'My heart is beating at 14 beats per minute'
'an extreme case of Athletic heart syndrome'
'my body temperature went down'
'my blood feels cold'
'numb to exhaustion'
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'numb to body stress'
'numb to pain'
'I see everything in slow motion'
'it is starting again...'
These were the thought that was running through Chuck's mind as the massive compound explosion rattled the surrounding, everyone was disoriented, but Chuck was in a daze remembering the same incident that he always recollects before he is about to enact a slaughter fest of blood and carnage...
Chuck, 13-year old, back then, he was a very disoriented young man. He was going through a tragedy of losing the world in which he grew up and was shoved into a new reality. One that was less pleasant and less caring than the life he knew...
Unhinged by the loss of his folks, young Chuck became a lost and quiet boy. The lack of vigor for a boy of his age made Chuck often being misunderstood and isolated by his peers. He spent most of his time in the woods near his foster care during his time there...
The place was a locally popular hunting ground, where people in the county will bring out their guns to shoot at wild animals during the hunting season. Most of those who carry a gun, they shoot for fun. They rarely kill anything larger than a rabbit.
However, one strange man always brings out a big animal by the end of the day. Despite his big catch he never bragged about his kills. He hunted alone and always calmly left with the carcass of his kills. Even when people tied to talk to him, he replied with a short curt word, displaying his clear disinterest in conversation.
The most he talked is when he asked permission to take the leftover carcass of the others. When people noticed him taking the left-over dead animal, people thought of him more as a scavager rather than a hunter. In time, he was treated like a beggar as some shameless men boasted that the big kills that he carries where their hunt.
Strangely the man never defended himself, despite hearing the lies. He never argued with those speak ill of him. Though Chuck never saw the man's hunting ability, he somehow felt that the man was the most real hunter, among the present men.
On a later date, when young Chuck was walking through the trails of the forest in boredom, he came across a fascinating incident. He saw a man fighting a tall bear. A big brown bear was coming at this middle-aged man at full speed. Chuck watched expecting to hear a bang from a gun that he has seen many men around the woods use.
The man did pull out a weapon, but it wasn't a bullet spewing rifle or a pistol, but a long Jungle Survivor knife with a blade that is over a foot long. Unlike the gun users who attack from a distance, the man ran and rushed upfront into the raging bear and threw his whole body into the fast-paced animal. He tightly held onto his knife and jumped to the front. Although the man stabbed deep into the bear in the face-off, the bear claws got him back too.
His chest became a mangled mess flesh and blood. Luckily, the bear did not finish the kill, his knife cut an artery and the bear laid down by the stream rapidly losing blood, moaning out at its inevitable end.
Seeing no danger, Young Chuck checked out the hurt man. Up close, he saw that the insanely brave man who fought a bear was the same man who always quietly hunted by himself.
Chuck carried the hurt man to the town and fortunately, he survived. When the man wanted to thank Chuck, he asked him a question...
"Why did you not bring a gun? If you hand one, you could've shot the bear or least the gunshot would've scared the bear."
Hearing Young Chuck's question, the man in the bandage quietened for a while, as if he is remembering a promise he made ages ago...
"...it is my respect for the living..."
"Using a gun, you don't feel the responsibility of a kill, everything happens in a second. Using a knife lets me know what I am doing. The piercing of flesh, the splattering of blood, the scream of the animal and its last breath..."
"...a killer should always live through this, if he could not, he should never kill..."
Though Chuck never again met the man, his words never stopped echoing in his ear, every time he gears up to slaughter.
[Exhale] '...to the living we owe respect...'