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"Dean, did you see it?" asked Bill.
"See what?" replied Dean
"That new website. It is called "A Hunter's Dream Comes True'. It says it has any animal known to man, available to be hunted. Grizzly bears, cougar, ten point bucks, wild boars, lions, tigers... I mean, everything."
"How can that be? Most of those animals are now protected by the Endangered Species Act."
"That is what makes it interesting: the hunting ground is an island outside any countries territorial limits. So, there is no law against hunting endangered animals."
"How did you find out about this place?" asked Dean.
"Through a message I received in my E-mail. All it asked was: 'Are you a hunter? Do you like hunting strange and exotic animals? Do you care if the animal you want to hunt is endangered?' So I entered the link. I found "A Hunters Dream Comes True'."
"It will most likely cost an arm and a leg."
"No it won't. Five hundred dollars a person, with a minimum of five hunters."
"There has to be a catch."
"There is: the five hunters. I have found three and you are the fourth. With me, that makes five."
"Let me think about it, but give me that link address so I can see for myself."
"Here is the address: AHDCT@motnat.com. I will need to know within the next half hour if you are in or not. If not I will need to talk to someone else. I want to make sure we get into the AHDCT before some environmental group decides to shut it down."
"I'll call you back in thirty minutes, one way or the other. But don't give up my slot until I say no!"
Dean liked what he had found. The site offered exactly what Bill had told him. Dean did find the catches he was looking for.
1) The five hunters had to specify the five animals they wanted to hunt.
2) No guarantees you'll get the animal you want: one of your friends might get it before you do.
3) When one your group gets his kill, he must leave the island.
4) Only 4 of the 5 hunters will get lucky. There is always one hunter in a group who gets skunk. The hunter who gets skunk is offered another visit, but with four new hunters.
5) This hunting trip is over a four day period. Only one kill a day allowed, and if you'd like your kill could be cooked and eaten that very night.
Dean didn't wait for the full thirty minutes. He called Bill back as soon as he finished reading.
"Bill, count me in. I am busy for the next two weeks, but I am free after that."
"That is good. Tom, Dick and Harry can make it in four weeks exactly, and so can I."
"Since that e-mail was sent to me, let me handle all the plans and arrangements."
"When do you want the money?"
"Let me find out when they will be able to take us. Then, I would like the money two weeks before we leave. Dean, if you decide to back out, or if something comes up, I won't return the money. Since I will need five hunters, I might have to use your money to pay for someone else."
"I see no problem with that, as long as it is understood. When I pay, I am in, so there won't be a problem. I'll have the money over to you this afternoon."
"Just in case they want to know, which animal do you want to hunt?"
"A ten foot tall Grizzly bear. It has always been a dream of mine to kill a giant Grizzly bear. What is your choice? Tiger, right?"
"There was no other choice for me."
Four weeks to the day, the five hunters
were on their way to A Hunters Dream Comes True.
As the five hunters unloaded their luggage they noticed what the plane they came on was taking back to the mainland: a female tiger, and she didn't like the idea of being in the cage very well. She growled and snarled at them and even tried to grab one of them.
One of the tiger's handlers told them why she was making such of a fuss. "She was brought over from the mainland to be bred with that male tiger the five of you will be hunting tomorrow. She doesn't like the idea of leaving too well."
To Dean, it seemed that the tiger was trying to tell him something, but he didn't get the message.
At the hunting lodge they met the game keeper, Horst. At supper, Horst informed them all: "I want all of you in bed by ten o'clock, since we'll be getting up quite early. I don't want no sleepy heads on my hands, especially when I am hunting a tiger."
Bill asked: "Are there any other hunting parties on the island?"
"No, we only allow one group of five at a time. This way there are no accidents, and nobody else but the five of you will have a chance at that tiger.
"There is one very important rule. This island is divided in half by an electrified fence: if anyone of you tries to get over that fence, he'll be sent home by the next plane. The reason behind this is: half of the island is a hunting preserve for you, the hunters. The other half is where we keep the other animals the five of you have chosen to hunt. Like your ten-foot Grizzly bear, Dean. We couldn't find a ten-footer, but we did find one who stands eleven feet."
"I'll take the eleven-footer."
"There is still a possibility you won't get that chance at him. Tomorrow after the hunt, a lottery will held to choose the next animal on your list that will be let loose."
"I still have a 3 out of 4 chance at him. That is unless I get that tiger in the morning."
"No way, that tiger is mine," said Bill.
"It is time for you all to get ready for bed. Four a.m. comes mighty early." Horst then got up and left.
Dean figured he wouldn't be able to sleep due
to all excitement of tomorrow hunt. But he was out like a light five
minutes after his head hit the pillow.
At four a.m., everyone was woken by a loud gong. It was so loud it made the doors rattle.
After a hearty breakfast, the five intrepid hunters met Horst outside.
"First thing: everyone must wear a collar. As you all can see, this order does include me.
"There are a couple reasons for the collars. One, it is a homing device, so no one will get lost. Two, it is a warning device, as our pamphlet told you. The five of you will walk a trail by yourselves: if you happen to stray from this trail, hen you get to close to edge the collar will give you a warning; if you get off the trail, the collar will give an electrical shock that you'll feel for the rest of the day; if anyone of you tries to deactivate the collar in any way, your whole group's hunting trip will terminated. No questions asked and no excuses. One minute you are here the next you are on the plane out of here. Everybody understand me?"
"Yes!" they replied in unison.
"Stay on the trail. As long as you are on the trail, no animal can harm you."
"What about when we see the target and try to shoot? Will collar effect the shot?"
"No problem, as long as the collar stays on the trail."
So the five intrepid hunters went to their designated spots. Over a hundred yard area, they could walk, stand, sit on the trail, or even sit in a hunters blind, provided in a tree sitting in the middle of the trail itself.
Nothing happened for five hours. Then, all of a sudden, a shot was heard. Dean climbed down from his blind. "I wonder if Bill has got his tiger?"
Then Dean heard over the walkie-talkie: "All hunters please stand by. A possible kill has occurred."
Five minutes later, the confirmation of the kill was made. "To all the unlucky hunters: a jeep will be by to pick you up. They will bring you over to the kill."
Dean noticed Bill sitting in the jeep as it drove up.
"I see you didn't get your tiger."
"Yeah, I know. I think Harry is the lucky dog who did."
Bill was right on his prediction. They found Harry standing proudly over body of a Bengal tiger.
After a few photos, the tigers body was taken away.
For the next four hours, the four unlucky hunters had to listen to Harry go through the whole thing over and over, until it was time for the flight.
"I'll see the four of you when you get home. Make sure you bring your photos of your kills with you."
At supper that night, Horst announced: "We will hunting wild boar tomorrow. That means the three unlucky hunters will be eating high on the hog tomorrow night."
The next day the four hunters were back walking the trail. What seemed strange to Dean was that the trail seemed to be the same, but the surrounding terrain was completely different. Where yesterday was all jungle, today it was a forest, but with a lot of open space.
Three hours into the hunt, a shot was heard. The walkie-talkie announced: "Missed shot. Keep your eyes open." Thirty minutes later another shot was heard; the walkie-talkie announced the kill.
Five minutes later Dean was picked up by the Jeep. Dick had gotten the wild boar.
Tom was a little peeved: the first shot had been his, and he had missed. What made matters worse, the wild boar was his choice.
That night the three unlucky hunters did eat high on the hog.
Dean did noticed something else strange. Horst and the others didn't partake in the meal. Dean realized that he had never seen any of them eat, during the whole time that he had been there..
"Some good news for those who like sleeping in. The alarm will go off at seven a.m. instead of four. We are hunting rhino tomorrow, and it is best to that in board daylight. There will one big difference: when we hunt rhino, we do it from the back of a jeep, so it is one guide to one hunter. Eric and Tom, Kurt and Dean, and Bill you are with me."
The hunters didn't get out until ten a.m. A bewildered Dean looked upon the grassy plains that could have passed for Africa. Yesterday it was a forest; the day before, a jungle.
Kurt and Dean had ridden around for two hours with no luck when, over the jeep's radio, the kill was announced. This time it was Tom who had gotten the kill.
After saying good bye to Tom. Dean asked Bill: "Have you noticed the strange things that are going on here?"
"Like what? All I know is that I love it! I spent most of the morning trying to talk Horst into letting me come back every year... but I am up against a brick wall. He told me that it is the owners policy, that a hunter can partake the pleasure of this island once. Unless the are skunked. I know that I'd rather be skunked and come back, but that idea doesn't appeal to me. So, Dean, you'd better plan on coming back. I plan getting my kill tomorrow."
Horst announced that night. "The last animal of this week hunt is a ten point buck. I am sorry Dean, but that it the way the lottery works: sometime you get what you want, sometimes you don't.
"Wake-up call will be at six a.m. Do get a lot of rest tonight. You won't be using the provided trail, since we don't see any danger, except from yourselves. You will be wearing a collar, though, just in case we have to locate you right away."
It was bright and sunny the next morning
as the two intrepid hunters started off. Each wore clothes that were
colorful, so that they would never be mistaken for a buck.
For five solid hours Dean had seen nothing, not even Bill. Then, all of a sudden, there it was: the ten point buck. Dean stood there transfixed, not moving a muscle, just enjoying this impressive sight.
Then the air was shattered by the sound of a shot. The buck collapsed in its tracks.
Dean didn't mind if Bill had gotten his kill: that sight of that impressive buck standing there would be in Dean's mind forever.
"Hey, Dean why didn't you shoot? At that distance you wouldn't have missed "
"I just liked the view. Don't forget I will be allowed back. Then, maybe, I will get my Grizzly bear."
A funny thing happened at lunch.
Both Dean and Bill collapsed. Their unconscious bodies were taken to the other side of the island.
Dean awoke with a splitting headache, and a feeling of danger. He found himself in a cage. What might have been causing the danger feeling was the sleeping giant Grizzly bear in the cage next to his.
"I see you are awake, Dean," said a beautiful woman standing outside the cage.
"Who are you? What is going on? Why am I here in this cage?" asked Dean.
"It is very simple. It is time for you to pay for your past transgression against me."
"What are you talking about? What past transgression? I have never meet you in my life!"
"The transgression I am talking about are all the senseless deaths you have cause all your life."
"What deaths? I have never killed another man in my life!"
"I am not talking about men. I mean all the animals you have killed. First, it was with your slingshot. Then a BB gun, and when you were old enough, a rifle. Killing everything in sight."
"Why would you care if I shot a bird with my sling shot when I was six?"
"I care. I care for every animal that walks the earth. You see, I am Mother Nature. The real Mother Nature. So everytime a senseless death occurs, it effects me, one way or the other.
"I have set up this island especially for people like you and your four friends. Harry, Tom and Dick have already made their last payment. Bill will pay his, when the next group of hunters get their first kill."
"What do you mean? How did they pay? We all paid our five hundred dollars, as agreed upon."
"The five hundred was for the last four days. The final payment is for what all of you have done all your life."
"What do you mean?"
"Do you think I'd bring over some of my almost extinct animals for you to hunt? NO! There was only one animal that was killed on my island. His family had been wiped out, and he had nothing to live for. So when I offered him a chance to make the humans pay for they have done, he jumped all over the chance."
"Where do you the rest of the animals? The boar, the rhino, the ten point buck, and that Grizzly bear sleeping in the corner?"
"From you, the hunters. As you recall, when each hunter had gotten his kill, he had to leave the island. They did leave your side of the island, and the came to mine, where I transformed them into the next day's target. So how did Harry taste?
"Just like the tiger that was killed your first day, the next group's first target will be your friend Bill, who is now a Grizzly bear."
"You mean all the animals we have killed were humans once?"
"Yes, it has worked out quite well. We seek out the hunters that registered the most kills over the years and invite them over for one of my special hunts. We eliminate five hunters with each group."
"We were only allowed four kills. I didn't get one. So what happens to me?"
"Oh, that is the second part of the operation. After spending the night with your friend Bill, tomorrow you'll be flown to your new home: a cave in the Canadian Rockies. Don't worry about living in a cave, you'll feel right at home. You see, I am going to transform you into a female Grizzly Bear. Who just happens to be in heat. So after Bill does his job of making you a mother, your new job will be helping to increase the Grizzly bear population."
"You won't get away with this! Someone will miss us, and come looking."
"No they won't. When the five of you got off the plane. Bill, Tom, Dick, Harry and Dean ceased to exist in the human world. As far getting away with it, I have been doing this for the last two years, and we are booked for the next six months. I am even doing a service to the community: the next group of five hunters are all in a family; not like a father and his four sons, but like a Mafia family: the Don, his two sons, and the two Don's top lieutenants.
"Lucky I didn't let Bill be their most requested target for the hunt. Would you like to guess what that target was?"
"No, not really."
"Okay, but I'll tell you anyway. They wanted to hunt a man. I have decided to give them what they want: the target for that hunt will be the Don himself. I am making sure he is the hunter who claims the Grizzly bear as his prize.
"I am sorry Dean, but it is time."
All of sudden Dean's body started to itch, not just here and there, but all over.
As the itching continued, Dean could feel his face reshaping. Within a minutes Dean could see his snout sticking out. There were changes being made throughout Dean's body that he didn't see, or realize. For one, he was no longer male. As Dean fell to the floor he let out a bellow.
As Dean completed his transformation, he did one more thing. This was to let Mother Nature know it was all over with. He crapped all over the floor.
Inside he was still Dean, but on the outside he was all grizzly bear, and in heat. Dean couldn't stop himself: he wanted that male bear, and he wanted him now. Dean's first bellow had awakened the male bear. The smell of a female bear in heat was driving this bear crazy.
"I guess we had better let these two lovebirds have time together alone."
As Mother Nature left the room, the bars separating the two bears disappeared. There was no preliminary action: Dean just turned around and offered his body to the onrushing male. The male didn't waste any time: within seconds he was on top, humping away.
The bears must had done it at least seven times or more before they were separated at dawn the next morning.
As Dean was being prepared to be shipped to the Canadian Rockies, Mother Nature informed him: "Billy completed his last job. His seed has already found your eggs and come next spring there should at least two more grizzly bear cubs."
At the airport Dean got a look at the next set of
They also got a look at him, or should we say her.
"Dad, take look at the grizzly bear! She must be at least ten feet tall. I hope the one we hunt will at least that tall."
Horst said: "Your bear tomorrow stands at least two feet taller than this one."
"Why are you shipping her out? Why not let us hunt both of them?"
"We only allowed one animal per species to be killed. Besides, we don't own this bear here. She was brought here to be breed to that male of ours."
"What about our special request? We were told that we will get four of them animals we wanted to hunt."
"Yes, as a matter of fact, you did. It will be the subject of your hunt day after tomorrow. This way four of you will be able to enjoy your hunt."
"Is there any way we can make it five of us? We will pay double for the extra hunter."
"Sorry, that is the rules. As soon as a hunter gets his kill, he must leave the island."
As this conversation was taking place. Dean was smiling to himself. He was wondering what the Don would say when he found out he was going to be that human target.