Musical Chronicling: Part One 

(Play it before reading.)

 

“With an urgent, careful stare, and some panic in those eyes.”

My father loved three things. He loved me. He loved me how a moth loves the flame. I was his oxygen. The second was hunting. He excelled at it. He loved to feel recoil of the gun as the bullet left the muzzle. Third, he loved listening to his favorite song- Lifeline- on his CD player, often with some alcohol by his side.

He taught me the basics of hunting when I was eight and by the time, I could shoot a deer behind me relying on just the whisper of the leaves, he was no longer there. He had perished. He left us a lot of thing, both tangible and intangible and we all loved him, but there were two things I refused to share with anyone. My knowledge of the game and his CD. I never heard the song, but I kept it. It was mine and it was his.

It was snowing outside today when I left to hunt. Usually, hunting in snow is either very easy or very difficult. It is easy when the snow is falling with the grace of poetry and it is falling with wisdom, in soothing whispers with the air and the beauty that snow is falling now, captivating every thought on its mush. It is difficult when it comes down in the form of sleet, each jagged end of the flake seeking damage and blood and hatred and each jagged end looking for vengeance and for justice and revenge. I usually avoid hunting then. Luckily, the hunt today was easy.

I know my way in the forest and I knew of the lake where all the deer gather for water, the only lake in the vicinity that, bafflingly, remains unfrozen at such extreme temperatures. From behind the cover of the snow laden trees, I spotted a lone deer, gulping water, unaware that this is the last time he would be doing something like that.

Though I hunt, I always try to give them a death that is peaceful and I prefer to keep them in dark about my arrow until it pierces their succulent flank. There is something piercing about the look they give you when they realize what is going to come. It is haunting and it gives me sleepless night. It is the last time it sees something and it is the face of a killer. Me. I do not like to think about it.

I was taking my stance and I was almost ready to shoot when suddenly, I stepped on some frozen ice and grabbed the leaves ahead of me to avoid falling. I regained my balanced using some leaves and then I froze. I had broken the most basic rule: do not draw attention to yourself or you may lose the prey. I slowly lifted my neck to look up to the deer. There it stood, its hazel-brown coat striking against the white background. Emanating innocence, it looked so blissful, its eyes studying me until it saw the bow in my hand. Terror replacing the tranquility in its eyes, it stared into my eyes for a moment, and started to run, barely five yards before my arrow penetrated its flank.

Despite the slight exhilaration that came with one prey down, I stood stunned. Its eyes  had done something to me; they had brought something to my mind that I’d not thought of, for a long time, it brought to me the lines of my father’s favorite song.

“With an urgent, careful stare, and some panic in those eyes.”

That night, I did something I’d never done before: I took out a bottle of whiskey from the liquor cabinet, poured myself a glass, and drowned my tears in the soulful melody of the Angels and Airwaves.

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