The fire is a necessity for warm but it plays on the walls and disturbs me. I keep the back of the chair against the wall and my feet up. My breathing is that of a creature in the forest running from a predator. Every rib over extending, aching from back bone circling to breast with a final stab at the sternum. My stomach tightens pulling inwards bringing a secondary duller pain in the core of me. All muscles from feet to throat pulled to contraction even my neck gripped so tight it was painful to swallow.
The wind, the leaves, the rocking of the branches above the cabin all as if just behind me. I turn sharply. “Nothing, think, think outside not near, it’s all outside not in here. Wind, whistling behind me, not in hear, outside. I wake an hour or so later. “What happened”? I am tightly wrapped in my blanket, I listen again. Chest tightens, round two begins.
I think this is day four. I found treasure today, I feel that this cabin is giving me favours. I was sure I checked everything everywhere when I first arrived but granted I must have been so tired. Anyway… this gift appeared on the floor under the window. Dusty and brown matching the wooden floor boards, no wonder I had missed it, especially as no light enters under the window at any point day or night.
Back to the point… I found a notebook and pencil like a shopping list notebook, small and thin but what a find. I thought how great I can log my days, like a captain’s log. This will give me so much to tell them when I am found, all the questions, I will be all over the place trying to remember. I’ll start to track back put down the first day, the second, till now.
The strangest thing happened today. I sat outside after first collecting the water and berries. I just looked at my place, like really looked, I don’t think I have ever been so visual before. I now only have time on my hands, only the days pass so I just seem to notice the green. It’s amazing I know you will think I am going mad, but everything is so green. I won’t write more now, wasting paper.
I hear the birds at sunset as they gather themselves high in the trees. In the cabin the light fades from hues of orange, to blues to black, mesmerising me, enticing me to close my eyes. In the last light I push the table in front of the door, position the chair ninety degrees, my arm on the table top, I rest my head, my eyelids too heavy to lift…all is dark anyway. The cabin is now my shelter, a square shack, old and tired, draughty too. I have not heard the door handle rattling at night so I now sleep some hours in the dark. The wall opposite the door is made of stone and after pulling boards away from the centre to reveal a fire grate, I can light a small fire. In the grate was a tin pan, a cup and a spoon and camping flint. My feet are still so cold and I use the blanket I found here to wrap them at night. But they are so terribly cold. The fire produces some heat but it loses to the draughts eventually. The floor is made of wooden boards and the spaces between the slats means only the chair can be slept on, but dawn breaks with sun, always the sun.
My days have been spent venturing outside of the cabin. I wake to the sound of the birds, such a noise…and hunger pains. Only a few feet away is a stream, just across the path, a safe distance to collect water I heat in the pan and drink. I found berry bushes at the side of the shack too, probably planted by the previous owner. I can survive on this for a few nights as I am sure people will be looking for me by now so if I just stay… they will come. Occasionally at midday I think I hear voices, like on that first day. I am unable to climb that embankment it seems too steep and wet from the rain. People are close… I know it, so it will only be a day maybe and I will be found. I feel I need to remain here near the shack, to wander into the woods again would be so foolish. I would only enter the muddy paths again and the rain would purge down… like that first day. I am resolved…resolved to being found. I have no map, no compass to find my way back …I can’t be stranded again like that frozen day. No, staying here is the only option now, soon they will come…I know it.