Montana author Sarah Rau Peterson captures the soul of Montana in ‘Hunting Geese’
From the book
He’s parked on the bank to get away from the woman, holding his thermos mug and staring at the decoys. The sky has turned pink and it waits for the geese to fall for their nightly visit. The shotgun is loaded but the safety is on and he can keep it in the seat next to him since Dog died. He sips his brandy coffee, but it’s lukewarm despite the thermos and the bitter taste gives him heartburn. The radio keeps blaring commentary about the upcoming presidential election—good God, it’s still a year away—and he wishes he could have a sports program, maybe rock and roll here instead. Her hands hurt from the cold, her old hands that have laid hundreds, thousands of decoys on frozen banks, ice-covered lakes, waiting, waiting. He thinks of Lake Freezeout, so cold that winter, almost forty years now, he remembers that it was too cold to wait for the birds outside, even though the former were already spotting his decoys. Cars and vans strewn around the shores blowing clouds of mufflers. He also knew that each of these vehicles was tuned to the same Calgary AM station as he was, and no one stopped listening even when the geese fell, and suddenly the horns and flashing lights, a noise that all but drowned out the sound of scared birds flying away and out of reach, but they all screamed and howled, all hunters love young boys, because they believed in miracles, yes they did, when the Ruskies lost that hockey game. The woman, a few years ago, he had told her about that cold night in 80, after they made that movie and everyone was talking about it, and he cried and then outright cried about the fact that nobody had attracted geese that night, but they were all brothers getting out of hot vehicles to chant USA! UNITED STATES! together in the freezing air. She wasn’t really listening, he could tell, but he had gotten downright pissed off when she told him she didn’t remember. I didn’t remember! Don’t remember the call? Al Michaels? Beat the fucking USSR, Red Army guys? Her face was blank and she had said – she had even said – that she didn’t follow football. He’s laughing to himself now. It had been one hell of a conversation. He warms his hands against the vent of the radiator, rubs them against each other, arthritic joint against arthritic joint.
About Sarah Rau Peterson
Sarah Rau Peterson is a first generation Montanese. She lives with her husband and two children near Miles City, where she divides her time between the family ranch, her college history class, and her children’s activities. She occasionally publishes in The Montana Quarterly.
About Unsolicited Press
Unsolicited Press strives to produce exceptional works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from award-winning authors. Unsolicited press based in Portland, Oregon and focuses on unsung and underrepresented works. As a small, all-volunteer, women-owned publishing house that cares less about profits than promoting exceptional literature, we are privileged to partner with authors on the fringes of the literary world. . We have worked with emerging and award-winning authors such as Shann Ray, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Brook Bhagat, Kris Amos, and John W. Bateman. Find us on Twitter and Instagram, @unsolicitedp.
“Hunting Geese” is available May 17, 2022 in paperback (66 p.; 978-1-956692-19-8) and eBook (at all major retailers). The title is commercially distributed by Ingram. The author is open to speaking with the media, hosting readings, and engaging in other authorship opportunities.