Peter Kispert

Fiction

Peter Kispert is an undergraduate student currently living in New Hampshire, where he is Editor-in-Chief of Aegis and Sandpaper, the campus literary magazines. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in South Dakota Review, PANK Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pear Noir!, and others. He has worked with The Adirondack Review, Mud Luscious Press, Monkeybicycle, and The Medulla Review.

Hunting Season

You tried catching one there on the lip of forest, snaring it between the shoulder and snout, wading in a drift of damp meadow: a Tuesday. The line had been set, fifty yards south, and you sat—spine curved like the bend of a bow, tracing the cardinal, ebbing wind as it combed the bluestem grass. An oily groan, from your left. One, maybe two hundred yards past the oaks. You examined prospective culprits: the strict vermilion of raspberry bushes, silent in the slight cinnamon of fall. A gun, cold against your palm. Noise returned: the formal, gullet pinch of a mating call. You began to notice the backlit horizon, a black train pulling further away from you into a stretch of forest autumn had not yet stolen. Air rolled to fog. Your line pulled forward. For a moment, you understood: the seismic neutrality of your presence, the bullet’s path as it lodged in the bear’s peachy skin, the orchard hours away, picked clean in the wake of blackberry season.

I wrote Hunting Season very early in the morning, during a night I simply could not sleep. I had just finished making a series of difficult life decisions the day prior, the outcomes of which I doubted. The sun wasn’t up, though it should have been by that point. My bedroom window was open, and the May air was mercurially warming and cooling with each passing minute. And I imagined myself hunting, as my grandfather used to, someplace I had never been, but was able to will myself toward in the recesses of my imagination. Suddenly, I was able to quietly conjure the textured painting of the story. A brief rush of the scene hit me. I felt the weight of my isolation lift, then touch down someplace else. I felt the pleasing finality of my decisions—the things that happen, that exist, that bloom and wither without the necessity of my consent, and it was refreshing. I imagine I wrote this piece in second person narrative as a sort of letter to myself in that moment.