The year was 1938 near the end of fall. Two men were out in the countryside, off on their annual hunting trip. They had been doing this hunt for over a decade, and they never shot a thing. Both had old rifles that fired at unexpected times, and neither of them ever seemed too adamant about killing anything.
“I am going to kill something this time James,” said Samuel, the taller of the two.
“No you’re not, you say that every year,” James rolled his eyes, “we didn’t even kill anything in the war, we sat on a boat and picked lint from behind our respective ears. Why don’t we not kid ourselves. We can sit and smoke and enjoy the day. Nora made sandwiches.”
James brushed some of the wet mist off a fallen tree and sat down. He had pulled both a cigarette and lighter out of his pocket before the other man could stop him.
“No, I am, I promise you, today is the day, get up, we can smoke and eat sandwiches any day. Suzanne always makes fun of me every time I come home empty handed.” Samuel said, putting is foot down hard on the soft earth.
James got up, groaning under the pressure of his aching joints and slipping his cigarette back into its case.
“Onward then! Where you go, I shall follow, Sir!”
The men walked deeper into the woods. James didn’t complain again, he knew that it was a matter of pride. If anything should be learned in life it is that a man’s pride is a finicky thing, especially when attached to a trigger finger.
There were a few moments where they saw a fleeing deer and shot frantically into the trees, never hitting anything of course, which entertained James immensely. Samuel, on the other hand, felt each missed shot circle back and hit him straight in the gut.
Just when James decided it was time to have another go at sandwiches and cigarettes, Samuel’s gun fired unexpectedly into the sky.
A small gray lump fell through the trees, landing a few yards away. Samuel was closest. He ran over to pick it up as Samuel began dancing a little dance and waving his gun in the air.
“Aha! Suzanne will be the one feasting on snide comments tonight!”
As James closed in on the dead bird, he saw a little slip of paper curled around its leg.
“Hey, get over here, looks like you shot a carrier pigeon,” he called, waving his hand and eventually throwing a stone, to get Samuel’s attention. He came running over, panting, and patted James on the back.
“I told you my friend! Didn’t I tell you! I got the little bastard.” he said as he looked down with pride at his kill.
“Hey, what’s that on his leg?”
“That’s what I have been trying to tell you if you’d calm down a bit,” James scolded, gently.
“Well, let’s take it off an’ see what it says,” Samuel said, unable to keep excitement from his voice.
“Well, I don’t know, what if its private?” said James, hesitating.
“Oh bullshit, I’ll get it.” Samuel bent down and yanked the paper off the bird. He unfurled it.
“Hmm… looks important. Hey, look at this name though.”
James looked over Samuel’s shoulder. They both squinted at the name.
“How do you think you’d say that. Go-DOT? Or GODot?” James pondered aloud.
Samuel shrugged. “Oh, who cares, the message isn’t that important anyways, they’ll figure it out eventually. Grab that bird and let’s get out of here, Suzanne is going to eat her words tonight!”
James grabbed the bird and flung it into his pack. The two men shared a cigarette as they walked out of the woods, leaving the little slip of paper laying in the blood stained snow:
Dear Estragon and Vladimir,
I am not going to be able to meet you, don’t wait for me.
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