The sun was going down. It was the dark just before night. The cold was biting and the air stung my skin. I saw movement along the tree line. Was it a shadow? The dusk playing tricks on my eyes? No. I could see the silhouette clearly now. Broad body and full rack. It slowly made its way onto the green. I shifted uneasily and it looked up sharply, suspicious of the situation now.
I squeezed the trigger. It fell. That’s the way it goes with those types of things. Cause and effect. There was the rush but then there was a fall. It was a strange sensation. Taking a life, no matter how small a life, is a life all the same. With these hands. It was my doing, There really is no other way to state it.
My father smeared the blood on my face. That was a ritual for a first kill. I wasn’t old enough to shave. I was proud and sad all at the same time. Its eyes were open. I remember that too. They still haven’t closed.
The smell is what takes me back, a mixture of cookies and gardening soil and perfume that should have long since been retired. She had rough hands; somehow they were still gentle. Her joints ached but she still chased me around the yard, laughter filling the air, joy in my heart. At night she told me stories of dragons and knights and a world I wanted to live in. She loved me the way that only grandmothers can. She didn’t just think I could be anything, she believed it with everything inside of her.
That’s the job of a grandmother. To believe in you long before life has tried to convince you otherwise. To plant that tiny seed early on and give you deep roots to hold firm when the world tries to knock you down. Because that’s the job of the world. We can only hope that our grandmothers do their job just a little better.
I can’t sleep.
My mind races and races and races.
I drag myself into bed but the moment my head hits the pillow I’m awash in thought. They are completely random and still all connected. One leads to another and then another all night.
Ideas are just flowing through me.
In the morning they’ll be gone.