The stag rose by the edge of the water. Reflecting light of the full moon cast majestic shadows across the tall grass where it stood. Its antlered crown twisted and branched like an ancient tree that had borne witness to many seasons. "Twenty-two and a half, I reckon," whispers the hunter. His eyes are lit with greed, imagining the head mounted on a plaque in his home. A grim trophy that lauded murder of beasts.
"Sahib, we should leave this one alone. Clearly it is sacred."
"Superstitious mumbo jumbo" I hear him muttering. I watch him position himself taking careful aim with his powerful rifle.
A loud crack, the stag perks its ears only for a moment. But, too late. A plumage of scarlet bursts as a vital organ splits. The light of life leaves its eyes as it falls, kicking up a cloud of golden yellow dust. The hunter approaches the body. But his excitement turns to a yelp as I watch the shadow rise. Tendrils rivet the corpse as the antlers grow, spreading like blood pulsing through veins. Its muscles ripples under the skin like water. The sound of cracking bones fills the air. Its hooves, sharp as a stake, take a shaky step towards the darkness in the trees.
The hunter had fallen back, and horrified, I watched his veins bursting forth from rapidly cracking flesh.
I flee as far as I can, until I reach the lights of civilization.
I feel my nose itching.