Life is all about your view
by Jerry Wooden
Thomas admired the strength of conviction the ant seemed to possess as the tiny creature busily made its way across the sun warmed granite boulder they both occupied.
The sun drew the aches and pains from his joints and warmed the leather of his boots to the point that he could smell them. Thomas Pratt allowed the relief to take his mind to happier times, letting a flash of doubt creep into the wall of convection he so masterful built over the last five years of running.
"What if?" He pondered.
Letting his mind wander his eyes drifted back to the ant , still scurrying along the rock face.
"Must be nice to only have one thing to think about. One goal at a time my little friend. Or is your world just as difficult as mine, only in a different perspective?" Thomas spoke out loud to his multi-legged new friend.
"Funny how perspective changes as life's fragile edge is reached. In the large scheme of things I'm no different from you." He nodded toward the aunt. "Survival is the most basic instinct. Man, beast or insect, it's all the same. We will do anything necessary to draw just one more breath when it would be so much easier to just let go and let fate play the hand." He rambled on.
Sweat started to bead under the brim of Thomas' hat. The cool spring breeze puffed around the man and insect's small dominion, drying the sweat and forcing the ant to stop and hold tight for one second, glued to the rock against the force of the breeze.
Time slowed to a crawl. Thomas laid flat on his back without a care in the world, arms folded behind his head with his wide brimmed hat shielding his eyes from the sun. Bellowing white clouds floated pass on a field of crystal clear blue sky. Smells of nature filled the air.
"So easy. It would be...so easy to stop right here," he thought.
The crack of the rifle shot was barely audible from over 800 feet away. Instantly Thomas knew what the sound was in the fraction of a second before his life ended as the 50 caliber round entered his right eye and exploded his head like a watermelon dropped from a two story building.
The small black ant continued his arduous task, oblivious to the termination of his companion beside him.
800 feet away a man dressed completely in white, glanced through his scope to confirm his 130th kill. Pushing himself up from his prone position in the snow bank, he briefly surveyed the snow around him to recover his brass from his, cold barrel, shot that had melted itself about a foot deep into the snow.
After securing his weapon and comforting his horse, Dan Bristol removed a white bodied Canon camera from his saddlebag and secured an equally white 800mm lens to document the remains of his contract.
“Sure beats spending 6 more hours hiking across that gorge, up the next mountain and back, just to confirm the kill. These pictures will leave no doubt.” He thought to himself. "Thank God, half of his face is still recognizable." He murmured out loud to no one in particular, without a single feeling of remorse.
He packed up and rode back along the path that brought him to his recompense with Mr. Pratt. Brushing a small black ant from the mane of his mount, the thought crossed his mind that he might make it home for dinner.