A Doe

Short Story

*Author’s Note: Real life has been rather busy for me over the past couple of months, so for a while, I will upload some of my older work that I still enjoy. Here is a piece of flash fiction I wrote for a contest a couple of years ago that uses an interesting perspective. 

She listens, ears taut and too heavy-looking for her delicate head. A long call pierces the stillness, high and resonating. Her left ear flicks, but the hoot is unworthy of her concern. An owl is nothing to her: her of the four powerful limbs and supple body. There are other things which might threaten her, but neither sound nor olfaction has revealed them and there is no risk of hidden danger tonight.

Almost perfect silence surrounds her, the air cold enough that sound carries a horizon away. The skies are clear, washed with silver glittering points. The ground upon which she steps with tiny hooves is almost glowing; the white of snow reflecting a bath of starlight onto the trees and the one lithe figure in the middle of the field. Urgency floods her otherwise graceful movements.

She has been out, searching. Though creeping predators are currently no threat, there is the problem of food. Many of the elderly and youthful ones cannot last the winter. She is neither, and it does not cross her mind that once she was weak and she will be again. She found little sprouts of grass, hiding down in the deep cold drifts, and now she can return.

As she traverses the forest at the end of the field, an alarming scent suddenly wafts past her nostrils. She stills and then bolts, the smell of blood mixed with the dead odor of her own kind setting her into a panic. This one has ended in blood. Many of them do. She can’t imagine herself ending the same; she simply bounds away.

At last, she returns to the grotto that holds her future. The smells and sights are all the same, dim and peaceful with the highlights of icy bark. A scent warmer and more welcoming than any other greets her, and she bends toward a hollow of roots where the tiny creature waits for his mother. Her fawn was born early, at the end of the season, but he is healthy and strong and his mother more so. All is safe this night, and he nurses.

 

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