It’s been a busy weekend, and I have a lot to write about, but it’s going to take some time to recover and process. So while I do that, here’s a bit of flash fiction that came out of this weekend. It’s my first honest attempt at fiction this short. So, as I will say to those willing to join in revising my manuscript when it’s finished (any day now), enjoy it but feel free to tear it to shreds. Tell me what works, what doesn’t work, and how it could be better.
Hunting’s a guy thing. I’m a guy. I know what’s expected of guys, but it was hard for me to buy into parts of that expectation. Living in my own skin always been more important to me than loud, obfuscatory machismo. I never learned to swagger, never bothered acting tough. These two are macho men. Have they ever been told that they’ve broken their father’s heart? I wonder this as I watch them approach the buck they’ve blasted with their shotguns, laughing and high-fiving. They smell of beer, like the stale stink of a dive bar. I’d had a bead on the stag when the buckshot tore it open. It moans, twitching in excruciating pain. The guy in the Confederate flag ballcap racks another round with a guffaw. They don’t see my perch, halfway up this old oak.
The rifle in my hands felt heavy yesterday. It’s an old rifle, composed of wood and iron. It’s a veteran of war, a liberator of nations. Now it’s surprisingly light. Rage bubbles over in my stomach. I remind myself why I’m here. Even as they grab the mangled horns of the buck to drag it away, exchanging lewd banter that they might consider witty, I tell myself I’m here to hunt deer, not people like this, not these ignorant disrespectful men who are secretly very afraid of what they don’t understand, that smash anything that fucks with their machismo.
I’m not here for them. I promised my husband I’d bring venison home.
June 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm
It’s not a bad story. I do think the ending was a bit blunt. The overall story was 250 words, so there definitely a chance to expand, still keeping it as flash, an allow the protag to unveil his sexuality a little more subtly. There were clues before you smacked us with the last sentence, but only realized after the fact.
Up to that point I thought you were talking about a guy like me.
Good theme, I just didn’t get it till the very end. Perhaps that’s a good thing.
June 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm
The narrator got on my nerves. I found him to be unlikeable, unrelateable and overwrought. It was hypocritical of him to complain so much about these “ignorant disrespectful men who are secretly very afraid of what they don’t understand, that smash anything that fucks with their machismo.” In reality, it is the protagonist who is clearly the intolerant, ignorant and arrogant one.
I felt that the real story wasn’t about a gay man who hunts, but about a gay man who shows himself up to be as small-minded and disrespectful as a chest beating redneck.