When Did We Go

When Did We Go

A Story by Brandon R. Chinn

Another flash fiction piece from a collection of horror that I'm building, mostly for fun and practice. Two men walk into the woods on a hunting excursion.



Grown men cut their fear in fascinating ways.

“You come out here often?” he asks.

I shake my head, of course. No. Never this far.

“Good. This is no place for the faint of heart. Most of the others can’t take it, you know. It’s too�"”

Rugged. Misshapen. Dark. Misty, perhaps. It’s a place of old things and old sounds and old smells.

I hear it before him. A high chime, almost like a ringing bell. It rides the wind and then settles with us like an old friend.

No amount of hands over ears can push that sound away.

“Bobcats. This wood is thick with ‘em,” he says.

“Bears. Fowl, too. All kinds. I saw a moose once. Sickly creature. I did the good and proper thing.”

I ask him how often he goes hunting. And then, if he ever thinks about the things he hunts. You know. From their side of the stream.

“Alls I can say is I’m glad to be the one who knows how to pull a trigger,” he says. “Human ingenuity. That’s the ticket.”

The empty spaces between cedar and oak are crawling with fog. We’re in the thick of it, our bodies grasped by crawling fingers.

I hear the bell again. High and soft and sweet. Of course, he hears it too.

“Mountain lions,” he says, his voice like that of a stricken child’s. “Ghastly things. Saw a wolverine once, gnawing on a six-point buck. Terrifying.”

I ask him how often he lands a kill. How often does the bullet find its mark.

“Often enough,” he says. “I never go hungry. We ain’t the types to munch on greens, if you catch my meaning. It doesn’t exactly fill you.”

Knowing precisely what he means, I simply nod.

We find the spot. The good spot. The place between a couple of old, strong elms. A thicket of blackberry bushes, hidden in the blue-black fog. It’s a warrior’s spot, a hunter’s spot. You can see everything. You can get a good sense of the prey, here.

The chime. Louder this time. Stronger. It’s still as soft as a youthful kiss, still as warm as a summer morning.

“How you like hunting?” he asks me. It’s the town’s hobby. It’s the favorite of the lake.

I tell him I love it. I tell him it’s my favorite thing.

“You don’t look so natural, shrouded in the fog like this,” he says to me. “Something about you is…off. It’s funny. Your head is a tad misshapen.”

Horns, he says. It looks like I have horns.

Hunting accident, is my reply. A youthful indiscretion. It’s the fog that makes me look this way.

The sound comes again, and he has to work at keeping a firm hand on the rifle.

“Damn cougars,” he curses. “This wood is full of them.”

I open my mouth to reply. I don’t manage a single word. Instead a clear, high note extends from the deepest place in my lungs and ascends into the air, through the fog. A sweet chime, like a bell.

“Horns,” he says, his eyes fixed on mine. His eyes are clear. There’s not a thought behind them.

© 2015 Brandon R. Chinn

Author's Note

Brandon R. Chinn
I'm trying to exercise my ability for interesting prose here, mostly on using simpler language in my descriptions and coming across with a sense of dread and fear.

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Added on July 23, 2015
Last Updated on July 23, 2015
Tags: horror, weird, fiction, prose, dark, short, flash fiction, weird fiction, woods, hunting, wendigo, creature


Brandon R. Chinn
Brandon R. Chinn

Tacoma, WA

My name is Brandon Chinn. I am a novelist living in the Pacific Northwest. I love all kinds of fiction, but I mostly write science fiction, fantasy, and horror. You can check out my novel series, The .. more..