Though gray and overcast, it was a warm morning, the temperatures above freezing; Toby would be anxious but comfortable, waiting for him over the ridge at the edge of the hardwoods, hoping for deer to cross his path.
Milton paused, leaning on a tree as he caught his breath, smiling at how he had caught his grandson’s buck fever, the boy’s excitement for his first opening day of deer season palpable and contagious.
It had been a fine morning, with his daughter, also infected by her son’s joy, making them a big breakfast before sending them off to the woods, Toby proudly carrying a double barrel 16 gauge, the gun that she had been holding for the boy since his father died seven years ago.
Shaking his head, Milton started off again, refocused so as not to think of his daughter’s pain, of his own pain at having had to be both father and mother to her when his wife died and now in the role of both grandfather and father to Toby since the death of his son-in-law, a fine man who he sorely missed.
Milton shifted his deer rifle to both hands, listening intently as he squinted into the stand of balsam and hemlock where he detected movement, and there, a patch of brown in the brush; quick aim, squeeze the trigger, BANG!; dropped with one shot.
As he approached the downed deer, the first thing Milton noticed was metal, twin barrels lying on the mossy ground; the second thing an orange hat sticking out of a jacket pocket, and then he went blank but cried over and over, “Wake up, Toby, wake up!” even while he kept wondering if this were a horrible nightmare that he might please, please, wake up from.
It’s another six sentence story, prompted by Denise at GirlieOnTheEdge. This week’s prompt word is “wake”.