#25: Facebook cull

Some people fall to the edge of the map
They land in Antarctica
Freeze panes and scroll
Until disappearing completely

No point in looking
Or reaching out
They’re gone now

*

In a rich woodland forest, a badger emerges from a sett that has been marked by a ranger. At a nearby tree the sound of a bullet reverberates and echoes into the badger. He is out cold. A red trail of colour spills from within onto the glistening white snow and the ranger moves on. He resets his rifle and takes aim at another sett. His son follows him and points the infrared binoculars at the home a hundred yards away. He takes a moment too to look at the map and mark it with a few red crosses so that they don’t retrace old steps. The ranger hurries his son along make sure that he doesn’t dither. It’s been a long day and it’s getting dark soon. They’ve still got about half a mile to cover. A warm stew is waiting for them in a pressure cooker at home. The son’s new boots have made a couple blisters on his right foot and he can’t wait to take them off. The ranger whispers to his son. He’s spotted a nose pointing out of the sett and they move forward.

*

It’s been a long time since we spoke on the phone
Did you get my last message?
Or have I lost you to the trees?

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