“His masterful use of language as he describes the lone hunter setting out to find his prey. That’s what sets out this program out from the rest of the nature programs, good as some of them are”
He was listening to the radio review of the first episode of Hunter – the new nature series. He pulled into the dark car park and listened to the end of the piece before going into Ridley’s for his pint of milk. ‘Why do you always run out of milk?’ he asked himself again, ‘never bread or cheese or any other staple, just milk. Ah well... ‘ Through the brightly lit shop windows, he saw them. Two sisters, in their Saturday night clothes. They stalked past the aisles for all the world like two gazelles, straight legged in their high heels or their boots. Legs disappearing eventually into unfeasibly short dresses.
The hunter senses some prey and his ears prick up, his eyes suddenly alert for any signs of weakness in the animals.
He got out, locked the car and went into the shop; picked up his pint of milk and headed for the till, finding himself behind the two. They were definitely sisters, same face; rounded and slightly overweight. Perhaps it was puppy fat, probably not though, these days slightly overweight was the new slim. They looked good though, gone to a lot of trouble. One was in a dark jacket that appeared to be longer than her skirt because, from behind, he could see no evidence of skirt. Her hair fell in curly tresses from high on her head, probably extensions he thought. And she tottered slightly on her clumpy, very high shoes. She turned and he saw her face again, rounded, softened by a little fat on the cheeks; made-up to a high degree, and very attractively, alluringly; bright red lipstick, eye shadow with sparkles. She was one of those girls whose mouth never closed, the lips stayed open revealing the front teeth even when she was quiet, which didn’t seem to be often. Her sister was dressed in a gold sparkly dress with no bra. He could see that because the V at the front went down below her bust, revealing large breast sides. She was clutching her two cans of sugary, vodka crap to her bosom as she fiddled in her bag for money. Tights? No, she had no tights he thought as her boot rose up to above her knees. There was a gap of maybe a foot or eighteen inches of flesh before her gold dress, having stretched over her bottom, resumed its natural size and stopped. He wondered what panties she was wearing. She had long, straight light brown (she probably thought of herself as blond) hair, natural, he thought. The two had their ID checked.
“Going in to town?” The till woman chattily asked. “Yes, should be good if it doesn’t rain again”
Goldy-dress had the same rounded face as her sister, less lipstick but still the sparkles round her eyes. It suited her. Her mouth closed properly, he liked that.
The hunter has picked his prey, now begins an intricate dance of which only one partner is aware. He must separate his quarry from the herd. But where is the herd? If there are only two they will be harder to deal with as each will be aware of the other at all times.
As he came out with his milk and a Snickers and a chocolate bar, he saw them at the bus stop, now there were five of them. Already laughing and joking; already drinking the first can of vodka pop. He got into the car, decision made and milk forgotten; he set off for town. He must reach it before they did if the stalking was to be successful. He ripped off the cover of the Snickers – his tea for the night – and ate as he drove. There were two bus stops they might pick, which one would he stake out? The theatre or the station? Yes, the theatre, they would go to the pub first, even if they were going to Biba Las Vegas, the club round the corner from the station. The theatre stop was best for the popular pubs in town.
Now the hunter starts his careful plan, one mistake could lose his prey, or even be fatal. He must think what the small herd will do before they know they will do it. He must stay downwind as they start their grazing, unaware of the danger.
He parked up and walked round to the stop, waiting 20 yards away. A lone man, anonymously dressed. He wasn’t unattractive, he wasn’t some loser with acne or a 10 stone stomach or buck teeth and thick glasses or anything else that pretty but shallow girls would dismiss him for. He looked good actually, well groomed, young and fit. Sometimes he had just joined a group like this, it wasn’t hard. Tonight he couldn’t be bothered to be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Tonight he was the wolf, or the leopard perhaps since he was a lone hunter, not a pack.
There! Was that the No. 8? No that was a 5, next one was a 14. Damn! Had he missed it? No, there is was, it stopped and they all got off. The bus was packed with couples and groups and the occasional unattached boy. There they were, their group had swelled to seven along the way, plus a couple of boys, no three. Hoping that they could get some by the end of the night. It was another strategy.
The hunter’s sharp eyesight picks out the quarry amongst the milling herd. The protection of the herd is the confusing movement in the crowd, distracting a hunter from fixating on a single animal to hunt. The wheeling of large flocks makes it hard for a falcon to target an individual, likewise the hunter on the open plains with thousands of animals. This hunter has selected his prey and focuses solely on it, the young animal is still entirely ignorant that it is a target.
He had perfected the trick of knocking over a drink accidentally. It helped if it was a bloke’s. ‘Let me get you another, it’s so crowded, no I insist, what was it? Stella? You got it mate’ Then as a seeming after thought ‘anybody else while I’m there?’ Even if they say no he’s marked himself as an okay guy, and if they say yes then he’s in. He comes back with the drink or drinks and just naturally talks to the bloke for a while, if he can get an anecdote into the conversation then now he’s accepted. He tells them his friend isn’t coming and shows them the text he’s sent himself – no-one ever clocks that the number is his own, how could they? And that’s it, he’s in. Later he talks to the girl, his target and slowly separates her. He’s personable, likeable, even if they say no in the end and he insists; they always put it down to experience and are grateful he was good looking. They never complain to the police.
Now the hunter must bide his time, wait until he can separate the prey from its protective herd.
.... There is more of this story ...