The Hunt

the hunt           

The rain stopped just as the sun set, leaving the fresh sweet mist of humid jungle heavy on the air. Gradually the shadows lengthened and blended into the solid darkness of a moonless night.

          I was hungry and it was the perfect time to hunt.

           Lazily my tongue sampled the cool night air and, as I drew it back into the moist pale pink cavern of my mouth, the taste of decaying leaves was almost overwhelming, but there was also a hint of something else. Something that triggered me to lift my green head and move out from the protection of the dank musty tree roots, that had been my home since my last kill.

          There it was again, but much stronger now. My tongue flickered faster, transferring the taste higher, so that it changed into a scent that at last I recognised. It was a deep heady aroma of musk and warm mammal and I could feel the glands in the side of my head begin to swell with the bitter essence that would shortly still its beating heart.

          Moving silently and directly towards the odour that was tantalisingly close, I picked up a new and again familiar smell that explosively turned into the acrid taste of adrenal fear. I had been discovered and despite moving even faster I was left only with the heady mixture of fungal decay and the disappearing scent of mammal.

         I should not have been disappointed. This was a familiar pattern, but today I wished that, just for once, I did not smell so strongly of snake.

 

Mike Wall  26/02/2019  – 278 words

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