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Hunting Seasons

The story by Dan Todd is presented here in the original verse format. The book is currently in print in a prose edition published under the pseudonym Lang Gore.

. . . I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
-Revelation 10:9, 1

 

Chapter 1

 

     Bay grimaced. “Fucking bladder is about to burst;

I know there is no way in fucking hell

That I will make it off this goddamn bus

Before I piss my fucking pants;

I will piss my fucking pants before we stop,

I know I will, I know I will,”

He malevolently muttered beneath his breath.

     He squirmed. “I should have pissed

While we were still out on the freeway

But am I not the biggest fucking dumbass in the world?

Is it not appropriate that I should die painfully humiliated

When my tiny fucking bladder blows up?”

     Then, though, they were turning into the terminal,

The Greyhound glided to a stop and, standing,

Bay struggled to bring down his bag

From the rack overhead.

     Holding it in front of him, he shuffled forward,

Waiting while a woman with a woven bag and blubbering,

Barely-wakeful boy backed down through the door,

The driver helping. Hurry!

Bay begged silently, longing to be beyond them,

There, where he could make out the letters M-E-N

Over a rectangular opening in the wall.

     He nearly knocked down a lanky kid

Crouching to put on his pack, apologized,

And pushed past. Only a few feet further,

He thought thankfully, and then he was fumbling with his fly,

The pressure-pushed stream pouring out painfully

Until, finally, the flow faltered.

     Bay sighed, letting out a deep breath.

His gaze lingered on the graffiti in front of him:

Whose love is given over well,
Shall gaze on Helen’s face in Hell,
Whilst they whose love is thin and wise
May view John Knox in Paradise.

 

Buoyed by the unexpected pleasure

Of these archaic couplets, Bay sauntered to the sink,

Turned on the tap, cupped his hands to catch cold water,

And splashed it on his face.

The man he saw in the mirror when he opened his eyes

Seemed, as always, somehow strange despite familiar features:

Three thin scars, perfectly parallel,

Below his left cheekbone; the broken nose;

The bushy eyebrows going gray, as had his hair,

Close-cropped now as always.

     He frowned and saw the furrows in his forehead deepen.

Picking up his duffel bag he walked outside and stopped,

Staring out to sea past Point St. Paul,

Out where the breakers first formed up.

He could not see where they crashed in full force

Against the great rocks beneath the bluffs,

But he could hear, barely,

The rumbling roar of this primeval impact

Under the sounds of the city.

He held his head back and inhaled

The pungent, sharp salt air he had missed so much in Walla Walla

     Gradually growing less distinct,

The drone of a distant airplane

Put Bay in a melancholic mood;

He recollected Oscar Wilde’s remark

That on the day of his release

He should be merely passing from one prison

To another, “And there are times when the whole world

Seems to me no larger than my cell

And as full of terror for me.”

     Bay searched the sky for the source of the sound;

It was now out of sight. He set off walking.

Bright sunlight bathed the boulevard; in no hurry,

He strolled along savoring the heat.

As the muscles in his legs loosened up

Little by little, he lengthened his stride.

     Passing a sunburned man who seemed shell-shocked,

In a suit so shabby it had the proverbial shine,

He heard, “Spare a little change?”

Stopping, Bay gave the man a couple quarters

Then looked up. He was by The Barge Inn.

 

Copyright 2009 Lang Gore.
The preceding is just an excerpt from the first chapter. The entire book edition of the alliterative epic novel Hunting Seasons itself may be ordered from the author through:
 
Unrelenting Press
POB 2626
Tucson, AZ 85702-2626
 

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