Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.
[hr color=”light-gray” width=”50″ border_width=”5″ ]
Camilla felt the deep vibration of the rotor through her boot as she leant out of the helicopter to take her shot. The headgear she wore protected her from the loudness of the gunshot and the loud whirring of the helicopter blades. However, it did not protect her from the excited mumblings of her fellow shooter through the radio attached to her ear.
“We are going at a good rate,” he said, as she heard the sound of him reloading, “At this time we will have reached our kill quota by lunchtime. Would you care to join me for lunch Camilla?”
His name was Mike Pastore and not only was he unskilled and a bad shot but he also earned her dislike by constantly trying to get her to date him. He was one of those men animal activists got worked up about. He was someone who had no idea of what he was doing and no idea about how to make a clean kill. Of course, to activists, they were all the same and they were not likely to take into account level of skill. To be fair even her city friends, who were more concerned with shopping and which celebrity was dating who, got a horrified expression on their face. “Why would you do that?” they asked.
Camilla had come to the conclusion that city folk had become soft, having never had to confront the bloody death that led to their conveniently packaged meat at the supermarket, and she had gotten tired of trying to explain it to people. She knew the reasons she did what she did and though she did not always enjoy it, she was doing what needed to be done.
“Brumbies coming from the north east,” said their pilot Virgil, saving her from making a reply. He was quiet and job focused but kept to himself. She had already been on a couple of culls with him and she felt like she did not know him at all. Yet, she preferred his quiet ways over Mike’s loud and forceful personality and she actually enjoyed working with Virgil.
Virgil curved the helicopter around and Camilla shifted her weight with the movement of the helicopter. The wild horses ran before them, their manes streaming out behind them and sending clouds of red dust into the air. A part of her always rebelled as she pointed her gun at one of the brumbies in the herd. It usually took a moment to put herself into the right headspace to make the shot. There was nothing holding Mike back and as usual he shot first, wounding but not killing a young foal running behind its mother. As usual her first shot was used to clean up his messes and to make sure the horses he wounded were actually dead and not just laying there in pain. She pulled the trigger, feeling the recoil of the gun but steeling herself against it.
Mike let out a grunt of satisfaction as he shot again, this time going wide and not hitting anything. She knew his type; well dressed, nicely spoken but a brute underneath. She preferred men who were at peace with what they were and who did not try and hide beneath a pleasant mask. Her ex-boyfriend, Graham, despite his flaws, never tried to hide beneath nice words. To be honest, it was the flaws that had attracted her to him to begin with. The more flaws the better because it was the men with the issues whose passions and emotions ran deep. She liked to dig deep into that well and bask in the in tense and unrelenting love and try and fix the wounds of the soul that ran deep.