Friday, March 18, 2011
Story-A-Day #127: Fever Cabin
Over the hills and through the trees; across the river and through the valley; shielded from sun and sheltered from rain. He had no idea how long he had wandered, but he was happy for the roof over his head, what roof there was.
The cabin was a lucky find, and while it wasn’t perfect, it did keep him dry. His biggest concern now was the fever.
His single engine Cessna had gone down during a thunderstorm at least two weeks ago. Somehow he had survived, but things were not looking good. He had started hiking east, sure that it was the quickest route back to civilization, but his injuries were making the trek increasingly difficult.
He filled a water bottle he had scavenged from the wreckage in a nearby creek, and hobbled back up to the decrepit cabin. He slowly lowered himself down in the corner of the cabin he had swept out with pine boughs and rolled up his pant leg to examine his leg.
The angry red gash was swollen, the scab seeping and white around the edges. He poured some of the water onto his leg and gingerly wiped at the wound. A jolting, incandescent burst exploded behind his eyes and he did his best to not pass out.
Dire. That was the only way left to describe things. The spray pained graffiti oin the walls showed that people had been here, but the mounds of dirt and animal feces on the floors when he arrived showed that it had been a while. Still, the juvenile messaging on the walls was a sign worth clinging too. Teen vandals were not likely to hike miles into the middle of nowhere in the hopes of finding an abandoned cabin to ruin. There had to be a community, or some form of civilization nearby.
The problem at this point was that he didn’t have the strength to travel much further than the creek and back.
He was freezing cold, but a glistening sheen of perspiration covered his entire body. Fever was never a good sign and he realized that unless someone found him soon, he was not likely to make it out alive. What were the chances that this would be the end of him? He had survived a plane crash only to be brought down by a simple infection.
He threw some more wood into the fireplace and curled into a ball. Hopefully someone would come. Hopefully someone would bring the happy ending he deserved.
He was a survivor.