Awake

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This is my short story reflection about "Media-fast week." I wrote this as a personal experience. Some feel that hunting is cruel because hunters just go out to kill innocent animals. With this story I show the positives of hunting and show what happens when you turn off the television and let you imagination carry you. Hope you enjoy.

Awake
by Andy Lonigro

It was a normal Saturday, just like any other. For Nick, it was heaven. The sun was shining; the autumn breeze was carrying leaves softly to the ground and he was inside. Nick was not much of an “active kid.” In most of his spare time he found himself watching television, especially Saturday morning cartoons. He slept until about ten and slowly woke up, walked downstairs, grabbed a glass of orange juice and curled up into a ball on the loveseat.
He enjoyed his day, though unproductive, he didn’t care. Lying around the house, wasting time, talking to friends online, and watching television was fine with him. As the week went on, Jr. High seemed to be especially draining. Nick found himself sitting in his desk, lifeless, daydreaming about how he wished he was spread out on the floor of the sunlit room, gazing into the television and engrossed in a show.
At dinner Friday night, Nick was sitting at the table forcing down his vegetables. His mother and father were there as well, but quiet. The silence was broken with his father’s voice.
“What are your plans for tomorrow, Nick?”
“Umm…” he murmured as he painfully swallowed another bite. “Ya know, just hang around and do some stuff…”
His parent’s eyes met and quickly went back to their meals.
“How about going hunting with me in the morning?” His father said, with authority in his voice.
Nick knew he really didn’t have a choice. When dad asks a question with that tone, he wasn’t really asking anything, he was telling.
“Uh, Dad… I’m not really into the whole killing animals thing, ya know.”
Realizing his mistake of outspoken violation and catching a glimpse of his father’s penetrating eyes, he quickly recovered.
“B-but it sounds like fun. What time do I gotta get up?”
“Three.” said his father without looking up from his green beans.
That night Nick was nervous, he didn’t know what to expect, and quite honestly, he didn’t want to kill an animal. He started thinking of ways to get out. “Sick?” he thought. “Nah, that wouldn’t work.” When he came to the conclusion that he was trapped, his eyes slowly shut and he drifted off.
Awoken by the forceful shaking by his father, Nick got up and got dressed in silence. By his reluctance to move quickly and his facial expression, Nick’s father knew how much he didn’t want to go but he also knew that he had to do it. He shrugged off the slight feeling of pity for his son and they went to the car.
The silence of the ride was mainly a result of Nick’s dozing off. They reached the destination, stepped out of the car and were succumb by total darkness. Nick now realized that it was much colder than he originally noticed.
“Let’s go,” said Nick’s father.
They walked through tall wet grass, which soaked Nick’s camouflage boots. His father led through the open woods, occasionally stopping to get past a patch of briars. Nick followed closely, frightened of getting too far behind. He could only see the back of his father who seemed to be going faster every minute. He made sure to stay far enough back so as to not get hit by a flying branch of a low hanging tree that his father had walked through ahead.
With every cold, wet step, Nick thought more and more of how he could be in his nice, warm, and cozy bed. He thought of the cartoons that he would miss. His thoughts were interrupted however by him crashing into the back of his father who had halted and was looking intently up into the dark at a tree.
“Here we go,” he said.
They both put one foot onto the pre-placed tree-steps and began their assent. With every lift, Nick’s faith grew weaker and weaker. He was frightened of the dark, the height of their tree stand and the thought of killing an innocent creature.
When they reached the top, Nick’s father pulled up a rope with their lunches and the gun tied to the end.
“What now?” shivered Nick.
“We wait,” said his dad who had shifted comfortably into one of the two wooden seats; his face like steel, never budging from an unsatisfied expression.
The time seemed to pass so slowly and Nick felt like they had been sitting in the darkness for years. Finally, Nick could see the tiny crack out in the blackness as the sun began to rise on the horizon.
The sun had cleared the mountain in the distance and Nick could see everything. “Oh how everything looks so different in the sunlight,” he thought. “And I didn’t realize how high we were.”
Nick was left with nothing but his thoughts to pass the time until suddenly his father, who had been a statue to this point, forcefully tapped him and stared out into the leafless trees.
“What is it?” Nick asked.
“Shhh!” exclaimed his father.
Nick’s eyes slowly shifted from his father to the open, leaf-covered floor of the woods. His heart jumped up into his throat as he saw a beautiful white-tail deer standing about fifty yards away. The deer was magnificent. Her neck stretched elegantly down while she grazed on fallen acorns; her body like golden waves of the ocean. The thought of killing this beautiful creature was haunting Nick’s mind.
His father leaned down slowly into Nick’s ear and whispered, “Just be still.”
Nick waited and was amazed at the patience of the deer which had been standing still for what seemed like hours. With one eye on the deer, Nick was intently focused on his father’s hand which was holding the gun on his lap. As the deer moved out into the open, Nick realized that his father wasn’t lifting the gun, instead he had a look of tranquility and pride on his face as he stared, astonished, at the beauty of nature.
The deer finished her meal and walked away, undisturbed. Nick was puzzled by his father’s actions and noticed the crack of a smile in his face as he glared up into his eyes.
“Why didn’t we shoot it dad?” asked Nick, with his knees still shaking from the excitement of seeing a wild animal.
His father’s eyes seemed to lift him to the clouds. He had a look of fulfillment in on his face as he knelt down onto the old wooden planks and whispered in a soft voice.
“We didn’t come hunting to kill an animal for fun, Nick. We came to appreciate nature. We are so lucky to live in a world with so many beautiful things. But we have to open our eyes to see them.”
As Nick stood with his hand in his father’s, a feeling came over him that he had never felt before. He didn’t laugh, he didn’t cry, he simply knew. He knew that he could have been home wasting his time away. Though the words didn’t come out, he thanked his dad for pushing him to see that life is always happening, but sometimes we just need to slow down to see it.
It was a normal Saturday morning, just like any other. But for the first time, Nick opened his eyes.

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2 Comments

Aw good story Andy! I could picture everything you wrote about and the exact expressions coming from Nick and his dad! There were some funny parts too! I loved it! The moral of the story is so TRUE! I can't wait for summer!

Andy, I really liked the story. I don't really go hunting (I also don't like the thought of killing animals although deer are overpopulating...at least where i live :D ) so to hear new terms was exciting. I agree with Casey, I could also visualize what you were saying. Good short story! YOu brought out the point that really matters: there is so much more to life than 30 minutes of TV shows (which technically isn't 30 minutes since there are commercials). We have to live nature, life, friends, and so much more. TV is just a SMALL part of that.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on May 4, 2006 4:01 PM.

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