Threatening Nature


<3 The forest grew unsettled in the gathering night, causing me to pause on the dirt road. Ahead seemed wrapped in darkness and I could hardly make out the towering trees on either side. Here was not a place I wanted to stop. I slipped my hiking rucksack off and dug inside one of the outer pockets. My fingers closed around a cold plastic cylinder. I heaved the pack up again and switched the wind-up torch on. The beam hardly made a dint in the approaching blackness. Aiming the light down, I went on with cautious steps. Around me, the forest burst with nocturnal life. Owls, bats and other night flyers took to the sky hunting down their meals, whilst calling out. Ground and tree creatures scuttled, making their way through dying leaves and evergreens. The breeze, that had been tailgating me, turned into a growing wind, which lashed tree branches about. The air threated rain. I pressed on, remembering from the map that was a semi-abandoned trail coming up on my right, which would lead me to a cabin. As the light fell upon this, a sigh of relief left me. Hurrying along, tiredness aching in all my limbs, the cabin loomed from the night like a hunched up monster. The door opened on first push, realising a damp unpleasant smell into my face. I stepped in as the rain began to fall and the wind let out a long howl. I felt the door closed and the latch click down. A large room reflected under the torch with the different sections marked out by a scattering of furniture. I tried out the coffin bed in the far left corner, then put my sleeping bag and travel pillow there. An exploration of the place revealed that the wood burning stove still worked and someone had left dry wood and candles. Lighting them both caused the cabin to come to life. ‘Try your best nature,’ I said, ‘you’ve been threating my trip for days, but now I’ve almost made it and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ A roll of thunder and a crack of lighting replied to my words. I jumped back at the sudden noise and moved to the door were the now violent gale force wind was causing the cabin to quiver. The latch was firmly in place and there was nothing else to seal the door against the outside forces. I glanced around and decided that the small hovel was probably use to such weather and would offer me sanctuary. The second wave of thunder rumbled above me as I strode to my pack with the intention of making some food. It was a long night. I slept fitfully; waking, half-waking, dozing off, falling into sleep and then waking again, repeatedly. The wind and rain whipped around in frenzy as if trying to get in. The thunder roamed back and forth like wild ocean waves. The lighting seemed just as loud, though none of its flashing came through the thick wood of the cabin and the place had no windows. Luckily, I kept the fire going so the cabin was filled with some heat and light. With my eyes fixed on the dancing flames, I finally fell into a deep sleep. Coming wake from a strange dream, I could still hear the wind and rain outside, though it seemed like the storm had officially passed. The fire had grown dim, but I was able to get it going enough to warm some water and porridge. After, I peeked outside. A wet, cold wind swiped at my face and morning light darted around the trees. I put on my rain coat, packed my bag, thanked the cabin and stepped out.

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