100 days: Day 9

10/12/2009

Outdoors.

Dusk was preparing its descent into the valley, rendering leaves as ember-like shards hanging from the no longer distinct tree bows. Although beautiful, Luke was aware that this stage of the evening was fleeting and saw it more as a clandestine cover for the invitation of the treacherous darkness that would soon supersede it. Still, he had to persevere.

For five hours he’d walked, and for three of those he’d been hopelessly lost in the chaotic yet uniform wilderness. Darkness consumed the landscape, Luke at it’s centre. He wasn’t prone to panic, but this served to intensify his sense of foreboding and unfamiliarity with his surroundings. He pulled taught his collar and continued.

He produced a torch from his satchel. It boasted ‘the power of one thousand candles’, he found that hard to quantify. He’d once seen ninety candles all lit at the same time in the same place, that was at his grandfathers birthday. Collectively they were bright, but they were in a small room and as a rule of thumb if you increase the volume of space you wish to light, you must to increase the amount of light with which to fill the space. His grandfathers cake wouldn’t have cut it in this instance, plus it’d be too cumbersome. He clicked on the torch, it was rubbish and now he was hungry for cake.

Luke awoke from this momentary distraction and realised he’d been wandering aimlessly for yet another half hour and was extremely cold. Panic began its gradual stranglehold. He picked up his pace, dismissing any thoughts of exhaustion or pneumonia.

The small hours crept in and the landscape had not contained a single man-made structure for hours, Luke felt as if he’d been in an egg and spoon race with the rest of civilisation and they’d all stopped at the finishing line, but he’d continued and then got lost in the woods. That was where his mind was at.

He wandered still, occasionally looking up to check the persistently featureless void that sprawled before him, but then at the centre of this he detected a gentle distant glow. He miraculously found the energy to sprint.

He arrived at the glow, which on closer inspection was a house. The very house he’d been seeking, he was certain. In a flurry of excitement he banged vigorously on the door. No answer. His heart sank. He circled the house twice looking for alternative entry points. There were none. It was a small house. He sat on the porch and gathered his thoughts. He rummaged around in his satchel and produced a pen and a red slip of paper. ‘Sorry, you were out’ read the heading. He made some annotations and left the slip on the doorstep.

He turned and began to walk back the way he’d come, his satchel still laden.

The end.

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3 Responses to “100 days: Day 9”

  1. Louise said

    Ummmm, I know that we’re not supposed to know and that it is irrelevant to the story, but. . . what was in his bag?

  2. laul09 said

    … A cookbook.

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