Survival of the Fittest
by Alexis Kypridemos
Caveman Socrates Leatherrock sniffed the jungle air. His prey was close. He treaded lightly, making almost no sound at all. He followed the scent. The prey couldn't be more than three feet away now. Silently, he took an arrow from his quiver and threaded it through his bow.
Leatherrock couldn't see the prey through the dense jungle growth, even though he could smell it. But it was so close that he decided to stand up from his crouched stance, even though that would risk giving away his position.
He stood and immediately spotted his prey, in front and to the left, lying scared at the foot of a tree. Leatherrock released the arrow from his bow.
The arrow punctured the wrapping paper on both sides of the hot dog.
Leatherrock approached his dead prey and removed the arrow. He put it back into is quiver. This wasn't just about not wasting ammunition, he was an environmentally aware primate. He picked up the skewered hot dog and took the first bite. He spat it out.
"Coleslaw! Again! How many times do I have to tell them?" He sighed, wore his bow over his shoulder, and walked on home, taking a second bite from the hot dog. "What the hell," he muttered, "It's edible."
After the semi-successful hunt, Leatherrock returned home to his cave. He took off his bow and quiver and rested them against the carved rock wall before sitting cross-legged on the ground. He took his reading glasses from inside his animal hide vest and switched on his laptop. The Internet connection took its sweet time. He swatted the computer a couple of times.
"Broadband my ass," he sighed.
Finally the computer connected to his home page, the "Neanderthaal Today" e-zine. He clicked the link to an article about G.R.U.N.T., the organization for Neanderthaal rights. The article began, "Neanderthaals are not dead. They have adapted and live among us. They even take positions of government." A picture of a recent President followed.
"Excuse me," said a voice, catching Leatherrock off guard. Leatherrock took off his reading glasses and looked up.
A young man stood in the sun outside Leatherrock's cave, sweating in his business suit.
"Are you Mr. Socrates Leatherock?" the young man asked, reading the name off an official-looking paper.
"That depends," Leatherrock said. "Who's asking?"
"I'm with the Inland Revenue Service," the young man said. "It has come to our attention that you did not file a tax return last year. Consequently you have been selected for an audit." The man never got to finish the sentence. Somewhere between 'Inland Revenue' and 'tax return' Leatherrock's instinct for self preservation kicked in, and with lightning speed he fired off an arrow. The young man fell to the ground.
Leatherrock threaded another arrow through the bow and carefully approached the taxman, checking to see if a second shot was needed. It wasn't.
"Socrates?" Leatherrock's wife called from inside the cave. "Who was that?"
"Survival of the Fittest" is part of "Fiction Fix," a collection of 46 short, funny stories plus 196 bonus micro fiction stories for the fiction addict in a hurry, available at www.fiction-fix.com
Author Notes: "Survival of the Fittest" is part of "Fiction Fix," a collection of 46 short, funny stories plus 196 bonus micro fiction stories for the fiction addict in a hurry, available at http://www.fiction-fix.com