In Light of the Night: Chapter Eight
- In Light of the Night
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Two
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Three
- In Light of the Night Chapter Four
- In Light of the Night, Chapter Five
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Six
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Seven
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Eight
- In Light of the Night: Chapter Nine
- In Light of the Night, Chapter Eleven
- In Light of the Night-Chapter Ten
Nightfall in the thick forest found me as I frantically attempted to light the pile of dry sticks I’d gathered.
Sweat beaded on my forehead and dripped onto the base stick. I was trying the plow technique I saw in Castaway.
Tom Hanks didn’t make it look easy, and I hadn’t yet gouged the palm of my hand with the driver, though it wasn’t looking hopeful.
In the past half hour of constant friction on the stick, I’d only managed to blacken the wood. Sure, I’d gotten a meager whisp of smoke, though this was quickly carried away in the breeze coursing through the pines.
I sweated through the nightgown from the asylum—my new name for the “hospital” and noticed my body had become completely visible again under the moonlight.
The waxing gibbous light leaked through the canopy high above in pools and beams. One such beam fell on the fire I attempted in vain to light.
Every crack of twig or leaf sent me jumping and spinning in circles like a corned fox.
These sounds I dismissed as rodents. I listened, frozen behind my makeshift pile of brush camouflage for some time with each occurrence.
The silent shadows still clung behind far-off trees encircling me. This made me more anxious than the sound of the heavy-footed, gun-wielding soldiers from whom I ran.
Now in total darkness spotted in moonlight, I noticed one shadow in particular.
It darted from tree to tree in my peripherals. Each time I bent back down to start my fire, it moved a tree closer, peeking out from behind its new hiding place.
I kept my hands moving as I tried to focus on the shape out of the corners of my eyes. Finally, I made out the silhouette of a large human watching me when my hand slipped. “Fuck!” I yelled as the plow cut my forearm, drawing blood. Now I was Tom Hanks, damn it all!
I lifted my head to see the shape gone where it was a moment before, not twenty feet away. I knew in my gut that this shadow, like the rest I’ve been seeing, would not be outrun by me. Not in the night.
“Hello,” a voice whispered. I whipped back around to see the shadowy figure standing over my fire. It was a bearded man in a plaid shirt and jeans. His face was cloaked in deep shadows and indistinguishable.
“Who are you?” I asked with a braveness that surprised even me. As I said this aloud, I heard the question echo behind me.
In that instant, I knew as much as felt that somehow Ella was there, standing at my side again.
Ignoring the question, the shadowed man crouched down to the fire. He attempted to grasp at the fallen plow and driver sticks I’d dropped.
His hands passed through the wood as shadows might, and he growled in frustration.
“You’re doing this all wrong,” he said in a now stronger, gruff voice of annoyance.