I moved with slow, deliberate steps along the high point, until the trees and bushes were too thin to hide me. The approach would be wide enough to work. I took a quick look around to review the ground from this new place. It was important to review the terrain and distances. The being was in the same vicinity as before, eating and showing no sign of concern. I determined there was no reason to delay.
I stayed low as I departed the bushes and moved down to the low, open space. Only thin grass, not higher than my knees, covered the open space. Staying low would only give me a few extra moments to stay undetected. I would be seen once it looked in my direction.
Just as I reached the flat, open space, the being raised its head up. I might have made a noise in my movements or just fallen into sight early; though it did not matter any longer. The approach was nearly over. All that remained was for the being to make a choice and act on it. If it ran back to the boundary of trees it was taking a chance of being faster in a longer run. If it tried to run through the gap I had left it, between me and the water, my chances were better; I knew that ground.
I held back on my speed. It would not do to waste energy until the being committed itself to a direction. The other advantage of holding back early was to trick the target into misjudging your full speed. The creature saw me and froze in place, probably hoping it had not been seen. This was good. The longer it froze, the closer I got and the more rushed its decision became. Still, I began to accelerate, just enough to keep closing the distance. The being took quick glances in the directions it might go and darted into action.
A chase is a simple process while it is happening. What makes success more likely is the plan. Any being can run fast, hoping to outrun a target; though it is inefficient and usually ineffective. The approach is the biggest factor in a chase, and planning it well is what counted.
The being was not moving much from where I first observed it. Assuming it remained near that spot, I could plan. My options were limited mostly by my starting point. The high space with brushes and trees hid me. The ground between me and the being descended quickly before flattening out into open space; offering no places to hide along the way. Getting very close and lunging out would not happen. The plan would have to be about using the ground and tricking the being.
The patch of water was a good start. It did not look like a water being, so that was a boundary. The open space went on for a long distance, directly away from the water. On the other side of the being, the open space was also long; but there was a boundary of trees and bushes that could offer an escape, if reached. In a straight run, it was unlikely I could get close enough, fast enough to outrun it before it reached those trees.
If I moved far enough along my current cover and approached from a wide angle, leaving a gap to escape back to the cover I was in, the being might run for it. This cover was a good screen, but not enough for hiding or evasion; if the being panicked or misjudged this, it might run that way. I looked for another moment to see if there were other options before deciding on the wide approach.
(Not sure quite what to call this. Natural science fiction would be as close as I could say without overthinking it. Nothing horrific, gross or deep, though it feels very much like a weird bit of writing. It just kind of came to me and was easy to write. It needs some TLC, but considering how the last month or so has treated me I will call it good enough for now. I include a map at the end of this because I was not completely satisfied with the visual I describe. I am also a sucker for maps, and apologize for the crude rending here; visual arts are not my forte. If you believe this is very short, then you are correct by any meaningful standard. More parts to come soon.)
Part One: Finding
It was a day like so many others. The air was warm and calm, even before the sun rose. It was a good day for many things.
It was not long after sunrise when I found a being worth catching. It was unusual, but looked like so much like the other beings I was accustomed to catching that I hardly concerned myself. Trying to identify each, specific type and remember them with detail was more effort than it was worth. All that mattered were the details regarding how it behaved when chased, and then caught. Everything else was not worth remembering.
This being was eating in an open space bordering a patch of water. It was alone and unaware of my presence. I also had the advantage of being concealed by trees and bushes on a ridge slightly higher than the ground the being was on. The sun was off to the side, but high enough not to throw especially long shadows. The still air would conceal my presence. It was a good find.