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Repaying the Forest
The mud squelched as Stephen pressed onward through the rain. His cold and wet fingers strained to hold onto the barrel of the hunting rifle. He stopped, looking carefully at the wet ground. The tracks were still fresh, not yet washed away by the flowing mud. His prey was nearby... he could almost smell the animal's fear.
Slowly, he moved through the mud. Suddenly, he saw movement in the woods up ahead, he quickly dropped to his knees. Ahead in the forest, he could see a small deer, a doe, standing in the rain. He quietly raised the rifle, lining up the sights on the beast's hide.
Thunder roared as lightning arced across the sky like a skeletal hand.
The doe fell to the ground, it's side awash with blood and water. Stephen stood up, the barrel of his rifle still steaming in the cold air. Confident that his quarry would not escape, he approached the dying creature.
As he reached the deer, it turned its head slowly towards Stephen giving him a strange "why?" look. Stephen watched, the rain and sweat dripping from his nose. The beast expired, lying in the mud.
Stephen reached to his belt to grab the rope he would use to carry his kill home. Once again lightning arced across the sky, lighting up the forest floor. Stephen stood frozen.
In the brief instance of light, he had seen something. A shadow, cast by something behind him. Something big. Slowly he turned to face what ever it was.
What stood there was like something out of a nightmare. It was vaguely human in shape. Its head was like a great ox's and its body was covered in a down like fur. It's legs were digitigrade. The thing stood easily eight foot tall. Stephen just stared in shock.
"You have killed a creature of my forest. You will be punished."
Stephen was unable to speak... he was merely able to mutter a confused "huh?"
"For taking the life of a creature of this forest, you shall give two new lives."
Stephen suddenly doubled over in pain. He dropped his rifle as his fingers contorted in pain. Lifting one to his sight, he was startled to find his fingers merging, becoming hoof-like. He could feel his entire body changing, from the newly forming mussel, to the fact that his sexual equipment had already retreated into his body, leaving only a vagina... a doe's vagina.
A ripping sound echoed through the forest as he (she?) tore through her clothes, falling to all fours. A small tail grew from her back and, only moments after it had begun, the transformation stopped. Where Stephen once stood, a doe occupied the ground.
The completion of the change heralded another end. The rain abated, the sun coming out and shining brilliantly on the earth below.
The doe's nose twitched, she could smell another nearby... was it?... her mate? She turned to follow the sweet musk. Eventually she came across a strong male deer. His body smelt wet but other smells she got were causing strange feelings to pass through her. She nussled her mate, waiting for reciprocation. Before long, he was on her.
The Lord of the Forest watched from nearby, the two deers began to run freely through the forest, life was already nestled in the belly of the doe. Soon, two more deers would be in the forest. He had to prepare.
As the beast-man strode away. The earth slowly rose up and swallowed the hunting rifle. Leaving only disturbed earth, and a few scraps of clothing.
Repaying the Forest copyright 1997 by Natalie Wolfe.
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