“You lookin’ at me?” the buck’s eyes question. They shimmer as if moist, as if at any second, they could blink. Esmeralda tousles the short brown hairs on its neck, warm and soft to the touch, as if blood still circulates through its veins.

“I didn’t know you hunt,” she says.

Flint chuckles lightly. “Hunting implies killing.” He shakes his head. “No, I only extend life.”  He presses his palm into the small of her back, guides her to the couch.

She plops down on the cushion, crosses her legs. The wiry beard of a black schnauzer hidden underneath the coffee table tickles the top of her bouncing foot, startling her.

“God! I thought it was real!” she says, patting her chest.

“At one time, he was.” He takes a steaming mug from the table, holding it in his palm. “I remember how much you like English Breakfast.”

“Do you stuff all your animals?” She blows, sips, licks her upper lip.

“I make the living into art.” He finger combs her beach wavy hair.

She nods, rests her head on his shoulder. The mug slips from her fingers, spilling tea onto the carpet.

word count: 189


ffpp-6Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly challenge for writers to create a story in under 200 words using the provided photo prompt and introductory sentence as their ‘muse.’ Click the froggy icon to read other stories inspired by the photo.

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