The Circle of Life

You change the moment you witness a murder. Not through the safe filter of a screen, but directly in front of you. Less than ten feet away and on your left-hand side, both times. What are the chances of such occurrences happening to one person twice?


The killers were a hawk and a weasel.


The First Time


I was sitting in my car at the grocery store parking lot. Just outside my door, where I would end up if I got out, was a pigeon. Such a cute little pigeon, with remarkable feathers that I have never noticed that the creatures possessed. Purple glints shimmered on its surface as it tilted its beady-eyed head. It looked at me, right in the face, then continued to peck at the gravel.


There was a blur. Then a confusion of flurried wings. My eyes widen as my mouth opened in shocked revulsion. My little bird that I was admiring seconds before was being crushed under the force of a hawk’s claws and beak. I turned away as I swallowed not wanting to see the rest of it. I waited till the predator carried off its prize before I finally got out of the car.


I was disturbed, even though, deli-sliced turkey was written near the top of my shopping list.


The Second Time


Bunnies can scream. I know this because I witnessed one’s sad demise.


I was walking down the driveway and the bushes shivered as the rabbit darted in front of me. It was unaware or undisturbed by my quiet presence. It had bigger problems to worry about, for a determined killer almost half its size was closing in on it.


The pair for a moment dashed back into the underbrush. They popped back out directly and this time the weasel had the advantage. The devilish thing flipped the plump bunny on its back and bit down on its neck. They writhed as the weasel’s tail coiled around its catch.


A scream pierced my soul and I almost cried. It was so unexpected, that shrill abject noise. I had no idea that such a mild looking thing could produce such a sound.


I started to flee the scene. The killer, just realizing my presence, dragged its prey back into the bushes out of sight.


Nature is harsh they say. The circle of life must continue and you deal with it. I can’t help but wonder how the pigeon and the rabbit felt about it though.


In conclusion and in the light of these experiences I have learned that I am an easily traumatized hypocrite.






Humans have developed methods for dealing with things that are unpleasant.

Push whatever it may be aside, glance at it every now and then when we gather the gumption, only to prod it back into the corner.

Justify our negligence with weak excuses.

Deny that we can do anything.

Deny our right or reason for involvement.

Deny the embers oxygen to ignite into a flame.

What is really worthy of our efforts?

The influence of passion stifled.

Let it be.

For now, we will let it be.

– RJ



I stray from the worn out routes,

Only to fall back into place.

Repetition wears a curve. You end up where you were.

More ways than one branch beneath my heels.

It’s a false start. Split are the decisions that inspire pause.

I only think about the lanes that I would like to tour.

Tracing the lines that were drawn before.

– RJ

Writing Challenge/Practice

Prompt- The hallway was silent.

Time allotted for challenge- 15 min



The hallway is silent. The shadows huddled in the corners are black and concealing. I run my fingers over the switch and flip on the light.

Nothing. I lean against the wall, my body prickling with sweat and nervousness.

Thinking back to the point when I was jerked from my sleep, I am positive I heard the mechanics of a door turning. The excess of bolts and deadlocks mocking my supposed assurance. How could I think for a moment that any action could bar him?

My bare feet sink into the carpet as I pad over to the end of the hall. The weight of my revolver lends strength to my illusion of safety.

I see him. His body is draped casually across the lumpy couch. I lightly touch my weapon but decide to leave it there. Adjusting my shirt to disguise the movement, I meet his gaze.

His eyes are locked on me. “No need for violence tonight.” I curse myself for my careless gesture. He sees everything.

I glare at the mask that shields his face. Coward.

Despite his words, he is cradling a gun of his own, turning it over in his gloved hands. I wait for him to relay the instructions. “Leave this,” he draws a small envelope from his jacket and places it on the coffee table, “in his office.” I go over and pick it up. I nod and he leaves as quickly as he came.

Soon after his hateful form is out of sight I sink to the floor. As I grip the table leg I can feel the beginnings of a fever break across my skin. The paper crumples under the pressure of my constricting fist.

I glance at the front of the sealed envelope and as usual the victim’s name and address is scrawled in red ink in the corner.

– RJ


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