9. Chapter 9
I spent the next couple of weeks tracking the routes used by the deer. I also found more evidence of the hunters and where they preferred to lay in wait. Hunting season opens in just a couple of days. I don't know when I became so obsessed with this. Maybe it was the site of the beheaded deer. Maybe it was the stress of losing my father or suddenly being responsible for all of this. Whatever it was, I was motivated. If this land was mine now, things were going to change. I was no longer going to hide away and let these fools have free range on my own land. Sure, it was about 50 acres but I didn't care.
Therefore, I began to use different methods of scenting the deer trails that would deter them from using them anymore. There were plenty of things to buy at the stores that kept deer at bay, but they cost money, of which I did not have much. But there was one very tried and true method. I had an unlimited supply and it cost nothing. Human urine is a natural deterrent. I know it sound gross but it works. For all of those who are eeww-ing and grossing out, sorry. For those who are curious, yes… I peed in jars and saved it for the next time I went to the forest. I poured it here and there and hoped it didn't rain for the next few days. I managed to shut off quite a big portion of the forest where I knew the hunters would be hiding. The deer would pick up the scent of the urine and give that area a wide berth. As long as I kept coming back and repeating the process, I could keep the deer away from the drunken loons.
Hunting season began and my crazy idea was working. I was breaking the rules my mother laid down for me and entering the forest during the most dangerous time of the year. I knew if I went at night, I'd be safe because early morning and late afternoon were the most popular times. Now if I could only keep this up for the next two weeks.
And I did. Hunting season was nearing its end. This last run should be enough to keep the deer away until the time ended for the hunters, as long as they were playing by the rules. I decided to go to the tree house early and wait until nighttime to begin my work. I had my backpack loaded with jars of my liquid weaponry. The sun went down and I got to work. I poured a little here and a little there. I was just about done when I heard voices. Something told me it might be the same guys that killed my deer. I could tell by their slurred words that they had been drinking, probably for most of the day. I would just hide and wait for them to pass by before I went back to my tree house. Suddenly, I heard one of the men shout to the others. He had seen movement up ahead. I looked to the spot he was talking about and watched as they flashed their spotlight. My heart sunk when I saw a doe standing there. She looked confused, like a deer caught in the headlight or spotlight, pardon the pun. The men reached for their weapons. I couldn't look. There was nothing I could do at this point. Just before I closed my eyes, I noticed something moving in the bushes next to the deer. She had two half-grown babies with her. The hunters couldn't see them from their position, although something told me it would not have mattered to them. I decided I could not sit by and watch them murder a mother deer. I took a deep breath and did the only thing I could have done.
"Hey, you there." I yelled. The men were taken by surprise and whipped around to see who spoke to them. Their guns were pointing aimlessly into the dark. I glanced towards the bushes and witnessed the deer family leaping away deeper into the forest. "Put your guns down gentlemen. You will not shoot that deer."
The big burly guy who took on the leader roll spoke up. "Who's out there? Show yourself."
I stepped out from behind the tree where I was hiding. "I own this land and you all are trespassing."
The big guy laughed. "Ain't nobody can stop us from goin' where we please." He took a step towards me and eyed me from head to toe. "Whatcha doing out here anyways girl?" He then spit his chaw to the side.
"I told you, this is my land. You'd best be goin' or things might get a bit ugly." My temper was getting the best of me as I had no idea what my mouth was spitting out.
Suddenly, all the men began to laugh. As they did, they surrounded me. Things were not going well when the big guy got close enough to lay a hand on my arm. I could smell the odor of cheap liquor on his breath. The others were swaying where they stood. It was my only advantage. They were all drunk and their reflexes would be slower, at least that's what I hoped for.
"Looks like we got ourselves a feisty one here boys." he called to the others. Suddenly, he grabbed my arm. I tried to snatch it back but he had a grip like a vice. It was then that I realized what I still held in my right hand, a jar of urine.
"Unhand me you brut or you'll find out just how feisty I can be." I said through gritted teeth. He just laughed at me as his buddies followed suit. I waited only a split second more, just until his mouth was open at its widest and then I threw the jar of urine in his face. He let go of me at once and I started running. I didn't know where I was going because it was so dark. I tripped over a fallen branch of some sort. Just as I got back up, I felt a hand on my leg. They had caught up to me and they were really pissed off.
The big guy came strolling up. "You're gonna pay for that you bitch." he growled. The next thing I felt was the sting of a slap across my face. The other's just laughed. I knew the situation was taking a turn for the worst when some of the men suggested they do unmentionable things to my being. The leader was taking everything into consideration. I wasn't sure if they were serious or just trying to scare me. I was caught and began to silently pray for help. How I wished Ethan were here now.
"Unhand her this instant!" came a voice from somewhere behind the group of men. The one with the spotlight whipped around, looking for whoever it was that spoke. I was curious myself. "Let her go and no harm will come to you or your men. She meant no harm. She was merely protecting what is rightfully hers."
The big guy squint his eyes as he tried to see who was speaking. "Where are you ya son of a bitch?" he yelled into the dark. The sound of laughter traveled through the trees above. The men turned to see who it was but they weren't fast enough. After a short while of playing this game, the big guy spoke up. "Let's put an end to this boys." He grabbed his shotgun from the guy next to him and aimed it at the trees.
What happened next is such a blur. It seemed like everything happened at once. The big guy let a shot off into the trees. The other men began to take aim also. Suddenly, they started falling to the ground like flies. Someone was attacking them, forcing them to the ground. They were fighting an unseen foe. I remained on the ground, flabbergasted by the scene playing out in front of me. It was almost like watching a comedy as their legs were knocked out from under them. All but two were knocked out and lying on the ground. It became silent for a moment until there was a slight rustling of leaves in one of the trees. It all came to an end when the big guy finally caught a glimpse of who was making him look like a fool. "There you are." he said and fired.
I heard a blood-curdling yell and a thump. At the same time, I saw my chance to react and grabbed the shotgun out of the hand of the big guy's sidekick. Quick as lightening, I jumped up and put the barrel of the gun to the big guy's forehead. He instantly dropped his gun. I kicked it away from his reach. Slowly, I cocked the gun as I stared down the barrel. "I suggest you leave now before you become worm food." I said in a low tone. I still don't know how I remained so calm but I did. The rest of the men got up from the forest floor to find me with all the power. They left their weapons and took off running through the forest. "Stay off my land." I yelled. The big guy turned to look at me one last time.
"This ain't over girl." he growled and followed his buddies. I figured it wouldn't be the last I'd see of him.
I stayed in my position, gun raised and ready to shoot until they were out of sight. I finally released the breath I was holding and came back into focus. That was when I remembered the gunshot and the loud thump. I looked around and found the spotlight. I picked it up and began looking for my rescuer. Suddenly a flash of silver caught my eye. I aimed the spotlight in that direction and there I found a man lying on the forest floor. There was blood on his clothes. He had been shot. I feared he was dead. Slowly, I approached the body surprised to find that he was still breathing. He had been shot in the side. There was no telling what the damage was. I was so focused on the injury that I hadn't taken the time to look at his face. He was wearing a cloak of some sort and a hood was covering his features. Who was this man? I pushed the hood back slightly and shined the light on him. I got my answer soon enough. It was him. It was my Hippie friend, Mr. Magic Man.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.