed out back and got the traps, then went to where his brother Matthew was waiting. “What do you have in mind?” He asked Matthew.

“Well, I figure if someone was going to try and crawl through the fence that’s cut over there,” he pointed to the spot “we could leave a surprise or two on this side for them,” and then he hesitated.

“Sounds like a plan, what’s got you bothered?” asked Michael.

“Did you ever really pay attention to Pops when he was showing us how to set these things?” asked Matthew of his brother.

Michael shook his head “To be honest, no not really, did you?” He got the same head shake back, then both young men grinned and laughed. “I guess we will have to figure it out!” said Michael.

“Without pinching our own fingers!” replied Matthew. “Might be a good idea to set these on all the obvious travel routes to and from the houses and building, and come up with a marker, so everyone that needs to know, knows where they are placed,” said Matthew, as he was camouflaging the last of the two they just buried right inside the cut of the fence.

“Already on it, Bro. I brought several and Dad has lots more in the shed,” answered Michael.

They paused long enough to let their mom know that no one should wander around, until they can be shown markers designating where the traps are set.

An hour later, everyone was back at the house, and they made plans. They would all stay in their separate lodges, to try and keep some sense of normalcy, but always careful. Those who knew how to handle firearms would always carry. Liam tasked Trinity with staying with his sister. her Aunt Elena at night so no one would be alone during dark. Neither protested the arrangement. Elena was glad, as she might could sleep a bit more, not having to be on guard alone. Trinity did not protest, because she could practice her skills at knife fighting, something she picked up from a video game, of all places, and she had secretly become very good at.

Elena’s sister River, and her husband Van, headed quickly back to their place for clothes and their dogs, as they had not initially planned on staying.

Michael took charge of a watch system, using the cameras that their Dad had strategically placed along the perimeter of the property, and the redundant ones concealed 25 yards inside the perimeter, as well as the two separate sets of infra red trip alarms, in line under both sets of cameras. He set up a schedule where someone was always watching during the hours of darkness. He, Matthew, his Uncle Liam and Uncle Van would all take two hour shifts watching. They agreed to alert all the others by the intercom system, installed in the lodges, if there was a breach or suspicious circumstance.

Elena, who was trying not to act worried, as she was in the kitchen making a tossed together dinner for everyone, finally got a message from Lee, it was short but positive. “Made it through, ammo did as well, it’s daylight here. We will only move at night. Stop worrying”. She replied with a short but informative run down of all that happened, and the plans that were laid.

Elena felt herself relax just a bit now that she knew Lee was ok, and she made sure to pass the information on to the boys. She finally laid down, and went to sleep around 1130 after being hyper tense and worrying for such a long time.

Categories
adventure family fantasy hunting mystery nature Sci Fi SyFy writing

The “Bevan” — Plans

Part III “Plans”

As Lee pulled into the yard through the gate he saw Elena his wife of so many years standing on the front porch watching him, and as he got out to close the gate he was astounded to see her petting the head of a gray fox! Lee drove his truck to the normal spot, got out and before he could speak Elena said “I hear you had some visitors today, I have been worried more and more lately, I am so glad your home”. She looked at the fox and made some sound and word and it immediately ran down the deck and slipped off into the brush. “Come inside Lee and get cleaned up, we have a lot to talk about”.

Lee came up the steps and hugged and kissed Elena “I was hoping this was all some weird dream, and when I got home all would be normal, but seeing that fox again…”.

Elena interrupted “His name is Loarn, and his family has been watching and bringing information to me since I was old enough to understand.”

Lee said, “Anyway, when I saw Loarn standing on the porch, I had confirmation that it was not a weird dream.” He did not comment on the fact that he saw the rifle he had built for her, just inside the doorway within easy reach.

Several hours later, sitting together on the deck, Lee and Elena had talked, and many things were revealed. Elena told a long tale that was passed onto her by her grandmother, the former possessor of the knowledge, and she has kept it secret all her life. Elena knew there was the possibility that one day these events would happen, so she always watched and kept alert for any sign. She was aided by Loarn (more properly The Loarn, Gaelic for fox) and his family before him, they are portal watchers of the forest and brought news of anyone coming or going through the portals that they knew of. Each time a new portal was discovered, a new member of the Loarn would be tasked to watch it and report any incidents to Loarn himself.

Lee absorbed all he was told without interrupting Elena, and when he was sure she was finished, after pausing a few seconds, asked “I get that you did not want to tell me this, I mean how could you, without being looked at like you were a half bubble off level, but the question is who else may have your abilities? I mean you have brothers and a sister and each of them have daughters, and let’s don’t forget our two grown sons and their families, is there a chance one or more of them have it?”

Elena answered “I’m not sure Lee. I have been for years, trying to discover if any of them do, but I’ve drawn a blank”

Lee replied, “Well, we are going to have to figure out some way to tell all your family, so they can be cautious, and it’s such a wild tale, who would believe it? I have messaged my family, but you know as well as I, none of them are easy targets, nor would they really be focused on them. If I was this evil person/thing whatever, I would focus on you, and your family and squash any that stand in its way to getting at them”.

Elena contemplated their discussion and said “I will take care of Liam, and his family, and River and her family. We both know Michael and Matthew will do whatever it takes to watch over their families. I am just concerned for you, Lee. You have no one to take with you, to help you. I know you too well, Lee, you will want to go and confront this, at the point of the spear, and nothing I say will dissuade you. I will tell you this, the portals will not allow you to take your modern weapons, knives, bows, and crossbows, can pass freely, but not your guns.”

Lee interrupted “What? How can that work?”

Elena answered “It was designed that way to keep the enemy from getting hold of modern weapons, and using them to turn the tide in their favor”.

“So, if I try and go through with them, what happens?” asked Lee.

“You will pass through, but they will not, and when you return, they will be with you again.”, replied Elena.

“Well, that throws a kink in the plan, but we will work around it” Lee answered, and as he did, Elena was holding out a shimmering bag the size of a modern zip lock bag.

“If you can fit it in this bag, it can travel through. It is the last of its kind, there is no more material, from which it’s made, left anywhere”, said Elena.

Lee took the bag, and immediately had a thought, he drew the Ronin off his hip and slipped it in the bag and it closed, his eyes smiled as he looked at Elena “Well, that makes me feel a bit better, so the gun can go, what about ammo?”

Elena said “No idea, Lee, all we can do is try, put your phone in it to, who knows if it will work and I seriously doubt it, but we can try”.

“Great idea! and on that note I’ll add the brick (for charging) and only try when I know a portal is open”.

Elena stiffened looking out into the darkness, and Lee who was looking in the bag immediately looked up and caught sight of the fox sitting just out of the firefight, and he came closer and sat by Elena, and she explained “A portal opened!”

Lee quickly said, “Get inside, and stay there with your rifle, and leave that Glock on your hip!” Elena hesitated wanting to argue and stand by her man, but knew he would be more distracted trying to keep an eye on her and that would dull his edge. As Elena went inside she saw Lee slipping off into the darkness, a place where he always told her he liked to work.

Lee made sure Elena was inside and then slipped out into the darkness into a circle of ferns and up against an ancient oak where he melted into the background, the Loarn looked at him and in a clear voice said “Be wary Bevan, it is a Brak.”, then he slipped off into the night. Lee muttered to himself “Well, I didn’t think it was the Amazon delivery guy,” and he contemplated what he should do, ultimately deciding to watch the Brak, at least for a few minutes once he saw it, so he could ascertain how it moved, and what weapon it had if any. As he was thinking this, he spotted movement out against the tree line and his eyes locked on the moving object, it was about his height and around his 250lb weight, moving slowly and a bit stiff, it was working it’s way along, staying out of the firelight, as it made its way towards the house where Elena was, consequently bringing itself closer to Lee at the same time.

The Brak slipped within arm’s reach of where he was concealed, Lee’s hand unsheathing the blade on his hip as he noticed the strange axe the Brak was carrying. Lee slipped out and said, “Bit late for a delivery, Bub,” as he did the Brak, with speed belying it’s size, spun counterclockwise, swinging the axe in a lightening fast move, that Lee was barely able to avoid. The axe bit deeply into the oak tree and stuck for a second. Recovering quickly Lee, kicked with the flat of his foot straight out into the stomach of the creature causing it to double over, but not let go of the axe.

Lee struck the forearm of the hand holding the axe, with the hilt of his short knife, numbing the nerves in that arm for a few seconds, causing the Brak to lose its grip on the axe.

The Brak swung a huge fist at him from the opposite side, and Lee moved under it, and as he did, his knife slid along the underside of the Brak’s arm at the shoulder, slicing deep. He kept moving past, as the Brak spun, and gripped the axe handle, pulling it free of the tree, its one arm damaged but not useless. The Brak made a upward swing causing Lee to arch back to avoid the impact, and as soon as it was above Lee’s head, the Brak reversed its course bringing it back down and across. As the axe swooped down Lee kicked at the Brak’s knee with a side sweep to try and get it off balance, the effect worked. The Brak losing just enough balance that Lee could move in close, too close for the axe to be of much use, and as Lee did, he slid his blade along the side of the Brak, continuing past it, as the Brak recoiled from the deep gash and pain.

Lee did not hesitate. As soon as he was past, he spun as he crouched, because the Brak swung the axe around, while turning to face Lee, and as it’s momentum carried the axe past the crouching Lee, he stood up and stuck the knife to the hilt in its throat, “You shoulda stayed home,” and watched the Brak’s eyes widen with surprise and pain, before it collapsed in a heap at the foot of the steps.

Lee took a moment to check that there were no more of the enemy around, and then said “It’s ok, Elena, you can come out,” the door opening quickly.

Instead of congratulating him she said “What were you thinking? Why didn’t you just shoot it!!?”

Lee smiled a smile that did not make it to his eyes, “I could have done that, yes, but if I have to confront them on their turf, and I cannot be sure I’ll have a gun or bullets, I needed to know what I was up against”. He looked at her and winked “Although, next time, hopefully I’ll have a bigger knife!”.

The next morning at dawn Matthew and Michael both showed up at the house, and as they sat and listened to their mother Elena, tell them the story. You could see they both thought it was a joke, and were starting to laugh, while looking for the punch line, until their father Lee said, “I figured it would be hard to swallow, and I was just going to show you a picture I snapped, but I think this will be better. Come with me”.

Lee and Elena, followed by Michael and Matthew, went outside, and Lee led them to the brushy corner of the property, and there in a hole he dug last night, lay the body of the Brak, “Figured it would just be easier to show you before I buried it.”

Both sons were stunned to speechlessness until Elena spoke, “These and others are out to destroy our family, and that by the way, means your families, too! So you need to get over the disbelief and pay attention!”.

Later that day, with plans made, and the arguments as to why he had to go, and the why of how no one could go with him, at this time was settled, it was decided that Michael and Matthew would bring their families to the parents’ property, and stay in the guest houses. This bolstering their defenses, and at the same time giving Lee peace of mind that Elena would be safer. Lee took to organizing his gear, getting rid of hunting calls and such and packing essentials, including six boxes of .45 ammo, it was a pretty big increase of weight, but taking off unnecessary things almost evened it out, and he wasn’t even sure it was going to make it through the portal.

The kids and their families had arrived, and were settled, and everyone was sitting around the table talking and Matthew asked “Now that we know what is going on, why not just wait for them to come through the portals? I mean something that weird will obviously be noticed, and normal people will take care of them, don’t you think?”

Lee answered “I wish, Son, but look around at the normal people, they think guns are evil, and if we take them away from everyone, then everyone will live happily ever after, and the Brak, if they start coming through, all those normal people are not going to help you, your families, or your mom against them. No, we have to prepare here, and there. So, I’m going to go get a lay of the land, and of what we are up against. When I’ve gotten that, I’ll come back and we will decide our next best move”.

Lee loaded things in his truck and kissed his Elena “I would love to stay, but I want to be near the portal and watch at least 6 hours to see if there is a trap. I will text just before entering, and I’ll try when I get there, every hour at 5 after. I do not think it can be far for us to travel to get to the fortress, there I can see what we are up against. You are to never go outside unless you have a gun and you keep it on your hip EVERYWHERE, inside or out. I have spoken to the boys and they will do the same, try and get your brother Liam and his wife Natasha to bring his family and your sister River and Her husband Van here, also. There’s food enough for a sustained period, for all of you, and the other two guest houses are vacant, just like we planned for in case of some emergency. Tell them to bring all their guns and every bullet they can find, and you will explain why when they arrive”. With that Lee and Elena hugged again, and he climbed in the truck, “I’ll leave the truck in the club where we always park it, if y’all need it come get it, but leave me something to get home in. I’ll either be in a hurry or too tired to walk it. The plan is to go through tomorrow, I’ll spend 6 days and come back on the seventh, I will keep to the schedule. Whatever you do, do not let anyone of the family follow me, or come looking. Hold the fort, and I’ll come back with better insight.”

With that, he backed out and waved as he drove to the gate where Michael and Matthew were standing, “Take care of your families and your mother, Boys, until I get back. She has the plan we set, also the cameras are up and working, as well as the silent trip alarms, and it’s piped into, Y’all’s houses, so you should not be caught off guard”.

30 minutes later, Lee was slipping through the forest, taking a long semi circular route, to come at the clearing, from the direction opposite of his truck. Lee stopped 100 yards away, slipping off his pack and climbing up one of the old stands with his binoculars. He sat and watched the clearing, slowly picking apart each small section of it, and the surrounding brush looking for anything abnormal or unusual. What he saw was disturbing, Jagar and Trend lay obviously dead shoved off to one side of the clearing and he saw the reason why. A Brak and something that resembled a woodsman were hidden 45 degrees apart from each other on different sides of the clearing where if the portal opens they could ambush anyone coming thru before they could act. “Alright, let’s make sure there aren’t any more surprises hiding before we deal with these two,” Lee thought to himself. Lee pulled out his phone and texted Matthew “Bring your brother and the two suppressed rifles, I have need of your expertise. Make sure all the families are in the main house ‘til you get back. Tell Michael to bring you to his stand I’ll be waiting there”.

Matthew replied, “30 minutes” nothing more.

Lee chuckled “Guess he got the gift of gab from me”.

33 minutes later, as he was still watching the clearing, having seen no other threats, Michael and Matthew materialized as if by magic under the stand, and Lee thought to himself, “Glad they didn’t forget what the Army taught about camouflage and stealth.”

He signaled them to climb up, taking a risk that the stand would hold all of them at the same time. Both climbed up silently, and he explained the situation to them, letting each take a look with the binoculars and identifying the threats. “Michael, if you sit up here, and take the Brak, I’ll take Matthew to the far stand, and I think he will have a clear but farther shot at the woodsman, then I’m going to come half way back and make some kind of racket so they both get up to see what it is. That’s your cue to fire, got it?”

Both nodded yes and he and Matthew climbed down, while Michael settled in and got ready. 15 minutes later, after Matthew assured him his lane was clear, Lee found himself halfway back between the stands and set about making a distraction. He lit a palmetto limb on fire, letting it smoke and waft in the breeze. As it burned down, he lit another, the breeze not quite blowing the right direction, but swirling, and he saw a patch head right in that direction and he ducked and put out the embers.

The woodsman smelled smoke and immediately tensed, and started trying to see where it was coming from. The Brak smelled it as well, but instead of staying hidden, it got up and started sniffing, trying to pin point it. The woodsman tried waving the Brak back into his hide out, but was too late. A near soundless pop, and the Brak head exploded from the rifle round, and before he could finish the thought that he had messed up, a second round entered his brain bucket and silenced him forever.

Lee stood, and looked at Michael’s stand and got the hand across the face symbol, then the same from Matthew. He then slipped smoothly into the direction of the clearing with the faint hope that Jagar and Trend may be just wounded. Lee slipped into the clearing and checked the threats first but both were neutralized, he ran to Jagar and Trend, Jagar was dead, Trend managed to say “The portal…to open…just say ‘for peace.” then he succumbed to his wounds as Michael and Matthew arrived.

Lee told his sons who they were, and he and the boys drug the Brak and woodsman looking thing to where he remembered the portal opening. “They should get sucked in the next opening”, Lee said.

Michael asked, “And them?”, pointing at the Treslanders .

To which Lee replied, “No, they will stay with me until someone from their people shows up. I’m sure their families would want to have a funeral or whatever they do. Now boys, you know what you’re up against, and this one”, he nudges with his boot, “As you can see looks almost human. Be extra diligent. I’m counting on you and so are people we don’t even know”.

An hour later the hunter is back on his tree, the two soldiers covered by their cloaks, laying off to one side and he waits silently for dawn. Almost at the same time dawn is breaking, the portal starts shimmering and Rotar and Falan appear just as before. After a brief exchange, the two fallen soldiers are moved to the portal and Lee texts Elena “Going through,” slips the phone in the bag with the Ronin, 3 spare magazines and the charger and walks through following Rotar and Falan.

Categories
adventure fantasy hunting mystery nature outdoors Sci Fi SyFy writing

The “Bevan” – Discoveries

Part II “Discoveries”

Several hours later the hunter and the strangers, who were supposedly from a place not unlike earth, called “Treslan“, had talked and the story they told was as full of mystery and intrigue, as it was danger. According to Rotar, they were sent by their military leaders, to stop the Brak from crossing over thru the portal, but the Brak somehow knew the passes and incantations to open it. They followed in hopes of stopping it before it could do any harm, and during the journey the Brak was struck by an arrow.

The Brak warriors were but a small part of the growing threat to all the Treslanders, as more and more there are skirmishes with several different enemies, none of which, until recently, had worked together. Something or someone was gathering them, and using them to attack the Treslanders, never seriously, more it seemed, like they were probing the resistance.

Still not convinced that he was who they were looking for, Lee silently listened, a skill that he learned over many years of dealing with people from whom he was trying to gather information. Listening as Rotar, Jagar, Trend, and Falan each told parts of the story of how they came to be here, in a clearing in the woods, with a dead Brak and a skeptical hunter.

“So, if I am understanding you right, your nation is under constant attack, and that whatever it is, laying over there, is but one of many enemies doing the attacking” Lee stated, “Still, I do not see how we get to the part where it wanted to kill me and basically erase my bloodline. I’ve never heard of Treslan before you showed up, and I durn sure would have remembered bumping into one of those things before”.

Rotar said “He is not the first that has come through the portal hunting you, there have been many others with the same mission, and we feared many times that they had succeeded, but by either luck or skill, each one attempted, while you were doing what you call being a Police Officer. Is that the term?” Lee nodded yes and Rotar continued “Each of them in different forms, but the mission was the same, eliminate you, then all your kin, but they ran afoul of your customs and laws, and either you yourself, or others put them in what you call cells, once there, we vanished them forever.” Lee took “vanished them” to mean they would no longer be an issue. “Over time we got a grasp on them and for several of your years, no longer could the enemy get through the portal in any form, but that of a Brak and even in their primitive mind, they knew that would not work.

Lee pointed at the dead Brak “He seemed to think it was ok”.

“Yes.” said Rotar “It shows that they are getting desperate in their attempt to destroy you and all your kin”.

“Might seem a bit redundant of me, and I have been called obtuse, but I will ask again anyways, why would a thing not from around here, one I’m sure I would remember if I had met before, why would it want to destroy me? Much less my whole bloodline?”, asked Lee.

“For that answer, Bevan” quickly holding his hand up to cut off the protest sure to come, and calming him that, “I mean Lee! I cannot tell you, other than if they succeed in doing so, they can then destroy the one thing that they fear the most, which is something you hold more precious than your own life”. Rotar saw the man he called the Bevan’s blue eyes darken to a steely gray-blue color as he finished, “Elena as you call her”.

Lee’s posture changed entirely, and in such a manner, that the other three who had been silent, suddenly got to their feet in expectation of conflict, as Lee said in a voice thick with power and forcefulness “And why pray tell, would they even know of her, much less want to destroy her?”

“She is the key that will start the downfall of all evil on Treslan. Our world has lost most of its good, and evil has seeped into its very core, her knowledge and kindness, can crush any evil and they know it, it is why she was brought here so many years ago, with the knowledge that one day she would bring peace to Treslan for all time” said Rotar. “She is of the line of Minorcans, and on Treslan, she needs but to sit in the protected chair, from the living earth and speak words of grace and kindness and in doing so, those two things will energize the very planet and destroy all evil there, if at the right time she can be brought to the fortress, and into the reading room, where she will read and teach understanding. The enemy knows this, and knows to get to her, they must destroy you and all your kin, for they cannot risk that one has the same power as her, only then can they destroy her, and their rule of Treslan will be guaranteed”.

Lee stared at Rotar with piercing eyes listening to the information as it is told, his mind racing in two directions, the first thought in his mind is from the practical side “This guy’s nuts” then the other the more pragmatic thinker side weighing what he’s been told, with what he has seen, and not liking the outcomes of either. “If what you have said is true, and I’m still not sold on it yet, when is this ‘right time’, but more importantly who is behind it and where are they? I may need to have a chat with them”

One of the other soldiers made a sound like a suppressed laugh and immediately found himself under the coldest deadliest stare he ever felt, “You got something you want to get off your chest, Boy?” Lee barked, “I may not be as young as I once was, I have seen and done many things in my life, and have been pieced back together, with plates and pins, but two things you can take to the bank from me. I do not make idle threats, and no one or thing will ever harm Elena, while I can draw a breath to stop it! If that means I need to have a chat with the chap or whatever that is heading this up, then either follow me, or get out of the way because I will go through you if I have to, but I will have that chat!”

The soldier nodded “I meant no disrespect, and I have no reason to doubt you, but just hearing you say that made me smile, not as a jest, but as a ‘I hope I’m there when this guy does that’”, and he bowed putting his right hand over his chest, “I am Jagar and I am at your service.”

Lee nodded at the young soldier and turned to the others who both bowed with the same gesture, “I am Trend” said the older of the two, and “ I am Falan” said the last, and both said at the same time, “At your service Bevan”.

“Name’s Lee, if you holler “Bevan” I may not answer. I appreciate what you have apparently done and been doing, but if everything is as you say, I need to be getting home to check on things.” and at that Lee swiftly pulled his pack onto his strong back and shoulders, “Don’t mean to be rude, but can you do something with that thing over there, hate for someone to stumble over it”.

Rotar nodded yes but said “What are your plans besides checking on things at home? At some point more will come through, unless we do something to stop them.”

Lee hesitated a second “I am going to have to think on it a bit, and make some plans and contingencies, and only then will I know what’s best to do, I rarely do anything in haste, leads to bad decisions. As for more coming through, if what you say is true and they will look like that, I will have fair warning, because people will see them, unless these portals move, do they”?

Rotar said “This portal opens here only but there are an innumerable amount of portals and they are at all different locations, there is a map at the fortress that has many but no one knows where all are. They can only be opened, if one knows the proper words to say, and each portal has its own words”.

Lee nodded “Well then, I will be back here in two days time with whatever decision I make, will you wait, or will you return to Treslan”?

“We have to return, and tell of these developments, but one or all of us will return in two days to this place. Be cautious Bevan, the enemy has many guises, and on Treslan, or while the portal is open, can look just like any other Treslander”.

Lee answered in a firm voice, “I am of the Black Legion, my family has been champions for the oppressed and preyed upon, for as long as there have been people on earth to defend. Where the Knights Templars were well known, The Black Legion was secretive and more deadly, if whoever meets me here, does not know of the Legion, then I will, how did you put it?, oh yeah, vanish them”.

At that, and without any other words Lee turned his back and headed out of the forest walking swiftly and confidently towards his truck parked some 1/2 mile away. Quietly, the fox slips off working it’s way along through the woods just off to the side of the hunter, forever watchful of the area as it tags along.

“Whatcha think so far Peach?”

Categories
backroads dads food Life Love nature photography road trip travel Uncategorized

Down the Road

Batman says:

Road trips are a fun way to spend an afternoon or weekend. Cruising forgotten highways and byways of the states always takes Peach and I to interesting places. Normally we don’t have a plan, pick a direction and off we go, to me that’s easier as there’s no firm destination so there’s no worry about getting anyplace in a hurry, which is the way we like it. We are apt to pull over and take pictures of airplanes or signs on the side of the road at any given moment.

We generally take these trips as photo opportunities and snap pics at things we think is cool or interesting, be it places or objects. Kinda like a mobile photo shoot so to speak, so I will keep attaching photos from several of our trips, maybe someone will recognize a place or see something they may want to visit.

Going for a ride does so many good things for Peach and myself, without a destination we are free to stop and explore, basically anything we want, and we like to explore together, so there’s that. There’s also the fact that we both really like taking pictures of just about anything and everything and what better way to see various things than to go on a road trip.

Then of course there’s eating, and if you know me you know I don’t like skipping meals (no fat jokes, I’m a sensitive guy) and again there are soooooooooooo many small shops and eateries to stop and sample food. Local favorites where ever you are, usually do not look like much in small out of the way towns and places, but boy howdy the food is outstanding most times and the staff in these small places are usually friendly and polite and try and ensure you have a pleasant meal while you are there.

Some of the views we get are crazy outstanding and some of the places are rich and full of history, take a walk thru Savanna’s squares and read the plaques denoting a time gone by (a time which a lot of my friends say I’m a throw back from) where a person had to work to make a living, and people genuinely cared about their cities and towns and their neighbors. We see a lot of these type places driving down forgotten county roads, the roads the truckers used to rely on for their routes. My dad when he was young was an over the road trucker and used to in his latter years comment on how he wished he had the time to drive some of the roads he used to just to see the routes again, to my sadness, as bad as I wanted to surprise him and go on a road trip with him over those old routes, he went to be with our maker before I could make that happen, sometimes I feel as if he is pointing me in directions to go (crazy? Maybe but I believe).

To me, and I believe to Peach also, the fun is in the adventure of what we find along the way, and we continue to find things that surprise, enlighten, and give pause, all have been happy interesting things, some things have been long in finding, some just around the corner, but in all, we know in our hearts that, “You will not find happiness at the end of your journey, if you do not bring it with you” (read that scribbled on a bathroom wall on one of our road trips 🤣 an have found it to be so true).

If you’re out and about and see an old country boy and a beautiful Peach stopped on the side of the road taking pictures, or in a small town wandering and photographing with phones and cameras, don’t be alarmed, it’s prolly just Peach and Batman headed “Down the Road”

Y’all take a piece of advice from an old country boy that’s “living in the wrong time” in this new fangled world; Live your life as God intended, learn to take happiness with you where ever you are headed, stop and meet people in small out of the way places, smile, give a kind word to someone, and above all, find that someone that you can not stand to be apart from and hang on to them forever, the adventure awaits just down the road.

“Peach, it’s getting time to spin the dial and see which direction we should head, don’t ya think?”

Categories
family fishing Life nature outdoors peace rest thankful Uncategorized

Fishing

Batman Says:

Quietly sitting on the bank intently staring at the “homemade” cork float as it wiggles and shakes then finally disappears under the muddy water. Reacting too soon I jerk the cane pole up but no fish, my uncle “Russy” says “too soon knot head let him take it a bit longer and I lower the hooked worm and “bobber” back into the pond…

My oldest memory of fishing was that one, I’ve made hundreds since, but that one I remember, and hope I always do. It was simple pond fishing with a stick, some line, and a hook and it was to me the best way to fish, and still may be. Fishing is an activity that anyone can participate in that wants to, just add water and you never know what you may catch. I have since early childhood loved fishing, pretty sure this love came from my Dad, who when he was young loved to fish also.

And by the looks of it, was pretty good at it. I have fished lots of places, sometimes I catch something, other times not so much, but all times I have a good time. Fishing is one of those things that to me is always fun, catch anything or not, I am outdoors and away from people, and fishing.

Part of the fun is finding new places to fish. Peach and I when we were dating used to tromp all over the river and it’s feeder creeks up to our knees without ever a care, she has always been a lil trooper. Catching and releasing the little bream or sunfish we would sometimes get. We would ride down CR13 and wherever a creek crossed it, we would get out and wander the banks and fish or wade out in the creek itself. We used prolly my favorite fishin pole and reel setup in the world (next to a cane pole and bobber) a Zebco 202 rod and reel set. Easy to use, can cast under hand, over hand, sidearm, anyway You want. Pretty good rod came with the set, and it was all we needed. I cannot tell you how much fun that was to do.

Fishing does something few things can, it causes you to let go of silly things and stresses, the longer you stick at it. The longer you fish, the more you see how relaxing it is to be away from work and worry. Fishing should be a legitimate medical reason as to why you took a day off work, instead of using vacation or sick days, you should also accrue fishing days (I may have stumbled onto a genius idea). I have no doubt in my mind that if a study was done, it would prove me right, one fishing day a month would make a happier more productive employee (squirrel ran by).

I recall one summer my sister and I spent the time with my aunt and uncle who lived in Georgia, somewhere just outside of Atlanta. I had an awesome time there as when they were working we had free run of the place. There was a perfect creek down below their house and my sister and I played in it for hours, it also led to a bigger creek that eventually fed a lake (try as I might I cannot remember exactly where this was, getting old robs too many memories) and there was a dock there. My sister and I would fish from the dock for hours on end and I honestly cannot remember if I ever caught anything, I do remember my sister catching a beautiful colored fish which we later found out to be a rainbow trout!! (We let it go, but that’s what my uncle said we were describing). Up the road a very short walk, past stands of blackberry bushes (more thorn than bush but I have no idea what it’s called if it is not a bush) which we later that summer went back to and picked buckets full of and my aunt made blackberry cobbler (sorry another squirrel). Anyways, up the road was a pond, looked like coffee with creamer in it and we went there just once that I recall but we caught catfish, oh my did we ever, it was probably the most fun fishing I remember from that whole trip, cast a line out and wait and eventually without fail a catfish would take the bait. These are memories that leave an impression on a young person and I am glad I experienced it.

I am the kind of person that likes pretty much all fishing and I carry poles in my truck on the off chance I spot a “fishin hole” along my way that may require my fishing assistance. Yes, I have actually been late to things due to stopping at a promising looking creek along the way to see if there are any fish.

I have deep sea fished, worked on a charter boat, fished in lakes and rivers, but my most favorite is fishing in small creeks and ponds I can walk around. Be it with a cane pole or fishing rod, I’ve even used a fly rod (I am really horrible with it but I have caught fish with it) and I like them all.

(That’s me in my flooded yard learning a bit about fly casting)

I remember being in Ft Eustis, Virginia in the military and fishing in a lake there, not sure if I caught anything, does not matter, I do remember I had fun in doing so and that’s all that matters. Fished again in Honduras while there in the military, in the Caribbean and in fast flowing ice cold rivers coming straight off the mountains, again not sure if I caught fish, do not remember doing so, but I remember the fun I had just fishing.

Peach and I over the years have fished all over in lakes ponds rivers and oceans, we have creek fished and sat in the side of the road and fished in ditches, simply because we love being and doing things together, and we love fishing. It’s cool that we have this like in common, would be sad if it was not something we both liked.

As we grew older and we got more and more responsibilities, fishing was pushed aside. But as things often do when you like doing them, fishing kept popping up and we still went off and on. Through the years we have gone times that we totally forgot about fishing and all the sudden one day we are headed out to fish.

Most days we kinda want to catch fish but rarely do we really ever want to keep them so we go and if we catch any we usually release them quickly. The fun is in the trip not the actual keeping.

So many times we have caught and released fish after fish and I cannot think of a time we regretted any of it.

Fishing takes patience, which most of us adults no longer have lots of. But in order to enjoy fishing you are forced to slow down and be patient, while waiting for the fish to bite. If you cannot make yourself be patient, slow down, wait for the fish to bite, you will probably never really catch many.

Being patient, waiting at times for hours is not easy when you are really young, or older (and have lost your patience from years of aggravation) but in fishing it’s a “have to have” to be successful, if you are counting the day a success by catching fish. If you’re like me and no longer think the day is a failure if you do not catch anything, then you are well on your way to being “successful”

In today’s hurry up and make all the money you can world, a world where you can not seem to slow down for a few minutes much less a whole day, I in my humble opinion wish everyone that wanted could come sit in the shade on a creek or pond bank with me and watch a bobber dance on the water while no thoughts or sounds of man or being in a hurry intrude, trust me my friend, for a brief moment in time you would be so much happier.

Come on Peach, let’s go fishin”

Categories
beauty family Life life styles nature parents peace

Peach and My Colorado Trip

Batman says:

Here’s a short pictorial view of Peach’s and My trip to Estes Park in Colorado to visit our youngest son. Just a fantastic day and hike through our makers AWESOME painting of earths wonders, enjoy…

Times have changed since then, youngest moved back closer to home, work makes long trips less possible but someday we will return to revisit and maybe stay longer, and enjoy more of Gods artwork.

Yes Peach I do know the way back to the truck from here..”

Categories
danger Fear hunting life styles nature peace photography Uncategorized

Hunter or Hunted

Batman Says:

All my life I have, as have millions of others have, hunted things. Be it animals or pictures or items, hunting is ingrained in my soul. I have hunted with my eyes, numerous cameras, rifles, shotguns, bows, crossbows, fishing poles, traps, and cages, you name it and I have probably tried it. The degree of success depends on what you think the outcome should be. There are times when I could walk out my door and trip over something I wanted to hunt, and there have been times that entire seasons have gone by without me getting any game at all. Both to me are victories as I get to participate in a sport/hobby/lifestyle that I love. I have written a few times about being out in the wilds and finding my “peace”, and sometimes it applies when I’m hunting, not always though, as it’s a different mentality to me.

There’s not a lot of danger hunting where I do, yes there are some bear at times, and wild boar, and even a white tailed deer can mess you up if you get it cornered and are careless. But for the most part it’s accidents, the occasional snake or your own clumsiness that will be your undoing. There are ways to make it challenging and even the playing field a bit. The object of hunting is to take game to consume (for me anyways I DO NOT trophy hunt, you can’t eat horns) and to do so in a humane fashion. Granted I could shoot an animal from 500 yards away with today’s modern rifles, but in my humble opinion, this is not hunting in the true sense, it’s more sport shooting. I have NOTHING against this way, it’s just not hunting to me. I prefer the close combat hunting where I pit my stealth, woods knowledge and skill against an animal that lives there, where it knows all the paths and ways. Out foxing a wild animal at close range in its “home” to me is the definition of hunting. Slipping up on a sounder of wild boar within 20,15, 10 yards armed with a bow or crossbow or even a handgun, is thrilling and scary as all get out, especially if all you’re doing is taking photographs and the “weapon” you have is not really adequate to stop a determined charge of a boar or momma sow with piglets. My point in this being, given the right circumstance even modern hunting can be challenging and dangerous. I can describe things like this and people might get it, here wait, come along on a hunt with me and see…

Quietly closing the truck door in the darkness after getting all my gear out and on, I look up and listen to the night sounds. 05:30 am, still at least 2 hours before first light, may have gotten here a bit early today, but it is the first day of the season. Silently slipping into my back-pack and then cocking the crossbow I get set, and take a few quiet moments to look up at the sky full of millions upon billions of stars and thank God for another day. Some days you just feel “it”, there’s something here not quite right today, but you shake it off and begin to make your way to the ground blind that Peach and I set up a few weeks ago, this will be the first stopping point until it gets bright enough to see to legally hunt. Moving slowly along the trail, listening to try and make sure I don’t spook any early morning game on the way to the blind. Hearing the softest sound of a footfall in the palmettos and briars to the side of the trail and immediately freezing, to try and determine what it could be. It’s pitch black, I truly wish there was a better description of the kind of dark it gets in the deep woods before dawn, an inky blackness that blocks all light, it’s like swimming in black paint at times. At times like this it’s the other senses that I trust, closing my eyes I listen, and try to catch a whiff of any scents (animals do have distinct smells and we can sometimes pick up on them) that may be drifting on the almost non existent wind currents. Time slowly ticks past, and here and there the errant mosquito buzzes around and still I stand perfectly still like an old oak tree with its roots firmly sunk in the rich earth. There is a feeling something is there but no sound, no movement, no smell to give it away, so I wait. Slowly the feeling subsides and the night creatures go back to making their soft noises, and I, even though I cannot shake the feeling that I’m being watched, move on down the trail towards the blind. Finally I reach the blind and settle in one of the two camp chairs slowly relaxing and waiting on the first signs of daylight.

Waiting in the blind, listening to the world wake slowly, the feeling is still there, muted, subdued but still there, the feeling of watchfulness. The first hints of daylight start showing through and yet I still wait, not time to move yet, cannot legally hunt. Slowly things start to take shape in the graying light and something moves across the trail I just walked 25-30 yards away, low but moving like silk undulating in the wind without making a sound. What was that? No idea, but it was quick! Silently putting my back-pack on again and picking up my crossbow I emerge from the blind. Put a bolt (crossbow arrow) on the crossbow and stand still preparing to begin my hunting.

Today I’m “still hunting” which unlike its name, involves moving. Taking two preplanned steps I settle and look, slowly all the way around me, starting close up and moving my eyes in ever widening arcs over the terrain. It never ceases to amaze me how animals can be standing right in front of me and I don’t even see them until I make a mistake and get too close or move when I shouldn’t and they bolt. Still hunting brings into play all the senses and skills learned.

Ever so slowly I move in the same pattern, 2 steps, stop, look slowly around me. In this fashion I take a great deal of time to go anywhere. The sun still hasn’t breached the horizon, so the world is a gray pallet and distant things blend into the background. Making it to the fork in the trail I have to decide to either go into the deeper woods or stay along the edge. Today I enter the trail that will eventually take me past a ladder stand and into the woods deeper eventually running into the creek and swamp parts. Slipping deeper into the woods I stop by the ladder stand and just wait, watching an open area where game travels at times, partially due to its location near wild persimmon trees. Squirrels hop about gathering the abundant acorns and chasing each other and I slip quietly on. The sun finally erupts over the horizon behind the trees in a burst of color like blood and orange all across the sky behind the trees lighting the woods. Carefully I move trying not to be noticed by the animals seen and unseen that I know are here as I can see and “feel” them. Freezing mid step I see a flicker of movement ahead, and try to determine what it is. Bird? Or maybe it’s the tail of a feeding white tailed deer. It’s a deer! Walking away it hasn’t noticed me, not in a position to shoot either, walking away, to much growth between us and farther than I like. Winds ok, blowing to me off my right front so it won’t smell me, so I ever so slowly, like the decay of time, inch forward on the trail behind it trying to stay where I can keep it in sight. It’s amazing how they can brush past bushes but make no sound, if I could do that I’d be the most efficient hunter in the world. Despite my trying to, I’m unable to keep the deer in sight and be quiet, so it fades off into the trail ahead, not spooked that I can tell, just feeding along. I slip along, hoping to catch a glimpse but never do again. Breaking through to the edge of the creek line the woods are darker but the undergrowth much thinner, making visibility better but not as much as one would think. Slinking along in the same fashion I make my way through the woods cautiously, stopping every 2 steps just as before.

I stop and watch a raccoon family tromp past and cross the creek 15 yards to my right, never noticing I am there, too involved with whatever thoughts raccoons have. Slowly and steadily, I make my way in a long circle eventually coming back to the opening in the woods, by the persimmon trees, again this time from the opposite side and as I approach the hair on my neck stands up and I know I’m being watched. Freezing in place I start methodically picking apart every piece of cover, searching for whatever it is causing the creepy sensation, my senses in full alert as my heart pounds in my chest so loud I think it’s audible. Nothing! I can’t see…wait There it is, holy cow He’s huge!! And he’s looking right at me!!! Bobcat “Lynx Rufus” aka “red lynx” Florida’s #1 ambush predator, sneaky, stealthy, ghostly killer, efficient at its art. Not normally a threat to humans unless trapped or cornered. This is what I have been “feeling” since I first arrived, why is it not slinking off like normal. Watching it sink lower almost flat to the ground it’s floating shoulder blades allowing it to almost appear flat, claws digging into the ground to get a better grip it is getting ready to charge! Honestly I can’t believe what I’m seeing, leveling the crossbow scope on his shoulder I hear the audible click as the safety clicks off not even realizing I did so and at that instant he explodes from cover, leaping 5′ before I realize, I drop the sights rapidly catching up to him and release the bolt and it travels the 20′ left between us in seconds hitting home and passing completely through. He somersaults mid-stride Breaking off his charge and dashing towards the briars where I hear thrashing and growling for a few more seconds then silence. I had no idea I had backed up so far as I try 3 times before I can get another bolt from the quiver and cock the bow never taking my eyes off the spot I last saw him. Letting my heart sink back outta my throat I finally slowly (and I cannot stress how slowly) I move towards the spot. Scanning scanning don’t see him, gotta be there, where.. there he is, not moving, not breathing. I drag him out and look at him, big “Tom” bobcat, looks healthy, why did he act so odd? Bolt hit him right in the shoulder and passed clean through, he was dead before he knew he was hit. The scared ****less shakes hit, and subside with time and I gather the “cat” and slowly make my way back to the truck. I will skin, and sell the hide as I am also a trapper and bobcats are in season.

Funny how hunting goes, sometimes when we think we are the hunters, we become the hunted. I did nothing to the bobcat mentioned earlier, for some reason he chose to stalk and eventually try me. Today was my day, next time…

I’m a creature of the woods like all the other creatures God put here, I’m at home there as much as I’m at home in my house. I know there are dangers in hunting as in every walk of life, but with the “Armor of God” and faith in Him I will continue to hunt and live my life with Peach.

Next time you get to tag along Peach, 4 eyes see more stuff than 2″