literature

Steve's Quest - Part 2: Food and bones

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I woke up covered in mud, grass and all sorts of other things and my body was aching all over, displeased by my choice of “bed”. I quickly searched my surroundings, not paying attention to the pain from my bruises. I wanted to make sure no nasty surprises are waiting nearby. It was bad enough I fell asleep in the middle of the forest, I didn’t need any more creatures jumping from bushes. After I searched the area and calmed my mind a little, I ate a bit of my small supply of potatoes and planned my next steps.

It was obvious I would need a hiding place a shelter for the night and rain. The fastest way to build something like that was quite obvious. Small shack from trees and tall grass should be easy enough to create and it was definitely better than having no place to stay at all. I spent most of the day gathering needed resources and building the shack, but I managed to found a small stream with clean water too. That was really a blessing, I was already suffering from the lack of water.

I spend the next few days searching the land around my primitive home for some useful stuff. The landscape was mostly flat, with a few small hills and I was able to cover quite a large area. I found a lot of different wild plants, which provided me with much needed food. And it gave me an idea too. I had enough food to last for a while and I didn’t even manage to gather all I found but it was obvious it will run out eventually. That’s why I made myself a simple hoe and planted all the seeds I took while gathering. I was really glad I took them even before I realized I could grow myself a steady supply of food.

This idea led to another. It was nice to have a small field but I soon realised I have no way of preserving the food. Too bad I began thinking about this only after some of my stuff went bad and covered with mould. But guess what? It was eventually easy to solve. I discovered a place with a lot of clay near my stream and soon, ceramics was a thing. Sure, it wasn’t pretty, the shape of my vessels was really weird, but who cares about that right? Now I could burry some of my food to the ground, where it would be protected from the sun and the heat.

As I was digging the hole to do so, something felt off. I suddenly had a feeling like there’s something terribly wrong. But I was unable to identify the source so I shook my head to get rid of the feeling and continued with the digging.

I was quite satisfied with myself. I was here for more than a week and not only I did manage to survive, I had tools, I had food and water and means to store it. I still didn’t know where I was but I didn’t fear for my survival anymore. My good mood lasted till the night. Because when the sun went down, I got a grim reminder of my dangerous situation.

I was sitting next to my shack, feeding the fireplace and covering it up by dirt so it would smoulder through the night I heard an unfamiliar sound. A chill went up my spine, when I remembered my first encounter with the unknown here. I covered the fireplace as fast as I could and hid in my shack. Almost immediately after that a weird silhouette appeared nearby. I didn’t dare to move a muscle. The moon was just above the horizon, mostly blocked by the trees so I couldn’t see much, but it was obvious it is not human. Sure, it had similar shape, but its movements were odd. Too fast and clunky.

It was wandering aimlessly through the forest. It didn’t pay much attention to my place, but I was strangely sure that was just because it didn’t see me. It stayed around for a while. The moon slowly went up, and when its light finally broke through the forest and I could see the whole creature for a brief moment.

I almost screamed in horror. There was a human skeleton standing there. A HUMAN SKELETON!
I spent the rest of the night without sleep, shivering in the corner of the shack.
Steve's message continues with a few more hinds there's something terribly wrong.

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