Text Box: Elliott Foster

The Wounded


         I cried the moment I shot him. Not from the blast or the blood. Bullied into pulling a reluctant trigger, these silent teardrops sprang from years of betrayal and flowed with instant regret.

         “Jesus Christ,” a complicit voice bawled as I collapsed to the floor. “You shot him

in the leg.”

         Short of breath, I asked what I didn’t want to know. “Is he dead?”

         “No, but he’s lying there on the ground, looking in this direction.”

         The shot already fired, I couldn’t retrieve it. The gun dropped from my hand. I never wanted to touch it again, but I would. Soon.

         “Wait, he’s getting up.”

         I barely focused on what my accomplice was saying.

         “He’s heading for the woods. Shit.”


         This is not how I imagined it would play out when we left Minneapolis on this November day. We reached the sparse woodland retreat by two. Exiting the car, scents of damp and dying vegetation assaulted my nostrils and a random thoughts invaded my mind in succession as we reached Barron County.

         I recalled our distant happiness, David’s and mine, on a college campus two hundred miles and twenty years in the distance. I remember my girlfriends fawning over the qualities we collectively found so attractive about David in college.

         “He’s definitely a keeper, Kris, so witty and fun.”

         “Those muscles! That hair! Why wouldn’t you date him?”


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