Anita Mechler: Cougar Hill Revisited

I am sitting in the canoe with an outward calm and inner panic when I come upon the infamous Cougar Hill.

They stare down at me waiting. I watch. Neither of us know our future fate. I slow to a crawl in the dank moldy lagoon. Whoever is blood thirsty enough will make the first move. Or maybe it is whoever’s heart stops beating the fastest.

I decide to disembark and leave safety and my supplies in an attempt to escape my meaningless existence. This is the first time in a long while that I have felt alive. Perhaps tearing another’s flesh apart will stop the spinning world. Their eyes glitter and mine become unfocused with fear. Their breath is visible against the air; waiting.

What will be the next move? A lunge toward or against? For now, we are just breathing.

The hill is rocky, treacherous for climbing up or down. There is a slow chase; circling. Uncertainty and instinct follow me through a dark wood.

Will there be blood spilt with the gnashing of hair, skin, fur?

The canoe floats by. Spiders crawling and debris sticking to our sides and haunches. There is a glow, illuminating the tightrope of tension.

Who will pounce first?

You and I like cougars on a hill.

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