I pack my things, roll up my furs, and eat some of my dried meats as I encase them in large leaves to get ready to go. Binding and tying everything in and to the backpack with vines I corded yesterday, and drag it all on my back, bouncing the weight up to adjust the straps, and reacclimatizing to the weight.
My sneakers are getting scuffed and worn and soon I might have to start finding tree sap to make minor repairs to make them last, or venture towards the human spots in time, to use what money I have for something longer lasting. I didn't expect them to start giving out quite so soon, and in hindsight, I should have brought boots and not these when going off grid. That's the only downside to all this. The human part has certain requirements that nature won't provide unless I get creative. Shoes are not in my skill set, and I'm not sure my human feet could handle the debris of forest floor without them. I would have to turn to go any distance and probably pull a thousand piece of grit and broken wood out of my feet every night.
I fill my belly with meat and water and head off, leaving no trace behind me after scattering the remnants of my fire and burying the ash. It's something my father always ingrained into me, that when you leave a camp it should bear no evidence you were ever there. We should respect nature and leave it as untouched as we found it. I'm always careful to bury or burn the carcasses of my kills, clean the blood from where I skin them or eat them and keep everything neat and clean. It's served me well so far.
Mentally I feel lighter, not that any of my previous wants and desires or heart break is forgotten, but I'm getting better at handling it. My dreams they vary, but always around the same things and I'm still dreaming of Sierra most nights.
I thought it would have faded onto something new by now but she's persistent, and since I started turning east, it's almost like the dream becomes more prominent, the vision stronger. Last night, I swear I could smell scent in the white space around me, smell her, and it had a familiarity I couldn't quite put my finger on. Like a long-lost distant memory, always out of reach, and it gave me a headache trying to claw for it when I woke up in the night, at the utterance of her same old two-word command. If I didn't know better, I would think I know how she smells, but maybe it's from distant memory when she used to read at the library when I was very little, and I somehow retained it. And her voice, like Colton's yet not, which lingers hauntingly, so equally known to me.
"Save us." It's only ever that, nothing else.
The weirdest thing I've started to notice about the dream, is in it, I'm not as I am now. I've looked down, seen my own hands while in the white room, when she clasps them in hers. My hands are that of a child, small, delicate, dwarfed in hers, which makes even less sense to me. I guess though, like the lost almost forgotten sense of familiar smell, and sound, maybe the dream too is a nod that this all comes at me from way back as a child and I've forgotten. Confused into a senseless moment, reminding me I did once upon a time know who she was. I have all but given up trying to dissect the meaning though, as there doesn't seem to be one.
I come to a relative clearing in the wood on my path, hot and achy from covering miles of ground in fast mode and stop to catch my breath. I drop my bags, by sliding them from tired shoulders with a heavy thud and stretch my body out with an amazing amount of crunching and cracking in the depths of my skin and bones. It feels good, despite the worrying noises. Extending my arms fully and stretching out, extending fingers and limbs to full capacity, making an 'argghhh' sound as I do so, relieved to lose that weight and able to straighten up without it. I curve my spin and bend my neck from side to side glad to be free, cracking it satisfyingly.