Lucius feared the wilderness above all, he feared the mossy dark woods, the danger deep rivers that wound their course and gave chase to countless darting silverly arrows, fish. He feared the strange and slimy eyed bugs, the many legged hairy wisps, black and golden winged demons, more dinosaur than human and the slow wet worms and lunging slugs. He feared the root clogged dingy depths of the natural world and this fear torched with ignorance merged now into the most inhospitable and unreasonable hatred.
If there was one particular creature from the dank green shadows, that in Lucius’s mind, was the most terror strange and fearful spectre and this was the Stag. Surely a dark lord in his own right, in his brazen under world serfdom, an other world of root and branch and earthen hoof.
Perhaps it was its self-crowned arrogance that attracted all his hate and suspicion. Perhaps it was its noiselessness and stealth, creeping along trails of ancient origin. The truth was Lucius didn’t quite know why he hated the Stag so much. One thing he did know was that this primal fear was born, he had decided, long long ago and it kept him awake at night and occupied during the waking day up on the 18th floor in Pod:64, at his desktop computer. There he fantasized about the quickening weekend ahead, about how he would leave his stone locked safe city and quietly ever so gently he would leave this apartment and drive to the woods to enter the enemies domain, with the single purposeful mission, to find, to stalk, to kill the beast.
Yes there would be a time of reckoning and their he would face the brute and look him in that eye of perpetual blackness, before its life was ended with a single heart ripping bullet.
He visualised this moment over and over again and as this beast of his own volition collapsed twitching with a death's grip, he would feel his own blood fear leave him, almost as if the Stag’s life force and his own fear were joined as one. In his imagination, now the deed was done, he would breath again, sleep again and the citadel would once again be free of the encroaching woodland realm, expansive meadow and hedgerow.
But would the Stag, now dead, cease from stalking him? He glanced at his watch... 23 retching stomach curling hours to go and then he would see...