Wild Monsters

by tkos on August 14, 2012

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Somewhere way back from the road we’d pitched our tent. Nobody would find us here. Far away from cars, far away from tracks, far away from sight. Yes, we were deep in the forest of Northern France, completely absent from human contact and completely in the dark. And that’s when I started to wonder if it was a good thing… If being so alone, so deep in the dark forest, was actually safe?

I lay there, eyes wide open, staring intently at the ceiling of the tent, 90 centimetres away from my face. Kimmi’s breathing tells me she has started to drift. And my mind has started to wander. What if I did hear a noise? What if I heard a voice? Something out here could only be sinister. There is no good reason for anybody to be out here.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere

The midnight moon shone bright, yet the walls of the tiny two man tent locked any light out. A small mesh ‘window’ either side gave a glimpse to the outside but without any angle and no further than a few feet away. If something was out there, we were blind to it until it would be within reach.

Time ticked away slowly as I guarded Kimmi while she slept. Nothing was going to harm her on my watch. Because tonight, and every night, I am now a protector! I am a guardian against all things evil. Against all dangers and against all harm. As a man, it is me that should step first in the face of danger, it is me that will show no fear to hostility and it is me that will sacrifice my safety to preserve her sleep. Yes, Kimmi can sleep soundly on my watch. It must be so comforting for her to feel so safe, as she sets sail for the land of zzzz.

I, on the other hand, cannot sleep. Not while danger lurks in the deep, dark forest. Not while we are blinded from all the crazies that roam the forests with pitch forks and axes. Not while the full moon sings to the wolves who dance around their prey.

And not while my over active imagination relives too many bad movies and keeps me awake way passed midnight.

Once again, I realise I am being an idiot. I pick up my phone, play some solitaire and slowly start to drift. The sounds of the wind in the trees has turned from disturbing to mesmerising. My heart rate slows, my eyes are heavy and my mind relaxed. And just before I doze, I give myself a little giggle. Dancing wolves with pitchforks…. That’s not even a movie….. Zzz…..zzzzz…….zzzz.

“CRACK!” I’m awake. Frozen. Eyes wide open. Heart racing. I know the noise is from a broken stick, but what on earth is breaking sticks out there?! “CRACK!” There it is again! Louder! Somebody is out there. We are in the middle of nowhere, in the forest, and somebody or something is within meters of our tent. I squash my nose against the mesh window, desperately searching for a figure, a shadow, a clue as to what we, I mean I, am up against. “CRACK!” It is right outside the tent, to my right. I flash a torch to let them know that they have a fight on their hands, that we are not easy prey that is sleeping! That we will not just lay down and surrender!

“Zzzzz”

Shit, Kimmi is sleeping! I wake her furiously and immediately tell her to be quiet.  By my face and actions, she knows it ‘s serious. She knows danger is imminent. With me as her protector, she doesn’t look as comfortable any more.

Kimmi is still a little dazed and confused as to what is going on. I don’t have any answers for her as I am not too sure myself. Then we both heard it. The heavy breathing at the door of the tent. We sat in silence. The breathing grew louder. “What is it?!” Kimmi whispers, with fear in her voice. “I don’t know, but I don’t think that it is human”. Whatever it is, it can hear us. Whatever it is, it knows we are inside and it has no fear. It is hungry and is searching the tent. The breathing is so loud now, it is panting against the tent. Smelling our fear. Is it a bear? Is it a wild boar? Is it some kind of undiscovered unknown predatory monster, about to make its mark on human kind?

“CRACK!” Now from the other side of the tent! More footsteps, yet the breathing is still at the front. I bounce from one side of the tent to the other, squashing my face against the mesh windows, desperate to see what was out there, but all I could see was darkness against the reflection of the torch! The back of the tent started to move. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew there was two of them!

“Go out there!” Kimmi exclaims. This was my time to shine. This was Kimmi, looking to her brave knight in shining armour, ready to defend his princess. This was my moment to  totally show her, and myself, exactly what I was made of. To defend our castle and more importantly, to defend our honour.

“Fuck that! It’s freezing out there!” and just like that, my hero moment was squashed forever.

And in the corner of my eye, through the mesh window, I notice a small hedgehog shuffle through the leaves.

Phew, that was a lucky escape.

 

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