CAL’S CALLING

The heavy snow deadened the sound of the forest. Despite the swirling snowfall, there was a stillness.

Cal lay on the soft ground, his eye press to the sight, his ungloved finger around the trigger, the rifle caressed against his shoulder.

His father lay next to him. A hundred yards away the stag raised his head, the imperious antlers like a crown. He looked straight at Cal.

‘That’s it,’ Cal’s father whispered into his ear, ‘give him his moment. Give him respect. Look into those eyes. It’s important you see the spirit and understand him.’

Time stood still. Cal’s pulse quickened, his breath grew shallow, casting puffs of frozen moisture across his sight.

‘Relax,’ his father advised, ‘this is your calling. Take a deep breath. Feel your way towards him. Then gently squeeze the trigger.’

Cal blinked, despite the cold he could feel sweat running down from the the brim of his woollen hat. This was the moment they had come for. His first kill. His chance to show his father he was now a grown man. A chance to earn his respect.

The stag was motionless, staring at Cal. Cal felt their closeness. It was just him and the animal, somehow connected.

Bang. Cal fired the rifle, tilting it upwards into the trees above their heads. The stag bolted, vanishing in an instant behind the white veil.

‘What was that?’ his father exclaimed.

‘I saw his spirit, Dad,’ Cal answered, feeling braver than he had ever done when talking to his father. ‘I didn’t want to kill it.’


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Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt: Calling  – curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.


The first review for my new novel has appeared on Amazon:

 – ‘A great read…Well paced and full of drama. A great sequel.’

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47 responses to “CAL’S CALLING”

  1. Wonderful Ian , I wish more men were like that.💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – I’m convinced the majority are, they just aren’t as vocal as the others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I tend to agree with you 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on willowdot21 and commented:
    I liked Ian’s story it has the perfect ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Cal blinked, despite the cold he could feel sweat running down from the the brim of his woollen hat.”
    So few words to perfectly describe a moment which is so vividly visual.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Roshwin

      Liked by 1 person

  4. doing the right thing is never easy, but once you do it, you feel contentment inside, regardless of how others might feel, kind post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for commenting

      Like

  5. It fires the picture perfectly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I loved this, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all those self-styled guardians of our environment (with guns) had the same sensitivity?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps the next generation will think differently. Here’s hoping.

      Like

      1. We seem to be counting on that.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent story! If only more people saw the spirits!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Nice job, both you and Cal.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally approve of the ending…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I could feel these words, wonderful. Of course I like the ending also. I went “hunting” with my dad but we never shot anything, just watched.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like my sort of hunting too. Thank you

      Like

  12. Now Cal really has become a man. Not by killing the deer but by stepping out of his father’s shadow, doing what he knows to be right for him rather than what’s right for others. Cracking moment captured, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lynn

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love how he saw the spirit of the animal and connected to it. So glad he chose the alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Nicely written, a difficult choice for a young lad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Chris

      Like

  15. There is more courage in a refusal than in a compliance that goes against your own spirit. Perfect, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Whew! That was excellent! A real man takes a stand.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wonderful as usual Iain! You are awesome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, too kind 🙂

      Like

      1. The responses are pretty diverse.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They certainly are.

          Like

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