Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hope Spot

Lyle and I found our way out of the forest today.

Sort of.

While what we found wasn't ... whatever the fuck it is we're trapped in now, the desolate campgrounds beyond the forest's tangle of creepers and rotting branches continues to be very, very far from my idea of salvation.

Alex and Richard were steadfast about not going back into the forest. Did I blame them? Of course not. Alex's cough's been acting up (not that he's admitting anything) and he still hasn't posted the Status Report, so either something's wrong or he's just getting lazy. (Not that he's admitting anything.)

So Lyle and I decided to go.

We both knew very well this wasn't the greatest idea, but hell. Chase has been ... well, you've seen his posts. We were both worried because the last thing we needed was two more corpses to the pile, (nononooptimismSuzeoptimismoptimismyou'regoingtobeokay) but we figured medicine > everything (and escape > everything, but hadn't we all given up on finding that?) and, hell. I'm not going to lie. Getting out of that camp even for a little bit was nice, even if the though of Slim n' Trim loomed over us (metaphorically and literally at one point, luckily we only encountered the faceless twit once.) like an anvil at the end of one big, fucked up Wile E. Coyote scheme.  

So we walked.

Lyle and I don't really have a lot to say to each other. Other than Zach we have literally nothing in common, and he isn't exactly what I'd consider the socializing type. We were completely silent until we got a point where the path was blocked by a fallen tree, when we stopped to look at each other.

"Gotta go over it."

Lyle, being the gentleman that he is, kindly offered to let me go first. But as I set a foot on top of the log and put my full weight on it, I felt it give and roll forward.

I fell into the thicket beside the rotting tree with a the grace of a cow piloting a 747 and swore with all the lady-like sophistication of a sailor who had had five too many bottles of rum.

And what I landed in wasn't what I expected.

At all.

What I had expected was a further tangle of undergrowth and my hair getting caught in a billion places, each one more painful to remove than the last.

What I didn't expect was to roll an extra couple feet and find myself in the middle of the campgrounds where all the rich folk and their RVs had been left to rot.

We couldn't find anything inside those tin cans called RVs, and what few tents still remained had been torn to shreds. Everything was burned, and soot choked our lungs like the fog choked the air. There wasn't a single structure that hadn't been touched by the fog, and everything held within its grasp seemed devoid of both colour and life; the soot that clogged our throats and caused us to cough (though we both knew, though neither of us wanted to admit, that Someone Else was also responsible for it as well) was also found like a blanket, hugging every surface it could hope to land on, and then some it couldn't.

It may have been raining, because through the fog and between the trailers (hoping - no, praying that we found somebody, anybody inside of those thin metal walls, always finding nothing and always losing a little more hope when we did - or rather, didn't) we were hit with icy dagger from above that soaked our hair and our clothes and turned the ground sticky and black.

Neither of us spoke a word.

It was ... quiet. I know you'll hear people on this blog go on about it all the time, but I don't think they've ever heard true silence. The silence we have at the camp is peppered with breathing and shifting and wind howling and trees rustling and, if you strain, screaming. (Or maybe it's nothing at all. Guilt-ridden hallucinations? Fabrications of our imagination? Maybe it's all in our heads. Chase seems to have it the worse right now, what with bitchface's little butchering of the Hippocratic Oath.)

Well, the silence that fell on the campground was complete. Even the rain that soaked us to the bitter bone fell without a sound, and our footsteps seemed as if they weren't there at all. When we turned our heads to look behind us (which we did a lot, both out of paranoia and ... okay, maybe it was only paranoia, but that isn't the point) the places where our shoes touched the ground and we fought to bring them back up from the sludge on the ground were undisturbed.

This went on for two hours.

We went through every tent, every RV, every garbage can and hiking pack.

And who did I see perched atop an RV?

A blonde brat in a hoodie.

Bitchface was laughing; he'd probably been watching the entire time.

Oh fuck you.

"...There's nothing here." It was Lyle who broke the silence, saying what I had been thinking for the last twenty minutes or so.


I couldn't stop glaring daggers at our Collecting friend.

"... Yeah."


I shook my head, offering him a smile as hollow as the RV we just emerged from. "Yeah. Let's go."

You know, a lot of the time I complain about the fact that this is The Place That Physics Left Behind. When there's a clearing in front of camp one day and a river the next, after a while you kind of just give up and go with it. 

What choice do you have?

But after a couple hours of playing chicken with bitchface and not well equipped enough (or in the best condition, especially after last Saturday. Wow. A week already?) to do anything about it, I was thankful to cut through that foliage and find camp, not the road.

It's about time we got a bit of a break.

Going to catch up on some fucking sleep,

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