Survival of the Sneakiest

Here’s something a little bit longer – a story of mine which was one of five winners of the 1000 Words flash competition in December 2014. Since 1000words.org has disappeared and my story with it, I’ll put it up here. In a way, the success I had with it encouraged me to start the blog. so it is relevant.

194 words about surviving in harsh circumstances
photo by Anders Jildén

‘The ground is frozen. I’ll burn more calories than I’ll bring home,’ he protests when I ask him to go digging for roots.

‘It’s that or starvation. Go right to the edge where the sun’s been warming the ground the longest. Should be softer there.’

I hand him the hammer and one of the nine-inch nails. They’re coming in useful, the nails. I insisted we take them when he said they’d be nothing but ballast.

He puts the tools into his pouch and slouches off. I stoke the fire and put another log on. I retrieve the blowgun. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d better take care of the bait first. I wait for him to get settled by the edge. When I hear the pings of hammer hitting nail, I go after him. I pick up a rock. I never take my eyes off him, stay behind his back.

‘Sorry. I can’t keep feeding us both.’

He doesn’t have time to turn around before I bring down the rock. He slumps, tumbles over the edge and lands on the plateau beneath.

I fetch blowgun and nails and wait for the birds.

Advertisements