I move forward into the place that used be Scruffy’s Domain. It still stinks as I left meat to rot in here but I have to make sure I check everywhere. So I move as fast as I can into the main chamber where I still have a cured wolf pelt. I feel the straps digging into my shoulders as I climb up the rocky slope to the top and look around casting the lantern’s light everywhere. But no bedroll.
Outside I find that it is wonderfully clear, a perfect night to be out on the ice and searching for a bedroll. So I begin the long walk to where I’m all but certain I had to have left my bedroll- the old stone church on the hill.
I choose to stay on the frozen bay there tend to be less predators walking out on the ice at night, usually just me in fact. However as I make my way past Hibernia Processing I can hear the howls of the wolves. Each time I freeze, not daring to light my lantern or a flare as I don’t want to turn on a neon sign saying come eat me. However I know that I don’t have forever because I can feel myself getting more and more tired.
Finally after what seems like an eternity I spot my usual slope up the the road ahead of me. That’s a good thing too as I’m getting both colder and more tired and I need to get to the church. I can use my hatchet to split some wood and light a fire in the barrel, skin and roast a rabbit and I’ll be fine.
I cross the road as the weather begins to turn sour, I’m now certain my bedroll is in the church. So I move up there as fast as I can. I split some wood near the first snare and find it broken apart with no rabbit. FANTASTIC! With the snow falling faster I duck inside the old church and sure enough there’s my lonely bedroll!
Quickly I make sure my fire will rage all night and then I dash outside and check the other snare…and this one has caught nothing! Not good, for a moment my thoughts cascade crazily like turbulent waters I’m right on the verge of panic…doing something stupid.
I circle the stone church again and look in through the glass-less window at the raging fire and it hits me. All the teas, and medicinal teas I have had in the past also added calories! They gave me energy! I dashed back inside and started cooking up a storm of teas and slept comfortably in my bedroll in spite of the raging blizzard.
In the morning I down most of my teas, grab my snares and my bedroll and head back to the lighthouse. In front I pick up and eat the last of my venison…now I have to hunt. And all I have left is my bow…well I could place my two snares up in Kate’s Secluded Corner…plenty of bunnies up there so I do. Then I return to the lighthouse to warm up and catch some z’s.
I wake up and down my remaining teas, this is getting critical I will have to try my hand at bow hunting again. I do feel more confident than when I started- actually I’ll go and check the snares first just in case. Well good news at least the snow is no longer falling. The bad news is there’s plenty of living bunnies hopping all around my snares. So in desperation I turn to the hunt.
I hear a deer and track it down to the shore. I then proceed to miss a lot, but finally hit it in the ankle so that will take a while. It is then that I hear the growl, where the hell had he come from! I fire nearly point blank but miss low and to the right I drop my bow and un-sheath my knife as calm and fast as possible!
He grabs my hand and jerks it violently from left to right, and his claws dig into my bear hide coat. My knife stabs him in the throat, once and again. I’m yelling and screaming, he’s howling and jerking, I roll to the left twisting the knife and he lets go with a whimper. I give him a look as he slinks away, I transfer the knife to my off hand and pick up my bow. He will die and I will live.
I’m hurt yes, but he could provide the meat I need I just have to survive long enough to gut, skin and cook him. Clutching my side I bandage myself with a dressing weaved with Old Man’s Beard, I stumble in the direction of the lighthouse as it’s getting darker by the second perhaps I can find some of my errant arrows on the way back.
As I climb the slope to get back to the lighthouse I am suddenly attacked without warning, another wolf! He twists me hard to the ground and I barely hold onto my knife. I hear more fabric tearing, and I slash out with my knife refusing to go into the cold dark on this beast’s terms! Moments later I hit home and with a yelp he lets go slinking off into the shadows- I use another old mans beard dressing.
I’m on a painkiller high now, I have to practically crawl my way back to the Lighthouse I’m barely hanging on to life. Somehow I find another slab of cooked wolf meat to the left of the door! I eat it quickly drag myself inside…and sleep. I might just wake up again in the morning, if I do I know exactly who to thank. With a grimace I curl my newly scarred body into my bedroll, I crave the mattress…but maybe tomorrow. On that thought I close my eyes.