Soft, filtered light seeped through the canopy of mixed oak and pine, brightening as if the sun were awakening as it inched over the horizon. Fog drifted low between the ridges of ragged remnants of a worn mountain range. Fallen leaves, large and crisp from the dry air of recent days, snapped and cracked under the hooves of deer foraging for breakfast. Except for the explosive sound of the shot that shattered the silence of the morning, that morning would have been idyllic. But the violent detonation of hard noise and its metallic echoes ruptured the calm and scarred the peace of the morning.
Calypso Mason had moved to Arkansas to experience the ‘natural state.’ Instead, dimwits who enjoyed killing animals and celebrating their demise during the most calming parts of the day, surrounded him.
“Damn hunters; if I weren’t such a pacifist, I’d rip the hearts from their chests and eat them raw,” Calypso growled.
His wife, Lydia Truman, watched his face contort into an angry scowl as his mood grow more sour by the second.
“Yeah, but you’d happily accept a gift of venison backstrap from them, wouldn’t you? You’re such a hypocrite.”
Calypso turned toward her, his motion slow and steady like a cougar preparing to pounce, his head cocked to the right. “I’ve earned the right to be a hypocrite. That’s what makes me so damn appealing, isn’t it?”
Lydia’s attempt to hide a smile failed. Calypso’s scowl melted into peels of laughter as Lydia tossed a freshly-peeled tangerine in his direction.