The Madness of Survival

June 4, 2012
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It is dark, I would guess near midnight, I can see the tiny wisps of breath coming from my mouth as I breathe in this frigid air. This is unnatural darkness, the large canopy from the forest ensures that. I am not entirely sure how long I've been out here, ever since I escaped captivity but I lost count of the days.

I'm after food, most likely it will end up being some acorns I find from a squirrels stash, but I would love to find the squirrel. My hand tenses on my bow, it is a good bow for having been made out in these woods with crude tools. The wood is smooth and I can feel the grain of it melding perfectly to the curved shape. The string made from rabbit tendons, my first kill, was taut and I had an arrow knocked. I could not let the chance of meat escape me, it seems I always walked around with an arrow knocked nowadays. I hear the snap of a branch ahead of me. That sound could only mean a few things out here, a deer, a bear, or my captors. I raise my bow and pull the arrow back till the feathers, from my second kill, touch my ear and I wait. Now I can hear a shuffling through the leaves. The shuffling of someone or something trying to be quiet, without thought I shoot the arrow into the night. I hear the arrow hit the target, then I hear the target hit the ground, it seems I got a good shot off.

I rush towards the body of the beast I had killed. It is large and it feels furry, it must be a deer. It has been too long since I've had meat and I do not wish to wait for a fire, so I take a bite. Flavor explodes in my mouth. The taste of the meat is so sweet, the best I have ever tasted. I take another bite, and another until my teeth reach a bone. I don't know the last time I have eaten that well and judging from the size of the animal I killed I will be eating well for days to come. I curl up to sleep the rest of the night by my kill just to be sure no predator comes to take it away from me.

The sunlight is so bright, it is burning through my eyelids. I open my eyes staring right at the sun above me. It is near midday. My stomach growls and I roll over to eat some more of my kill from the night before. There laying next to me is a man. I recognize the face but I cannot tell from where. At first I feel immense anger, this man had taken my kill. Then I notice what he is wearing, animal furs soaked in blood and where his arm should have been was just white bone. The bone still had bits of flesh and muscle sticking to it. Why had I not realized sooner, the meat had tasted so sweet, I should have known it was not deer.

I look back towards the face of the man I had killed and eaten. I stare at the face for a long time then memories come rushing back to me. I was at camp, Boy Scout camp. I was taking my wilderness survival merit badge class and we were leaving for our overnight trip when we would have to make our own shelters. I remember laughing with my friends while we built the shelter, I went off to get more bark and pine needles when I fell and hit my head on a rock. When I woke, well that was when I thought I had escaped captivity, I guess that is from reading all those adventure books. The madness of survival set in and I became one of those characters. This man laying in front of me was a counselor, of course they would be looking for me. I can’t be found by them now, not after what I have done. I must live the rest of my life out in this wilderness. I can tell I am insane but I still know my thoughts for truth. For me there is no going back to civilization. Still there is no use in letting good meat go to waste, so I sat down and had a feast from my kill.

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