The grounds require a license. You’ve paid it, with a snarl to show contempt that hippies would even try to enforce some type of conservation here.
In this time, it’s primal.
In this place, it’s nature.
Only so many people, the bleeding hearts say. Only so many at a time, the mewling babies believe.
But you hit the grounds, sights ready, and it’s a target rich environment. No one’s hunting the easy targets, you can walk out of here with a signed piece of paper easy.
Rows stretch out from the entrance. Paper. People. Pizza. The three P’s of the game. Long Boxes hide prey, Top shelves and obscured prices are bush and high grass to the prize. Prey hide behind dealers “oh that? no that’s available only at our store” the mock call goes. “We just sold the last one, let me take that down,” the bright captured stag is pulled down in front of you.
The hunter is strong. He has walked here before. Weapon at the ready like a taut bow. His arm aches from patience. His legs weak from tracking. He hunts a specific prey, and stops along the wayside where pilgrims sip Powerade to ask, “Sin City Hardback Volumes 1-5?”
They stare back most of them. Used to requests about small prey, moderate prizes. Big game? That belongs in the realm of the Internet, not such private and close quartered as these.
”Have you seen it?” our hunter asks, scanning the top rows of the racks for some hint of his prey.
The hunter is not without alternates, though he might keep them to himself. The grounds might feel fallow, but any hunter moves with a purpose bent on both trophy and survival.
To the side, a poorly dressed Wonder-woman inappropriately adjusts, and through hairy arms a prize is glimpsed. Time matters here, the hunt is as much about targets of opportunity as it is about the hunting list. No Sin City to be found, instead a treasure is ensnared and the hunter cries out triumphant against a sea of fellow gatherers who both do and do not know the game:
“Bloom County Archival Editions ARE MINE!” the hunter screams as he spears three across the heart as trophies. The passing horde stops for a moment to admire the kill, but moves on, each on their own hunt.
Their hunt in the fields of paper and art, with the smell of fresh ink upon air.