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posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 12:41 PM
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"We've been walking for hours, Joe. I need to stop for a minute. Look, up ahead, let me sit on that log for a spell, please!!"

"Ok, fine. I'll try to gather my thoughts. We have to be close to something, I mean man, I have lived here all my life and there was never no forest this big anywhere near our town."

"Well, maybe we trekked the wrong direction! I wanted to go the other way," she sneakily reminded him. He let it pass, as they reached the log and sat. The woman was exhausted, and reached in her purse for her water bottle. It was half empty.

She took half of what was left, and it barely made a difference. If they didnt find someplace with water soon, she would die. She felt a small urge to pee, and excused herself, while Joe fumbled with a map and his cell, which was quickly losing power. He shut if off, to conserve what was left. This was getting dire, fast as fire.

As she was wiping, she heard (or thought she heard, it was nearly dark, and the thought just hit her they would more than likely be sleeping here for the night...) some twigs snap, getting closer....

"Joe?" She asked, quickly zippping up her jeans and looking around. The noise stopped, and she hurried back to the log, where Joe still sat, studying the map with a very worried lok on his face. Light was nearly gone.

"Were you back there watching me pee by chance," she asked, irritated, as she sat back down beside him, shivering. She had left her coat in the car, and she regretted it now. Glancing around, she saw no place that looked appropriate for camping. They had no flashlight, only cells with fastly draining energy, much like them. Something twisted in her gut. She shooed it away, taking a deep breath.

"So? What's the plan, Stan?" she asked, feigning positivity.

"Backtracking, and we cannot do it tonight. We have to get to sleep and start out as early as possible. I must not have paid attention in geography class. My city is right next to the state forest. I never realized it was so close." Joe seemed angry with himself, and his brows furrowed. "Let's get going. We have about twenty minutes until night fall. Back up the way we passed a nice flat clearing. Let's go!"

++++++++

Joe had brought a backpack with him, he kept it in the car at all times for emergencies. He really regretted not refreshing the batteries in the flashlight, as the bag had sat for over ten years. When he packed it he was a teenager so he packed it for one person. The survival water had long evaporated in the canteen and the food had to be thrown away. He scolded his teenage self for packing so modestly....the blanket was thin, and there was only one, so they used the poncho to lay on, and they cuddled under the blanket for warmth. The lighter didn't work, but the matches did, and the small fire had made the chill less painful. They managed to roast some walnuts they found on the ground along the beginning of their journey, and they ate a few of the tic tacs she found in her purse. She was saving the gum for morning, for food and for breath freshening.

Neither of them were outdoorsey, they were geeks who played WoW and updated their laptops yearly. They stayed indoors ninety percent of the time, and rarely went hiking or walking or even out side. They both worked form home from their computers, so this was a sobering way to spend the evening. Neither one had gone without a full meal in years, either, so they giggled every so often when one of their bellies rumbled.

The giggles had long since faded for Joe who snored gently on the forest floor.

But she could not sleep, and the fire was at ember stage, barely giving enough warmth to matter. She shook, and she kept....hearing things.....that scared her. Like twigs snapping, and owls hooting, and animals speaking to one another. The fire was their only real protection...

She decided she might be able to sleep if she stoked up the fire, and she had to find some sticks and wood fast before it went out. She got up and wandered a ways, gathering what she thought were decent speciments.

Footsteps caused her to freeze, her heart thumping so loudly it might give her away.

Another set of feet joined the first, and she heard strange grunts and clicking noises, and occasionally a noise much like a word.

She hoped if she stayed silent they would walk past her and be on thier way. After all, no one knew they were here, so it could not be her they wanted.....

+++++++++++++++

Joe stretched and glanced beside him. Where was she? The fire was dead, and the morning was chilly. The top of the blanket was damp with dew, and he threw the blanket off. Once they got going he would be just fine. He figured she was up and had to go pee or something again, so he fished around in her purse and got out his breakfast, leaving her share behind.

Two tic tacs and two slices of gum, yum yum, he thought, as he savored the tastes. He took a tiny swish of the water, and began to pack his backpack. He scrawled a message in the clearing with a stick in case anyone came across it. Just in case.....

"Holly?" He called, beginning to worry. Where was she? Even number two never took her this long. He glanced around and guessed the path she took, but no matter where he went there was no sign of her. On his way back he noticed something strange, a pile of wood, enough to build up a dying midnight fire. He looked around from the spot, and there, under some decaying foliage, he saw her sandal.

That was the last time he ever saw her.

++++++++++++++++




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