Below is James’ narrative from the prelim exam.
She was gone longer than she was supposed to and she walked back as fast as she could.
“What took you so long?” I questioned out of aggravation.
“I’m sorry dad, I guess I drank too much lemonade!” she jokingly exclaimed.
“Stop it Olivia, I need you to focus and be quiet. I’m teaching you how to hunt and I want you to take this seriously.” I clarified as she nodded submissively.
We trekked deeper into the white forest as the morning sun rose and chased away the clouds. The winter snow was unforgiving as the biting cold numbed our bodies. We struggled to find a good spot to plant the bait as the ghost-white snow clung on to our boots like icy-fingers, holding us back. Olivia stayed close while I led the way. The air was filled with an unnerving silence as we halted and scanned a small clearing in the middle of the forest.
“Olivia, hide behind those bushes while I place the bait. Hold the hunting rifle and remember, keep silent.” I instructed as she made haste.
The bait was set and all we had to do, was wait. The garish sunlight shone upon the bait before us as we waited for some unfortunate animal to arrive. Mist started to float above the ground, ethereal and ghost-like. We sighed in irritation and worry. A frosty zephyr moaned through the lifeless snow-covered trees as the fluttering of feathered wings broke the silence.
We ducked behind the bushes and laid there in anticipation.
“Olivia, remember what I said, control your breath and hold it before pulling the trigger, you can do this.“ I whispered with assurance.
The sound of snow being displaced by feet were audible. The sound got closer and closer, louder and louder. There it stood with its four-monstrous legs, jet-black coat of fur and blade-like teeth. It devoured the bait in an instant and the beast gave off a thundering roar that shook snow off the branches of dead trees. Olivia whispered to herself repeatedly
“Aim small, miss small.”
I leaned closer to her ear and instructed, “Now.”
An eerie hush fell upon the hallowed forest. I could hear her heart pounding furiously as she panted with exhilaration. We heard the mournful cry of the black beast behind the shrubs across from us. We hurriedly followed the trail of crimson blood that tarnished the white snowy ground. We then found the beast laying on the snow-covered ground as it breathed heavily. We closed in on it and told Olivia to finish the job.
In a brief moment, the bear-like beast rose and regained footing. It was absolutely livid as it swiftly charged at my daughter. Olivia was petrified, frozen by fear as vines of terror rooted her into the ground. She cringed in intense horror as it approached her. The grotesque beast knocked her down and came for me. It held me down and attempted to maul me to death. I offered him my left arm as I shouted
“Olivia! Shoot him! NOW! SHOOT! HELP ME!”.
She did not move. Her face was etched with fear and I felt a frosty chill in the pit of my stomach. I had to do something. I went for my hunting knife that was strapped to my pants. I drove the blade through its throat, piercing its tough hide. It dropped dead.
Its body lay lifelessly on the cold ground. Olivia was still frozen. I looked at her with deep regret and disappointment.
When will she be ready?