Sunday, March 16, 2014


Over the water, a sound traveled that was both unfamiliar and odd. When the sound started, every camper's head turned in that direction, pausing from whatever had been, a moment ago, occupying the thoughts and hands of  the now attentive listeners. Then one by one they each went back to what they had been doing. Except Nonesuch. He knew what was coming. He stared in the direction of the sound a full two minutes longer than the others. Then he looked at each of the other campers, one at a time, thinking to himself that he would probably be the only survivor and would never see these men again. With as little movement as possible, he poured the water from his canteen into the dirt behind him. Then he stood up, muttered to the others that he was going to get water and slipped away from camp.

Nonesuch stepped into the cool of the forest and looked back. Nobody was watching him. He eased around a tree and took up a rifle, which he placed up in the nearest tree. Then he dropped on to the ground and crawled to the back of the closest tent, pulled out his knife and cut a slot in the back. He peeked through, then reached his hand in and came back with a sleeping bag. Another grab earned him his bag and one final reach got him a box of rifle shells. He crawled back into the trees. Quickly, he packed the goods and slipped the bag onto his back. Then he was running, hoping to put as much distance between himself and the camp before the misery arrived.

By the time the first scream reached his ears, he was on the far side of the river. Then he ran south along the river towards the waterfall, knowing that he might have to jump. If the Eaters sniffed out a missing man, they would start looking for him. His only chance was to get some distance, then some water behind him. It didn't feel like his time to die, but maybe it never did for anyone. How would he know?

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