Tiny needles of sleet, driven by a stiff nor’easter, pelted his cheeks as he peeked from the flap of the thin enclosure. A steel grey mist crept ghostlike across the rolling meadow, obscuring any view of the tree line. Leafless branches clacked together in time to the whistling tune of the frigid wind. All the morning creatures remained huddled together in their sheltered lairs, eerily silent, waiting out the storm’s passage. Early March in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is as unpredictable as life itself.
Diving back in the remaining warmth of a too light bag, he lay coiled like a shivering fetus, arms held together tightly between his knees. The pressure in his bladder felt like a knife stab to his abdomen and the thought of relief was equally excruciating. What was I thinking?
He dug his forehead in the fibers of his sleeping bag in search of warmth’s last lingering. Finding none, he began to cry mournfully, to no one. The Appalachian is a lonely trail, and, a long one. With tepid tears stinging his cracked lips, he let out a guttural scream and cast aside his covering. I can do this!
With trembling hands and teeth banging together like castanets, he set about the task of gathering his gear. There would be no hot breakfast on this morning. A mixture of raisins and peanuts would provide him the nourishment to carry on. The promise of warmth would provide the motivation.
Daily Prompt Keyword: Shiver