Old Joe was going through the forest on an old game trail, he moved through the brush cautiously and slowly to not make more noise than needed. The soft rustle of his steps seemed to reverberate off the trees around him. Then off in the distance he hears something and stops to look around, at that moment he hears a gun shot and the proceeding bullet wiz by and impact into the tree next to him. Joe quickly hits the ground not knowing what the recent events meant other than he was shot at by another hunter. He hears the soft click of the metal as the other hunter reloads their weapon. Joe goes to call out to the other hunter and say friend I am not your prey, and as he screams out there was another -- deafening gunshot. This time the shot was right above his abdomen, and impacts the tree beside him. Now Joe knows that he wasn't being mistaken for a game animal but rather, he was being hunted by another hunter. Again Joe call’s out still hoping that the other hunter is mistaken. His yell was heard this time by the other hunter and in response he hears a cackle of laughter coming from the eerie darkness. Joe now realizes that this is no ordinary hunting accident waiting to happen but rather a man hunt and he was the hunted. Yet, another gunshot is heard and scrapes Joe’s leg this time, in pain he screams out letting his pursuer know that they have finally found the sweet spot of where Joe was hiding in the brush; the metallic clink is again heard, and Joe knows now that he has been found and needs to move, so Joe rolls sideways just as another shot is heard and impacts the ground right where he was previously. The chance was now. He slowly crawls along the brush careful not to break any twigs, to give away his movements. After he is further away and in a denser part of the wood he gets up and slowly crouching starts running for a higher ground, for more visibility. He had done this sort of thing before in the war, and was prepared for this kind of warfare; he hadn't shot at a living human for 30 years since his time in Nam. But he wasn't about to let some whelp take him out for sport was he? Getting to his position Joe carefully lies down without moving the brush around him and brings out his trusty rifle. It’s a sleek older Springfield that the military let him keep from his service and dedication. He quietly loads the bullet into the chamber and takes aim down his sight looking for his pursuer in the darkness of the trees, near where he was before on the game trail. His well-trained eyes from service as a rifle squad commander pay off and he finds the slight movement along the old game trail checking the shots and tracking the blood spots Joe had left. He looks into his scope and see’s that his pursuer isn't a whelp nor middle aged man, but rather a man of his own age, that’s wearing the uniform of a Gook. Joe was astonished; his past had finally come to haunt him in the wood at the darkest hour of the dawn. He leers down his scope and places his sights on the pursuer that had already shot at him 3 times and hit once. He breaths in to stabilize his shot and takes it as he exhales. His gunshot booms through the surrounding trees as his shot lands in a kill-zone, however the shot fails to hit but rather goes straight through his pursuer and decimates the tree behind. Truly horrified now Joe asks himself what is going on, who is this figure, and did he miss? He reloads and takes another shot, again the boom resonates around the dense trees but takes no rending of flesh sound, but rather the sound of the laughter is heard yet again in the distance from the pursuer; and then the pursuer makes eye contact with Joe, he has soulless eyes, filled with black death from a long past and yet has a fire burning of vengeance.
His past had really come back to reclaim him, the bullets were real but the figure wasn't of this world (Standing up slowly Joe accepted his fate) deemed by the forest, the past was here to take him, just as he had taken all of those lives in the war; the figure bowed to his acceptance of fate and then took the shot that took Joe’s life -- and now in the darkest parts of dawn before the sun rises you can hear their shots blaze through the trees forever battling one another.