SHELTER

This is a piece of FLASH FICTION based on this photograph that was taken on a walk we enjoyed in Sheringham Park

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Image © Copyright ~ John and Margaret

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SHELTER

by John Yeo

     The nights draw in fast around here, I had planned to go further into the forest, the darkness descended so fast. I was on an extraordinary trek through this green woody forest with my camping equipment and a metal detector. I was following a foggy, cloudy, series of clues that would enable me to uncover some fabled Iceni artefacts, from the time the legendary Queen Boudicca walked this land. Suddenly as the darkness enveloped everywhere, the trail became obscured, I tripped over a fallen branch and fell heavily to the ground. I tried to get up, but my ankle had twisted, I could feel pain that sent me crashing to the ground again. I reached for my mobile telephone, but there was no signal, and the charge was very low.

     I was unable to put the tent up, I crawled along the trail in the darkness for a few yards until I came across a natural shelter. An arbor of branches that formed a makeshift roof, much like a natural woody cave. I crawled inside and soon the energy-sapping result of my efforts became apparent and I suddenly fell into a deep sleep. Then it rained, first a drizzle, then a more persistent shower followed by a crash of thunder. I woke to find the drips penetrating my little arbor and running down my face. Suddenly I froze as I could hear the sounds of panting breath and whimpering sounds from the low growing branches at the side of my arbor. I held my breath as I could sense danger, when a low warning growl informed me that I was not alone. I knew I was unable to move very quickly so I remained as still as possible, I was absolutely at the mercy of whatever was sharing my arbor.

    The storm passed over and I could hear movement at the back of my shelter. I lay still, and to my surprise a Muntjac deer suddenly bolted for the gap, as a family of foxes left by a small gap at the back of the shelter.

     When morning broke, I crawled outside and found my rucksack, lying just where I had left it by the trail. I found some matches and lit a fire trying to attract attention. Within an hour I was rescued and taken to hospital by an air ambulance.

    There is a level of unknown communication between all forms of life. We are in this thing together, until hunger drives us apart to kill for food.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved