Since I've been posting a lot of old stories I've written, I thought today I'd post an excerpt from something I'm currently working on. It's a flashback scene from the short story I'm writing. I quite like it. Whether or not it makes it into the final version remains to be seen...
“Sometimes killing can be the easy part,” his father said. “Just keep in mind that skinning and butchering the animal is what is important. You can kill a dozen boars, but if you don't have the stomach, or the knowledge, to get the meat, you've wasted your time.”
The young boy nodded, brushing his red hair out of his eyes as his father pulled the spear from the dead boar.
“I'll show you how it's done this time, but pay attention, because the next time we go out hunting it'll be your turn.” He smiled at the boy. “And we wouldn't want your mother going hungry, would we?”
“No, sir,” he said, the boy crouching beside his father as he took out his knives and began showing his son how to work on the carcass.
“Some people use all of the beast – the skin, the meat, the organs, the eyes – all of it,” he said as he sliced through the boar's hide and into the flesh underneath. “And some people use very little. The people of Vagross, for example. Sure, they use the hides to make their packs, saddles, armor and the like, but they only take the meat when they need it. Sometimes they don't take it at all.”
“Why is that, sir?”
“They don't think they need it, I suppose. They figure that the hides are what are important, at least to them. I guess they figure there will always be enough animals to skin, and not all of them need to be eaten.”
“It seems like a waste.”
“Some people don't take anything at all,” his father said. “They hunt for fun. Or for sport. That's the real waste.”
The boy nodded, and they crouched in silence for a while, his father working on dividing the carcass into sections, getting the boy to wrap the pieces in cloth to keep the flies and other insects from getting to the meat. When they were done, there was little left except for the blood soaked earth where the dead boar had once lain.
“Why do people kill other people?” the boy asked at last, as they packed the wrapped boar into wet sacks to keep it cool for the trip back home.
His father thought for a long time before answering.
“That's a much bigger question,” he said at last. “The answer can be very long and very complicated.”
The boy nodded once more.
“We should probably talk about it properly soon, though,” his father said. “It's important that you know. For now I'll give you the short answer.”
The boy looked expectantly at his father, brushing his hair out of his eyes once more.
“Because they can,” he simply said.