The grass cast long shadows. An evening breeze stirred the boughs of an oak tree and the sensitive hairs at the tips of Dusky’s ears. He crouched, belly brushing the ground, ears rolled forward to catch sound; rustling leaves; drop of an acorn; birds chirping amid a berry bramble nearby; the buzz and whine of enormous insects. Except for the quivering tip of his tail, he hunkered motionless in the grass, hidden in the shadows. He had approached from downwind. His flared nostrils drew in the green, sappy scent of fresh-torn grass that made him want to sneeze and the spoor of rabbit’s flesh, the warm blood that made him salivate. Dusky’s shoulder flexed; muscles flowed like oil as he pressed one paw through the blades. Stop. Wait. Eyes wide, he fixed on the prey. His whiskers tingled. His heart hammered. Muscles bunched for another step.

Caw! Caw! Caw!

Betrayed! The rabbit leaped away.

Dusky pounced. He raked the grass, still warm where the rabbit had sat. He squalled in anger and frustration and squinted up at the traitorous crow in the oak.

The bird fluttered its feathers and resettled its wings sleekly to its body. Caw! Caw! Caw!


Sunday Photo Fiction: 200-word stories

photo prompt: A Mixed Bag 2009