The little soldier

Will forests, like this one on San Juan Island...

Crackling leaves sound much louder when you are alone. The damp ground smells more earthy. The cold sinks through my shoes and deadens the feeling of the long journey.

I had not seen anything familiar for hours. The tears from yesterday had long since past and no more seemed tempted to show themselves. I thought they might be all used up. Trying to remember something I was trying to forget had cost me dearly in attention and I tripped over an exposed root.

The trees out here surely have some horrible, great roots. The leaves have mostly fallen and have made the lonely giants look like a rabid crowd of hungry beggars in the low light. Before long it will be too dark to continue. The cold wasn’t a worry, at least. It’s surprising what you can prepare for if only you can imagine it.

I have seen this picture in my mind for years. I made up stories of the Great Escape to pass the time. Fantasy is a welcome escape sometimes. Everything is just right. I’m seeing the dream now. It is exhilarating in the cold air. My list of supplies must be perfect. I’ve listed them over and over until I can see them in my sleep.

I’m on my way. I know I’ll have to fight fear and loneliness, but it’s better than being trapped in that prison. Who volunteers to stay in a prison anyway?

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