The Passover

The Passover

A Story by Solomon

He stood above his prized white-tail deer duct-taped to the table in the shed, with a cig burning out the corner of his mouth, behind our house on Duck Lake Dam. I stood by his side, silent, under a bundle of old coon pelts.   

“F**k, its cold.” I grabbed my elbows. “When are we going to be done with this already?”

He let out a throaty cough. The smoke off his cigarette lifted to the ceiling in a dense milky swirl as my breath did the same.  

“You’re sixteen,” he grunted. “Grow some balls.” 

Snow ferried through the town, falling like cocaine from blues lips, like powdered sugar. And as the snow sailed south with their clouds over our cherry fields like a band of Columbine boys, the world spun slowly around the sun.  You had to have faith to even believe that there was a sun.

“What a beautiful girl she is,” he said as he traced his fingertips over the white belly of the doe. When he reached her hind legs, he slipped his hand through and caressed her tail.

“Yeah, I bet she was.”

The doe was no bigger than 90lbs. The sabot hole to her neck was clean " a shot only a Vietnam sniper could have achieved, he always said. The deer’s eyes were still wide open, though, frozen solid wide like wet black stones -- he called her Olivia because he said her eyes were like olives.

“I thought you weren’t allowed to hunt in Leland?” I said as I felt the deer’s stiffened legs.

He took the cigarette from his mouth. Gently he flicked it and its embers drifted slowly into the snow puddled on the floor.

“You just have to know the right people,” he answered. “And you have to know how to use them.” He smiled and rubbed Olivia’s hooves.  

The wind outside whistled as it lashed the cedars and shuttled through the shed.  It nearly tore off the old maps of Michigan glued to the walls, with their pinpoints and tallies all scattered all across them.

“F**k this weather,” I said.

“La Nina,” he said. “That means more snow.”

He beckoned for the knife hanging on the wall behind the table. As I reached for it, I heard the TV turn on inside the house.

“Is Leon home?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, as he peeled the knife from my grip, like how you peel the skin off an orange. “I picked him up last night.”

“How’d he get here?”

“Took the bus.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked.

“I thought you were asleep,” he responded.

He twisted the knife around in his fingers, butterfly style, while his lips curled into a smile.

“I’ve got a friend in Leland who knows how to stuff these girls,” he said as he traced an outline around the neck. “He’s coming down later this afternoon to pick her up. I just thought I’d get things moving. " ‘step-1’ he said ‘is to remove the heart.” (to be very continued)

© 2012 Solomon

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Added on April 18, 2012
Last Updated on April 19, 2012
Tags: passover, deer, hunting, vietnam, short, story, michigan, orchard, gun, death



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