The Usurper and the King, Or Wrong Bear!

Piers Arkan

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Day 80 of my life in the Coastal Highway was marked by the latest scheme to get more food. My stores of Bear meat and scraps of wolf were running thin, could maybe last two more days. I had 40 rifle bullets, a fine wolfskin jacket, and enough lumber for a fire to burn for at least a week. 


I had killed one of at least three bears in the Coastal Highway area, the one by the campground. That bastard had sat there and made my life hell while I was dragging everything from Mystery Lake to my home. Nevertheless, the process was straightforward in killing him. This was not the case, sadly, as I went to kill Bear number two. Within the night I decided to head early to the spot I prepped. Drag a bit of reclaimed wood and some sticks. A flare might help, got like 30 of em. Oh and bring the wolf meat, might have to wait a day in case the weather gets screwey.


The Bear in question, the King to be dethroned from the food chain, his cave was on the east side of the Misanthrope's island. No idea what was done to give that person that name, no weaponry or real signs of difference. With equipment for a day at the ready I slept at the homestead. I awoke to a great fog, making it impossible to hunt the bear. By the time I could see him, it would be too late. I tested my luck though. Perhaps the bear was hibernating in their cave, and I could get the drop on them. I snuck to the edge of the cave and found no such bear. A wolf found me though. Missed. Gave it a good hatchet chop. harvested some sticks and cleaned myself up after the encounter, opting to move onto the ice. The bear's patrol path wasn't that close, so perhaps I would get lucky. 


The Wolf had made it to the road, off the ice and into a bank. Had to kill a second wolf to get close. Perfect shot through the head. Level up to skilled with my rifle. The bear was nowhere to be seen. The usurper had to wait a few more days, subsisting on more wolf meat. Still didn't know how far the bear travelled on its treks. Had seen it make for land a few times, but no idea how far north. Headed for Quonset gas station, maybe it had made it that far north. 


Saw it coming down the lumber path. The bear lumbered, slower than any other animal around. Made for such a tempting target to just shoot him then and there. Could probably get a second shot off on him. Too dangerous, figure out where it'll be, and where you'll be. I'll be back in the building down the hill by the time it gets here. It's a good sprinter, but perhaps i'll get lucky and take him down in one hit, I can definitely make out his face.


Vastly underestimated his sprint and overestimated mine. made it down the hill. Could hear it breathing by the time it got me by the door. Surprised to survive. Cleaned myself up as he slowly walked away. perhaps, despite being shot, the message was clear. Shot him in the leg before he made it over the edge. Had I known the fog was going to get bad again, I might've bided my time; still had three days worth of wolf meat. Ran after him to try and keep on the blood trail fresh. The trail was bizaare, ran up a rock, down another edge, and out towards the crumbling highway before the snow came in and cleared it. Snow, fog, and it was getting dark. The Bear was most assuredly dead, but no idea where it could be, last time it travelled almost to the other side of the map.


Opted to get rest at a nearby house. In the morning I went through the different areas, doing my best to get the signs from the birds. Nothing. Just old human corpses picked clean. Went through the area for two days, evaded wolves on two more occasions. 


Had no idea where the hell that bear could be. Finally, I went out one morning, maybe about three or four days after killing the bear, back into the newest layer of fog. Bumbled around, trying to get onto the upper roads. Heard some birds in the distance, and finally bumped into the bear. Literally jumped for joy and got the fire ready. Figured the bear's body might shield the fire from wind. Worked out great, cut him up for three hours. Fortune was good, he died right next to one of the trailers. Salvaged some wood and began to cook there. 


Took all through the night to cook him. Left most of the meat in front of the trailer and got situated. Was right over the Quonset gas station area. There was going to be plenty of wolves, but I could move the hide, guts and meat over the course of maybe three days. The meat alone could last me for thirty. Began the trek down and no sooner do I get onto the ice then I see him.


I had killed a totally different bear. 

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