The cover of the trees began to thicken up towards Alkirk. While the team stepped through the forest each one bustled and clunk more so than the last. Al swore and grunted with every bump that the squad scrambled over, and each time those curses came splattering out John clasped his hands over his son’s ears, being sure to keep quiet and patient.
The biting cold bore down on them and as John held his son's hand they began to shake and shiver in the chill. There were no spare blankets to keep him warm, but John looked on sympathetically and wrapped his own duvet cloak around him. Jonathon was small and the cold rushed through him faster.
The day seemed to be getting duller and duller. Though the sun glowed heavily above their heads, the dark black clouds became thick and brutal. While they dragged on, Jonathon began to quietly whine about the cold, his sore legs and his aching back.
John was considering carrying him, but was still unsure of his own capabilities to carrying to growing boy. Then, much to the despair of the group, a twig snapped under Jonathon’s foot and his ankle rolled in its socket, making an unpleasant crunch as the muscles in his legs stretched. His despairing cries rocketed through the forest and John immediately slapped a hand around his son’s wailing mouth.
"Jonathon, you have to be quiet," he whispered. Through blurry eyes and uncontrollable sobs, Jonathon nodded.
The group watched on and began making themselves comfortable in the misty grove as John sat his son down on the mess of tree roots and pulled up his pant leg. His ankle had already begun swelling up to the size of an apple and a grazed scratch ran up his leg, staining his sock red with blood.