by Tim Conley

How well I remember finding that fox. It was a red shiver in my morning’s line of sight, only slightly more vivid and certain as I approached, halted, approached. The only sounds were mine; soft, placating half-noises as I looked around the seized leg. When my small hands prised apart the trap’s goblin jaws, the animal modestly looked away, but in my wrist I briefly felt its hysterical pulse. And out it leapt, across a clearing, and then paused to look back at me. I felt my measure fully taken. Then it was gone. 

These many years later, I have seen to it that these woods are replete with such traps, and with each new morning comes the thrill of possible discovery, so that my own heart attains a vulpine pace and I may again be a deliverer. But of course it is never quite the same.

Tim Conley’s most recent fiction collection is Dance Moves of the Near Future (New Star Books, 2015). He lives, for lack of a better word, in St. Catharines, Ontario.
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