Nature’s Irony (Flash Fiction)

For a change of pace, here is a flash fiction piece I wrote, but felt was too dark to do anything with.  It was collection electronic “dust”,  so I thought it fits with Earth Day.  A *WARNING* though – there is blood and deer hunting in the story.


I wiggled my fingers, they had been numb for hours already. I wiggled my toes. Six hours of sitting in one spot, shivering, and waiting for a non-existent deer. Six hours wasted except for the intricate pattern of diamonds, slashes, and dots I carved in the branch near me to pass the time.

That’s enough.  I unloaded my gun and began to climb down the tree when my foot slipped into a loop made by a vine.  Once I struggled free another vine wrapped around my other ankle.

What was happening?  I withdrew my hunting knife and cut myself free, then quickly descended the tree.

Now that I finished hunting, I noticed the fresh deer tracks besides mine in the snow. How did I miss this deer?  With my rifle slung over my shoulder, I pushed a few branches out of my way to follow the tracks further into the woods.  The tracks turned down a runway and when I looked ahead, I saw him.

He was largest deer I had ever seen outside a hunting magazine. He had at least eighteen points on his massive antlers. I cautiously pulled my rifle from my shoulder, put the deer in the crosshairs, and pulled the trigger.


Damn, I had unloaded the rifle. I slowly pulled the cartridges from my pocket and dropped one into the chamber. I only took my eyes off the deer for a second, but when I looked up, he vanished.

I pushed my way forward a little more, following the runway. At least I was warmer now that I was walking.

Around and through the woods I crisscrossed until dusk settled. I turned back, knowing it was too late to hunt anyway. I followed my footprints in the snow and soon they ran into a thick area of the forest. I pushed through the thorny brush that I didn’t remember. I kept following my footprints and soon the forest was so thick that my trails wasn’t visible.

I pulled out my phone to see the GPS, but I didn’t have reception. I unhooked the small compass pinned to my orange vest, and found north. My car should be that way. I wound myself through the woods in that general direction.

The branches and vines seemed to grab me. I pushed forward, breaking through them. They became so thick I couldn’t move. They held me tight. I felt pain in my arm. The thorns were pressing into me – cutting me. I struggled my hand loose to find my knife, but it was gone. The pain overwhelmed me and the world went black.

I woke in bloody snow. The trees and the vines had receded and now were nothing out of the ordinary. My arm throbbed and I looked down to see a familiar pattern of bloody diamonds, slashes, and dots.

The End

Disclaimer:  I don’t personally hunt, but have no issues with it done correctly (My husband and father enjoy hunting.). Many times, hunters are the best conservationists.




  1. Before reading your piece, I want to take a moment to express what a shame it is that you felt compelled to provide a disclaimer that the piece contains blood and hunting. When we begin to censor ourselves, freedom of expression begins to die.

    It’s not my intention to criticize, Joynell, and I sincerely hope you don’t take my reaction that way. I’ve just seen the damage that ‘political correctness’ has wrought since it was popularized in the 1990s, and how it has stifled news, opinion, and creative thought ever since.

    Creative folk belong on the front lines in revolt against the oppressive and suppressive effects of this. Otherwise, the day will come when that ‘important’ story of critical allegory that one of us pens will be deemed ‘subversive’ and will be kept out of the marketplace “for the good of society”.

    I hope none of us ever feels an impulse to apologize for anything we’ve written on account of its subject matter or theme, only that we might have written it better.

    Be blessed, Joynell, and strong of heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No criticism taken. I’ve been burned the other way on my writing, so I thought I’d warn people not to read if it would bother them. It is a funny world we live in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the encouragement to be strong!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. [Having read it now]

    Oooh! I love it!

    I have one nit-picky edot to suggest: toward the beginning when the narrator is leaving the tree, you can just write “descended the tree”.

    But I loved the build-up of suspense with the unexplained tracks and the clinging vines! And the ending! Nicely done! *shudder*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome feedback! Thanks for reading and the suggestion. I took out the word ‘down’ and agree it wasn’t needed. I have a tendency towards redundancy.

      Have a great rest of your Earth Day.


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