Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Night Sounds

Logan woke with a start. Something had stirred in the darkness beyond the campfire. Logan lay motionless in his bedroll, listening. A chorus of tree frogs were singing down by the creek, their high pitched hum moving up and down as if were coming from a single thing. Suddenly, the tree frogs fell silent. Logan's muscles tensed as he felt for the rifle he kept next to his bedroll. He eased it into his arms; the cold steel felt comforting in his hands. Slowly, he eased to his side and in a single motion rolled away from the firelight and into the bushes. He stared into the darkness. His eyes could make out the top of Clinch Mountain against the dark sky, the moonlight illuminating the treeline. The frogs remained silent. They were waiting too, waiting for whatever was about to happen to get over with so they could resume their song. A faint snap penetrated the darkness; a twig, Logan thought, snapping under the weight of a footstep. That was the only sound. The night wind whispered through the pine trees above Logan's head. Everything else was silent and still. Too still, Logan thought. He peered into the scrub brush for some sign of movement. Nothing. Somewhere in the distance a hawk screeched; so far away that it could barely be heard above the whisper of the wind. Then another sound, a sound Logan knew very well...the click of a rifle hammer.

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