Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Part 86

Both Jace and Mr. Svenson have taught me that even if you are buck nekked in the middle of the ocean you still have options and you still have a weapon.  The weapon is your brain.  Your options are to fight or give up.

Well I wasn't buck nekked, I was fully clothed and with a fur-lined coat and hood on top of that ... fur that I had caught, prepped, and sewn myself.  I wasn't in the middle of the ocean, I was up a tree ... a good stout tree and not a wimpy pine tree.  And one of these days I'm gonna die just like everyone else but I'll be fighting when it happens; giving up has just never been part of who I am, not even when I was a preemie.  And after telling myself all that I also realized I had a lot of other stuff too.

First off I had the tarp.  I had rolled it up and tucked it into my belt while I was arranging the bodies and had forgotten about it on the climb.  I also had all the stuff that had come out of the men's pockets ... pocket knife, string, and a few other odds and ends.  I also had some jerky in my pocket in my emergency stash that I keep in the inside pocket of my jacket.  I also had a small canteen.

What I didn't have was a good light or water for the canteen.  The light I would just have to do without.  No way was I going to use my matches to light a fire up in a dried out tree.  I may be foolish on occasion but I hope I'm no fool.  The water I actually could do something about.

As carefully as I could before the sun went down completely I raked snow into the canteen, packed it as full and as tight as I could, and then stuck it inside my coat next to my body.  Doggone it was cold but Mr. Svenson said eating snow for water was a very bad idea.  Your body had to use up precious energy to melt the snow and the snow also dropped your core body temperature which was something you didn't want unless you were planning your funeral at the same time.

Then I took the tarp and pulled it around me to try and keep the wind out.  I would have liked more insulation but the tree didn't have any leaves to speak of and I wasn't going to risk trying to jump to one of the large spruce or larch trees that were evergreens.  The tarp crinkled and crackled driving the dogs crazy; they knew there was something yummy to eat in the tree above them but that they couldn't get to it.  When they finally settled back down with only the occasional whine, growl, or howl the forest became quiet as a tomb.  Everyone once in a while during that long, cold night I thought it was going to be my tomb.  And it almost was. You can fight all the time but that doesn't mean you'll win all the time.

I kept forcing myself to stay awake.  I knew if I went to sleep more than likely I would never wake up.  But I was beginning to lose the battle.  I caught myself more than once almost falling off my perch.  It was sometime in the wee morning hours that another storm started up.  The wind wasn't as bad as it had been with the other recent storms or I would have been blown out of the tree, but it was bad enough.  I stopped being able to feel my feet and hands.  I started saying my prayers and they must have been crazy ones too because I missed the ruckus below me.  Either that or I was a lot farther gone than I realized.

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