Short Story

An End to a Moose – Esteban Mayorga

“Damn Mooses. Wait. Meese? No, but it’s definitely not Mooses. Moosen? Oh, what the hell am I doing? This is not a time for grammatically correct Meese.”

 

My increasingly nonsensical internal dialogue comes to an end as the moose thing glares at me. “Never again”, the words echo through my head as I assess my current situation. My torso, my arms, my thighs, they all ache with the gathered efforts required to climb my way up this damnable mountain, I can’t feel what raw skin hasn’t been scrapped off hands, my lungs burn, and my body is on it’s last legs. The thing continues it’s glare, it’s gaze that of a predator, hungry for a quick meal. I only have one way out.

 

My hand slowly reaches for my weapon, a desperate attempt not to startle the moose thing. It doesn’t work.

 

Caution is thrown to the wind as the moose charges, fangs bared, all seven nostrils flaring. I dive out of the way, and the moose plows straight through one of the walls of the already rickety wooden shack we’re fighting in, bringing new meaning to “architecturally questionable”.  I unload 3 shots from my oversized revolver which all miss their mark due to the massive inaccuracy of a weapon this size.

 

The sound angers the moose further, adding to my already growing list of problems as it turns and charges again. My sword leaves its sheath and embeds itself in the Moose thing’s antlers with a dull thunk, just in time for the thing to toss its head, snapping the sword in two at the hilt. The Moose thing rears back before charging with renewed vigor and an new cutting edge embedded between its aggressively pointy antlers. I am going to ruin whoever designed my gear for this assignment.

 

Trapped between a Moose and a not so hard wooden shack wall, I opt to go through the wall rather than the moose. I drive what’s left of my sword through a brittle plank, then tug and yank with my entire upper body to try and get the damnable thing back out. I look over my shoulder, my vision shaky and blurred, my arms and shoulders burning from my continuous attempts to retrieve the shitty sword, and I see that my time’s up. The moose thing is practically on top of me, it’s 7 eyes now up to 14 as far as my vision is concerned.

 

I can either try and go through the wall with just my own weight, or I could use the moose’s force to help me through, If I can manage that without being impaled or otherwise maimed.

 

I hop and curl into a ball, twisting in the air so my feet meet the moose’s head. Time slows down as I kick with every ounce of energy left in my body, my heels shuddering with the impact, the force traveling through my body, jostling my bones violently, vibrating my jaw, the sounds reverberating throughout my head.

 

I feel something break as I get launched straight through the annoyingly sturdy shack wall, time still crawling past at a fraction of what it should be. A glorious sunrise hits me like a brick thrown at 60 miles an hour, my eyes unaccustomed to the dancing rays and deep purple-orange sky after such a long night. My body hits the ground, rolls, and is thrown into the air again, snow cascading in waves around me, shards and planks of what used to be the shed cutting through the waves like unassuming sharks thrown into the sky by some sadistic force. I bounce twice more, each time bringing less snow up with me and allowing for more light to refract brilliantly off the partially melted waves, if only for a fraction of a moment.

 

After a painfully long time, the world returns to normal. Well. As normal as a world with mutated predatory moosen is want to be. I start feeling the impact from the wall, from the ground, from the moose. It hurts. Bad. My ankle is broken, no doubt, I have at least three cracked ribs, a punctured lung if i’m unlucky, and a spine that’s seen better days, like that time Jill pushed me off the roof of her house and I landed on my neck. Good memories.

 

I slowly, very slowly, pick myself up off the ground, applying as little pressure as possible to my left arm and right ankle. It’s then that I see the blood.

 

A trail of it, little drizzles upon the snow, punctuated by craters and pools of the stuff, leading all the way to my right foot.

 

A river of blood is running from where I stand, the snow steaming and diluting the blood with clear, clean water. The coppery stench of it reaches my nostrils, nauseating and warm.

 

I double over, my body feeling the sharp, stinging pain of a wound that went straight through military grade combat boots, feeling the life drain out of it and into the snow. I don’t know how long I lie there, shaking, shuddering, before I realize what i’m doing. I realize i’m giving up. I’m letting my life flow away into the snow, to be used by some woodland creature. Maybe a moose.

 

Well screw meese.

 

I look around me, and assess my situation again. I’m lying on the cold, hard, snow covered rock of a mountaintop, ribs broken, ankle shattered, god knows what the hell happened to my arm, and i’m bleeding out while wondering why I haven’t been maimed to death by a demon moose.

 

I smile when I see why.

 

My right foot, while having been shattered and flayed a fair bit, broke the shitty sword a second time, and drove the fragments straight into the moose’s stupid shitty brain.

 

I cannot emphasise the passion with which I detest the very existence of meese at this moment. No, really. Fuck meese.

 

With a sense of relief, I reach into my coat, and pull out the school mandated emergency beacon, a bulky rectangular device, just big enough to be uncomfortable in a pocket. I will kiss whichever brilliant moron made me take it with me when I get back.

 

My arm burning with the effort, I weekly flip open the reinforced steel-plate cover on the front of the device, and with all the force I can draw from my aching body, I slam my fist into the big red button underneath. It’s the most satisfying thing i’ve ever felt.

 

I tear off my boot and gingerly wrap my mangled foot in a tourniquet, before crawling over to the moose and propping my head up on its warm belly.

 

I start drifting into a comfortable sleep, my body slowly waning itself off adrenaline as a last thought passes through my head before I pass into peaceful blackness.

 

Fuck Meese.

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