I decided to show Lily how to cook deer meet the proper way.
There happened to be a deer nearby the creek, across from the grave she’d made for that guy—too close by to be able to cross the creek without scaring it away, but just the right distance for a well-aimed rifle shot. Lily told me she didn’t want to actually watch me shoot the deer—in fact, the thought of it turned her pale and made her face crumple up like she was sick. I didn’t expect her to want to watch me shoot it. She isn’t like me, not in the slightest. I wondered if watching the deer die would make her cry like she did when I killed that guy last night (was it only last night? Why does it feel like so damn long ago?). It was only a deer, but she’d probably start crying anyway. I wondered if she even ate any meat.
But there was no way for her to get back to the camp without making noise and scaring the deer. I had to tell her to turn around and close her eyes, and if she was going to cry she had best save it for after I made the shot. She nodded, looking sick again, then turned around and threw her hands over her face. She didn’t make a sound. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t mildly impressed.
One shot, and the deer became our meal. I set my rifle down, palmed my blade, and crossed the creek on foot. Lily had turned around and was watching me. I pretended I didn’t know it, but I felt a mild surge of pride. Nobody had ever actually watched me in action before—they never got the chance to. I must say, it was a very good feeling to have an audience. The pride made me a bit silly in the head, and I twirled around a few times before taking a big, goofy, dramatic bow. She laughed like I was some TV comedian. I felt myself turning red and tried to hide it.
I knelt down by the deer and began cutting slabs off of it. I expected Lily to turn around again, but she didn’t seem so disturbed about it now that the thing was dead. Without a word, she watched as I cut up the slabs, slipped my blade into the pocket of my wet jeans, and haul the slabs to my shoulders. As I started to cross back over, Lily waded over to me and took a few of the slabs off of my shoulders.
I raised a brow at her. “What are you doing that for?” I asked.
She smiled at me. “Why not?”
She has an okay smile, I guess…