IT’S ABOUT A MOOSE? • by Townsend Walker

So when Fred strolled in the house with a moose head I threw a total fit.

Not only did you kill one of God’s precious creatures, you idiot, but you dared bring his stuffed head home.

He hemmed and hawed and tried to pretend he didn’t know how I felt about hunting.  Likely.

This was the last in a long line of loser moves.  The one before was pretending the size two silk panties in his jacket pocket were for me.

Fifteen minutes after he walked in with the head in one hand and a rifle in the other, he walked out with a suitcase in one hand and the rifle in his back.

Been two years now that Fred left.  On the way out, he didn’t even stop to take the head with him, or ask for it in the settlement.

I stuck it in the corner of the garage the day he left, behind awnings I’ve never put up.  But lately, I’ve been getting headaches.  I’m sure it’s something to do with that moldering head.

So put it up on Craigslist: Moose Head for Sale, $3500.

“Ma’am, this is Charlie Buckle; I seen your advertisement, and the picture there, and I’d really like to come on out and take a look at that moose head of yours.”

“Might be able to do that, but first, tell me Charlie, what are you going to do with a moose head?”

“Well, ma’am, couple of us down here got a cabin up at Clear Lake, been talking, you know.  What it would be like if we could fix ourselves up a lodge for guys to get together and that sort of stuff.”

“Don’t know much about that sort of stuff, Charlie, but you come up here with your buddies and $3500 in cash, no checks, and you can put this moose head anywhere you like.”

“It’s in good condition, is it?  You’ve kept it inside and all?”

“Charlie, you think moose live indoors, what’s it matter where it was?”

“Well ma’am, we’re particular about this lodge we’re putting together, how it looks.”

“Tell the truth, it’s been in the garage last two years, all covered up.

“And it’s pretty dry in there, is it, ma’am?”

“Look Charlie, like I said, you come up here and look at it.  You like it, you give me the money, you take it, you go.  You don’t like it, you just go.”

He chuckled.  “And if I like you?”

Townsend Walker is a writer living in San Francisco. During a career in finance he published three books: foreign exchange, derivatives, and portfolio management. His stories have been published in over forty literary journals, including Every Day Fiction, Word Riot, Grey Sparrow, The Linnet’s Wings, Raving Dove, Dark Skies, Bartleby Snopes, and The Battered Suitcase. One of his stories was nominated for the PEN/O.Henry Award. Another was runner-up for the Gordon Award given by Our Stories Literary Journal. Four of his stories were performed by actors at the New Short Fiction Series in Hollywood.

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