Wednesday, September 5, 2007

When I killed a seagull in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut

The trigger pulled and nothing happened but the guy I was with laughed and said I had to cock it, like in the movies, and then I felt the power. The gun exploded in my arms. The seagulls continued to circle char snared on nets left bare by the Hudson Bay tide. I aimed again, eye up the thick barrel of the shotgun following the corkscrew flight path of one seagull as it descended and ascended.

It burst like a small firework of feathers and dropped into tall grass rimming the shore. It lay like a contorted angel, one wing a mangled blood bone feather mess. A small thread of red traced a path from its eye down its soft neck and its beak opened once. I was told to crush its skull with a large stone.

I had swallowed the tequila worm earlier in a shack owned by NHL player Jordin Tootoo’s parents that sat a few kilometers from Rankin Inlet down a dirt road kept smooth by men in pick-up trucks with a tire tied to the tailgate through tundra that flowed over the edge of the world.

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