August 11, 2011 in I
Jake closed his eyes and breathed a victorious sigh. Five days ago his father had kicked him out of their family truck. Jake had fallen to the ground, rolled through the mud and staggered to his feet dirty, bruised and wet on the side of the road.
“Jasper is 130 miles by road. Only 45 if you cut through the forest.” His father tossed a hunting knife from the window. It made a feeble squelching sound when it landed in the mud. “You left this truck a boy; let’s see what you come back as.” Without another word his father drove away.
Only 45 miles through a forest that had few trails and fewer that were made by man. Over fast flowing rivers that had no bridges and water that would carry you to your grave if you put a foot wrong. Only 45 miles. It had taken him 5 days.
Jake had been the alien in the forest. The fifteen year old boy crashing through low hanging branches, frightening away the creatures that called it home. A boy looking for a way out, a way through, a way to his father’s respect.
Now, five days later, he had done it. He could see his father’s shadowy outline leaning against the cabin, watching the forest. Cigarette butts piled about his feet. He need only go down to him. Look him in the eye and it would be done.
Jake’s feet were sore, his clothes hung from his body in rags, he was covered in dirt and dried blood, and he was nursing a cut in his hand where a squirrel he had thought dead had bitten him. He was starving and his father would have food. Food, water, dry clothes and a bed.
He closed his eyes and enjoyed the feel of the cold but familiar rain. His body swayed gently to the sounds of the forest and the creatures within it. So different to the world of man.
Jake’s left foot moved backwards and his body turned to the right. Step by step he moved deeper into the trees, away from Jasper and his father. Away from the food, water, dry clothes, warm bed and respect. They belonged to his father. He would find his own.