Stranger sat in the bush, waiting for the beast to come. In the middle of the forest stranger had covered a hole with piles of grass and had strung a mass of flesh above the hole as bet. He was hunting a rare creature, a zanther, a black eyeless panther like creature. Stranger had never seem one himself but he had seen pictures of them before and knew what to expect.
It walked on all fours and had slick skin, most of it's muscle mass was on it's four arms but it moved with impeccable speed. It was about 6-7 feet long, so it could stand up, put it's claws (paws?) on stranger's shoulders and lick the top of his hat. Of course, that wasn't a good idea, zanther's had a habit of eating smaller creatures.
Zanthers had no eyes and saw through a combination of scent and echolocation. It breathed heavily to see a few feet in front of it, and smelled it's prey from afar. It moved fast, reportedly 30 MPH. The beast was formidable, so stranger decided a trap was a much better idea then fighting it head on.
His goal was the tongue. It was considered a delicacy to the Clakkerz. Personally stranger found it disgusting. Eating another animals tongue was the same as kissing the beast to him, and stranger didn't care for bestiality, though one could call stranger himself a beast. Stranger didn't care for the concept of eating other animals as a whole. But hunting was what he was good at, so judging others for eating the creatures when he's the one who kills their meals sounded hypocritical to him.
But he had to do it. He still didn't know how much the operation would cost, so he had to save up as much as he could. Stranger sat in the bush and continued to wait. He watched the bait swing back and forth over the covered hole. What the hell was it? He had bought it in a can labeled "luxury meat" at the general store. The thing was literally a ball of flesh and slime, stranger had to keep himself from vomiting when he opened the can.
The more he thought about it, the more he regretted using the ball of flesh as bait. if he, someone who lived off of moss for weeks at a time in the dead of winter to catch and kill animals, was disgusted by this ball of flesh, why would a beast in the wild that could pick any food in the forest go for the flesh ball?
Stranger decided to change the subject of his thoughts. Who knew when he would spot a zanther, all he could go on was that there had been recent sightings near by, and this seemed like the logical place for them to end up. But there was a lot of room for error, so he was going mainly on luck. But then again, most of his job was lu- what the hell was that ball made of! Did someone just pick up a bunch of slugs and pack them into a can? Is it an aborted baby clukker? What the fuck was it!
Stranger tried to think of the scenery. It was nice in the summer, the sunlight peaked through the trees and the forest looked beautiful. The color of the leaves, the light through the trees, the glistening slime on the flesh ball- oh there it was again!
Stranger couldn't get it off his mind. Till a zanther popped by. Stranger sat forward to see the beast as it stopped by the flesh ball. It walked cautiously toward the ball, sniffing the air around it. Stranger readied his crossbow. This thing might not set off the trap, and the last few days of waiting would have gone to waste.
The zanther stood near the edge of the hole, leaning forward over the grass covered trap. C'mon you basterd, thought stranger. Take a step. I dare you! The zanther stuck it's tongue out,which was a good foot long. Forget standing on his shoulders, the zanther could lick the top of his hat from the ground.
The beast stuck it's tongue out to touch flesh ball. Stranger loaded up a stunk and took aim. The zanther's tongue touched the ball and stranger fired. The beast turned around just missing the stunk as it bounced against the tree behind the zanther.
The zanther ran back the way it came and stranger ran out of the bush to try and get another shot, but the beast zig-zagged away, making a clear shot near impossible. Stranger was depressed. 3 days he had waited for that beast, and now, it had all gone down the drain. He walked back to the bush, deciding to wait one more day before heading to town.
Stranger had slept for a few hours before waking up to a notable difference in the forest. The forest was not alive with the sounds of chirping birds and insects, it was dead quiet. He stood forward in the bush to notice the flesh ball was gone from it's previous place above the covered trap. The bait was gone. The forest was quiet. He realized something, he was being hunted.
The zanther stuck it's head into the bush next to stranger, and growled loudly.
"clever girl." he said, as the zanther leaped at him. He pushed him out of the bush and onto the grass, with the black creature snapping at him, stranger holding it's claws back with his own gloved hands. His cross bow was unarmed, his ammunition box was back in the bush. The beast had the advantage. It's neck was long and it could stretch down to bite stranger.
Stranger managed to push away one of the beasts claws and punched the creature off of him. The beast would regain itself soon so stranger got up and pulled the hunting knife out of his boot, and leaped at the creature, just as the creature regained itself and leaped at him. Luckily, stranger knocked the beast to the ground and stood above it, holding it to the group as he raised a hand with the knife. In that second, stranger could've killed the beast there, but something kept him from harming the beast.
The beast took advantage of this situation, and rolled over on stranger, knocking the knife out of his hand. Stranger was back where he started, keeping the beast from scratching his eyes out. But stranger noticed something. He was next to the trap! He rolled the beast off of him into the trap, it scratched his face as it fell.
Stranger stood up, and looked in the hole. The zanther had gotten tangled up in the net stranger set up in the hole. Stranger had caught the best alive, guaranteeing a good chunk of moola for this. Stranger. Straightened his hat and marveled at his accomplishment.
"bagged me a good one."