Monday, 21 December 2009

Far Flung Adventures 3

Half way through a vicious Klondike winter, Muscat discovered his companion in the tiny cabin was a full-grown grizzly bear. The fug of the stove, the pervading reek of unwashed clothing and a working still of virulent moonshine had served to delay this discovery by six weeks.

Muscat lay on his fetid bunk, paralysed with fear. Six feet across the splintered floor, the hulking brute sprawled across the bunk it had occupied since the avalanche had engulfed them.

Muscat tried to shake his head clear of grain alcohol and assess the situation. If he hadn’t noticed his companion was a bear, the bear had seemingly made the same mistake about him, or remained indifferent to the presence of man. But, bears were never indifferent where food was concerned. Soon it would feel the ravenings of hunger, and this unnatural truce would end in bloody attack.

As his vision cleared, Muscat made out the stock of his shotgun on the floor beside him, protruding from the dangling filthy blanket. He edged a hand down slowly toward his salvation. The bear grunted and shifted its huge bulk; but after one juddering snort, it returned to its deep snoring.

Muscat’s fingers closed on the stock and he drew the gun out from beneath the bunk, wincing as its steel scraped on the rough timber floor. He brought close it up to him, to see the two cartridges nestling in place. Then leaning across as far as he dared, he placed the barrels against the sleeping ursine mass and pulled both triggers.

The noise was deafening and the cabin filled with smoke and the reek of cordite. Snow on the roof, two meters deep, cracked. The bear sat up with a blood-curdling shriek and, in its death throes, transformed itself into Muscat’s brother Raymond.


No One In Particular said...

LOVE a story with a twist!

Patricia said...

Alas, far too possible...

Nicholas said...

Ho ho ho