After finalizing his divorce following the death of their 2-year-old daughter, nothing in life seems to make sense. He had shutout the world blaming everyone and everything. The only place he now found solace was in spending long hours driving around and exploring new places whenever he wasn’t working. He was angry with life, destiny, fate and anything that had an influence over his existence that he couldn’t control.
Today wasn’t suppose to be any different from the other days that he had spent driving for long hours at the outskirt of town and sometimes hiking except that for the first time in two years, he was lost without a map because the best part of his routine drive and hiking was the thrill of discovering new places with the element of surprise still intact. The presence of a map or a GPS only took away the thrilling part of his trips. Sometimes he spent the nights in a motel before heading back home. He had been so absorbed in his trance of daydreaming that he had not paid attention to the routes he had been travelling in the last few hours after grabbing his backpack and deciding to go for a hike in the forest. Currently his situation was further complicated because he had no juice on his mobile phone whose battery was already dead. He checked his wristwatch and to his disgust it wasn’t working. He was sure he had been walking for some few hours in the forest and his quartz wristwatch had stopped at 5:13pm but he knew it was not yet dusk because a chainsaw was still audible from a distance. He kept his eyes fixed on the two-lane road that snaked up into some trees as he deliberated on what to do next. It wasn’t long before he made his decision after hearing the howling of a wolf from a distance. He took the right lane and hurried through the forest circumventing trees as his heartbeat accelerated with the thought of having a run-in with a pack of wolves on his mind even though he had no idea where he was going. The irony was that today he had no one to blame but himself.
He lost track of time as he jogged without a destination but with hope of finding a route that could lead him out of the forest. The forest was slowly becoming dark as night gradually approached. He could no longer hear the sound of the chainsaw and the only sound audible to his ears was that of his heartbeats and the constant howling of the wolves.
The collision was sudden and unexpected and he fell to the ground. Without wasting a minute he picked himself up but froze when he saw the double barrel of a shotgun pointed at him. Earlier he thought he had run into a tree. Slowly he put his hands up in surrender. She asked him who he was in an authoritative tone. He told her he was a hiker who had lost his way in the forest and he meant her no harm. At first she seems reluctant to put down the weapon but she slowly lowered the shotgun. He asked her what she was doing alone in the forest but she ignored him as she dusted herself.
The good looking woman before him was dark in complexion and tall with an athletic body, oval face, hooded eyes, turn-up nose and full lips. She was wearing a blue insulated down coat on a black jeans and a black knee high boots. She was also putting on blue gloves and head warmer which revealed strands of brunette hair. He guessed she was in her early to mid thirties. She had an air of confidence and authority and, she held the weapon in her hand with great ease and expertise. She was also carrying a backpack and she looked like a hiker.
She asked him his name and he told her his name was David Finch and, he was a writer who had gotten lost after driving for hours before deciding to take a hike in the forest. She didn’t trust him because she still had her finger wrapped around the trigger of the shotgun as she kept her eyes trained on him. She asked him why he didn’t have a map with him like most hikers. David told her he didn’t know he was hiking without a map until he got lost and couldn’t find his map in his backpack and the absence of network coverage on his mobile device further complicated matters for him. She told him her name was Sarah Jones and she lived some miles away from the forest at the outskirt of town. David told Sarah he was happy to meet her and he would appreciate it if she could help him find a way out of the forest or to the nearest motel to spend the night. Sarah sighed and looked at him exhaustedly before she told him she was also lost. David was left baffled as he asked her how could she had ended up getting lost since it appears it wasn’t her first time in the forest. Sarah told him she never went hiking with a map because she was familiar with the forest and she never brought a mobile device along with her because she knew there was no network coverage in the forest except you had a satellite phone which she didn’t. David couldn’t believe his luck was that bad as he sighed frustratingly and looked up at the approaching dusk. Sarah sensing he was worried told him to relax and that this was the first time she was getting lost in this forest but if she wasn’t home by midnight her dog Iraq who was familiar with the forest was likely to come looking for her though the only reason he hadn’t accompanied her was because he wasn’t feeling too well.
Sarah could feel David’s tense at the thought of spending the night in the forest but it was nothing new to her because she had once spent nine months in a forest feeding on anything edible the forest could provide. David Finch was a tall Caucasian man with a skinny body, oblong face, protruding eyes and long nose. He was putting on a brown fleece jacket on a grey insulated vest and, a blue jean, brown gloves and chukka boots. The strands of grey on his hair told Sarah she was staring at a man probably in his mid or late forties.