Boughs of an Oak

Night came upon them sooner than Sarah would have liked. She had no real idea how far away Deer camp was. Adam thought it was more than a two day walk based on how quickly the Splinter split and stabilized.

“I can’t be sure though,” he hesitated, “given...” his head indicated the direction they came.

“Adam,” Sarah looked at him unsure of how to take his behavior. “Your faith in the Gods till you are dust. Keep faith.” He swallowed and nodded slightly. She sighed. “We’ll keep moving towards base camp until we start tripping over our feet. We'll rest and then start moving again as soon as it’s light enough.”

Adam nodded and repacked the Splinter. Sarah led them through the trees as quickly as she could. The going became rougher as the sun began to set. Even if the moon rose, it wouldn’t give them any light for clouds had gathered in the sky. The rain began to fall shortly after sunset. Sighing, she began to look for shelter.

“There,” Adam pointed to a tree with large roots and even larger branches. “We can sleep on the bottom boughs near the trunk.”

“Sounds good,” Sarah agreed.

The the majority of leaves still attached, the oak provided protection from the rain as it began to fall harder. Sarah tried to sleep, but her mind was continually plagued by image of the bear cub, camp and child’s bone. What could a child have done to deserve such treatment? Wasn’t their torturing of squirrels bad enough?

A sob escaped into the night and Sarah looked to her partner when she realized it wasn’t one of her own. Adam rocked in his blanket shaken with silent weeping. Sarah reached out to one of his hands which clutched his japon. She gave it a squeeze.

“It'll be okay,” she whispered. “Have faith. It will be okay.”

Have faith in what, Sarah wondered as she held his hand like a mother comforting a child. At some point in the night Sarah fell asleep her hand still holding Adam’s.

The End

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