Aphelion Issue 253, Volume 24
August 2020
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Good Hunting

by ayaz daryl nielsen

As I stride this busy cobblestone
road on my way to a surprise bash deep
in Darkening Forest, ravens perched upon
lightning-decimated remnants of the old
hanging tree chortle “good evening, good
evening,” a huli jing in human form with
long red hair, a thick luscious tail and a
sensuous smile undulates across the road-
way in front of me licking her lips as our
eyes meet and I would choose to follow her,
but, “good evening, good evening!” from
the dwarves sitting beside the roadway,
belongings in their broad backpacks and
fear across their faces, and “you’re late,
you’re late, for a very important scrape!”
insists an upright marmot holding a time-
piece as he scurries by...finally!! - the
thirteen foot (and some few inches) dire-
ogre, its four arms with taloned hands
swinging assorted deadly weapons snarls
“good eating, good eating” as it leaps toward me
from the shadows of a weeping willow’s drooping
branches - I block a descending spiked mace
with my titanium razor-sword by shearing through
the waist-thick forearm, dodge the venomous spear-
shaped tongue flashing past my face and counter
with a slash across the protruding lipless lower jaw
shearing off 3 of 8 two-foot incisors while spitting
chewing tobacco into the beast’s flat, fist-sized right
nostril (note: I am not fond of chewing tobacco, but
as we all know, tobacco spittle forced up dire-ogre
nasal passages - both nostrils is best, but one works
well enough - inevitably results in a berserk, unfocused
desire to maim, mutilate and dismember all nearby
flesh and bone plus a tree or two) engage the three
remaining arms, the lower right arm swinging a tree
limb, the upper left jabbing with splintered remains
of a circus tent pole, tattered flags still attached (one
has to wonder where that came from) and continue to
evade the ever-flailing forked tongue as I yell at the
ravens circling low overhead and the lovely red fox
peeking from a wild forget-you-never bush, “now this,
my friends” - parry, slash, cut - “this, friends” - scrotum
kick, stab - “this” - whack, screeeech! - “is good hunting!”

2019 ayaz daryl nielsen

ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran and former hospice nurse, lives in Longmont, Colorado, USA. Editor of bear creek haiku (28+ years/150+ issues) with poetry published worldwide (and deeply appreciated), he is online at: bear creek haiku poetry, poems and info

Find more by ayaz daryl nielsen in the Author Index.

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