Unto The Night

Unto The Night
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pushing The Fight

Ron Koppelberger
Pushing The Fight
He stood his ground as the Alligator lunged, the rows of razor sharp teeth caught the hem of his slacks and he fell flat on his ass. For a moment he saw stars and shadow then everything was clear again, the morass tinged red from the blood of his wife and the rapidly approaching alligator. He pushed upward toward the lip of the pond. Mud filled his grasping hands and he slid back just a few inches. The alligator charged and he heard his wife moan from the center of the pond, she was caught in a small stand of cattails and reeds. Chance Reason prayed for the first time in years.
Propelling himself with the will of a desperate man Chance regained his footing and scanned the shoreline for some kind of weapon. There was an empty paint can a few feet away from him and the handle was intact. The alligator hissed and snapped its jaws in furious hunger, the two would make a great meal.
Chance lunged for the paint can as the gator shifted forward. Grabbing the handle with the tips of his fingers he pulled the can from the thick mud along the shore. The gator charged, “Hissssssssssss…..”. Swinging the can with all of his might he aimed for the gators head. The can connected with a hollow thump and mud flew out of the lidless container. The gator was stunned for a moment his hunger second to the sharp pain that had nearly split his skull, nevertheless his hide protected him and he paused for a moment as another thump sounded in his ears. The man was attacking him and he grew angry with pain.
Chance moved back away from the gator and looked out into the swampy pond, his wife was crying and holding her arm. He could see the bright crimson plume that was spreading away from her and he screamed with a savage desire to kill the gator to avenge the misery his wife was going through. He ran at the gator and swung the can again. The gator opened it’s mouth and lunged forward to meet the can. With a jerk of it’s enormous head it wrenched the can away from chance and grabbed his leg with a ferocious shake. Chance screamed in pain this time as the gator began to drag him backwards into the pond. He knew he would die if he ended up in the water, the gator would drown him and then kill his wife.
Scrambling with his good leg he pushed backward. The gator jerked and twisted rending muscle and sinew. Chance was halfway in the water now and the gator growled with satisfaction, he would have a full belly this day.
Leaning forward chance dug his fingernails into the gators eye and it screeched in pain letting loose at the same time. Kicking he hit the gator in the mouth and snout with as much force as he could. The gator paused again hissing in angry spurts. Chance hobbled up onto his good leg and stood there screaming at the top of his lungs, “Yaggghhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaa you son of a bitch, die damn you die!” Chance ran after the gator and jumped on top of it slamming his fists into its head and again clawing at it’s eyes. It belched and screeched in pain again as Chance pounded its head.
He was in a slow motion dream, man against beast, he shook the gators upper jaw and pulled backward, the gators mouth opened wider and he tried to swallow chance in a single gulp. The man was hurting him, it wasn’t meant to be like this he thought in Reptile currents. Chance found a soft spot beneath the gators jaw and dug his fingers in pulling his jaws shut. With a ferocious tug he pulled the gator farther up the shore line. “YAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA DIEEEEEEEEEEEE!” he screamed as he turned the gator on it’s belly. The body was nearly ten feet long and it’s entire length shook as he drug it to the mud and dirt edge of the pond. Chance looked skyward for a moment between screams and jumped with his good leg. A spattering of blood flew up in the air from his injured leg as he landed squarely on the gators soft belly. The gator didn’t move for a moment and he jumped again smashing something like bone inside the gator. The gator lay still and Chance stood panting like a madman over the top of his adversary. A bit of spittle trickled from the corner of his mouth on to the gator and he began to laugh hysterically and in gulps of joy.
The gator wasn’t moving, he had killed it, he had actually killed it. He laughed again and swam out to his wife who was still crying and laughing a bit as well. She had witnessed her husband at his best and he had prevailed, they both had. She threw her arms around Chances neck and kissed him through a well of tears and laughter. Chance hugged her close and began pulling her back to the shore line. They paused for a moment to look at the dead gator. A thin line of blood leaked from its jaw onto the mud mixing with the sand and dirt in a dark kaleidoscope of what couldn’t have been but what was. The day wore on to it’s conclusion and the couple left. Somewhere deep in the swamp morass there were other gators, silent, appreciative and not denying the way of the world. They congregated and considered the fate of the old one. He had been caught off guard and they knew that the end had been a fluke. They had been the rulers of the morass for a long time, longer than any could remember and they knew the next time the prey would be theirs. The next time they would have full bellies and calm waters.

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