They wore their antlers like badges

My boss asked us if we wanted to run wild. We stood next to a bare forest, on the edge. I couldn’t see the tree tops, no leaves, just trunk upon trunk, the ground brown, the trunks brown, the slits through the trunks – I wanted to run into them, like I’ve always wanted to run through a corn field, lost, surrounded. Are you sure? we all asked because we weren’t coming back. I’m sure he says and we sprinted into the trees, dull trees like we were wild animals free.
It was so crowded. So many of us bumping into each other. I spotted deer. So many kinds of deer, their antlers like different patterns on butterfly wings, each deer’s antlers revealed its specific job – the gatherers, the breeders, the mothers, the fighters. They wore them high on their heads like badges. I found their burrow, as if deer burrow – an orange, bright light pushed from the earth guarded by a gate of more antlers. We weren’t allowed to enter, the fighters were after us.
I was traveling with 3 friends. I can’t remember their faces. All I knew was I needed to find space, away from the trunks, the people stuck between them, so I asked my friends if they knew of a place, I did, by a long creek bed, thick and forested – there’s a trail.

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