Friday, September 9, 2011

Sunset, Part 4

Night had fallen before Garret's fire had finally started. It cost him a chipped fingernail, two raw palms, and hours collecting fallen branches small enough to burn. He took another trip to the river once the fire was in no danger of going out.

The river was not far from his camp - it wound through a clearing in the forest, going on out of sight on either end. The water was warm in his mouth, heated by the sun, but it was fresh, and clean. He cupped one last refreshing handful into his mouth, not minding that some dripped onto his shirt. It would help cool him in the night. He welcomed any source of cold; it was humid here, and the forest trapped the sun's warmth in it, even now.

Somewhere, a wolf howled. He's probably complaining about the heat, too.

Wolves shouldn't be here. This is a jungle. Wolves don't...are there mountains nearby? I'll have to look for those tomorrow. Perhaps they'll be colder.

He laid down in the center of his campground, a small grove where the night sky poked through the foliage. Here he could gather a night's rest without worrying about being crushed in his sleep. But being crushed was at the back of Garret's mind as he struggled for sleep. His bed of leaves did little to cushion the ground, and it seemed as if the air around him was heating by the second. It was a while before sleep overtook him.


Garret's slumber was short-lived; he awoke to a resonating groan. Still in the throes of sleep, he shut his eyelids and willed unconsciousness to come back.


The groaning wouldn't stop.


It was getting....closer?


No, just his mind playing tricks.


Garret jumped up as a hand clutched at his shoulder. He spun in surprise, and saw a figure in the darkness.

"Hello there." He couldn't make out the face of the man with only starlight to guide him. His fire had long since burnt out. "Who are you?"

The figure balled up its hand in a fist, and lashed out. The hand was cold, and clammy on Garret's skin. 

"The fuck are you doing?"

The figure got closer, and swung again. Garret ducked, and began to run.

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