Hemingway Project, part 1

The Florida Keys is sponsoring a Flash Fiction writing contest. The winner gets to spend 10 days writing in Ernest Hemingway’s study in Key West. I want to win. However, each writer can only submit one story, and it must be less than 500 words.

Not easy…

Here’s my first attempt.

the walk


“The Walk,” by Charlie Levine

The trail of blood started in the dirt, extended across the asphalt highway and slung back into the dirt. It was not a solid brushstroke, more like dribbles strung together. A crimson connect-the-dots. The puzzle extended to the toes of my worn leather boots. I hoped the caked dust may keep the blood from staining them, not that it would matter. I’m not afraid to wear blood on my sleeves, let alone my boots.

I followed the trail back into the woods, grateful no cars had seen me on the road. How awkward that’d have been, working so hard to go unnoticed can surely get you killed.

I was at home in the woods, among the leave-covered pathways and skimped down birch trees. I’d dressed for the November weather. A good thing as this chase may last till morning. The sun had already started its descent.

The bloodline stopped. I was close. Or I’d lost it.

I slid the ammunition into place with the bolt-action and brought the butt to my shoulder. Stepping quietly. I spun in a slow circle to see all sides.

No need to shoot.

She was dead, lying there with her tongue extended and slumped to the side. Three hours she ran. Three hours I followed.

I placed my hand on her still-warm neck and apologized for my wayward shot. It was not a clean kill, but the meat will fill us for months and the hides will be used for warmth.

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