The pine laced air lingered around me, lightly touching my skin on my arms, neck, face. Eyes shut I breathed deeply through my nose, smelling the pine and earth that surrounded me. Listening I could hear birds singing and squirrels chattering in the distance, annoyed at my intrusion of their space. I had been there for the last half hour, having left the camp as soon as it was light enough for me to see.

It felt nice, just sitting there, not having to worry about anything at all, knowing nothing was going to hurt you or hunt you down, able to just forget about the war, to escape it. Peace was the dominant feature and feeling of just sitting here, listening to the sounds of the forest and smelling the scents that floated over me even the feel of the pine needles on my legs which had gone strangely numb. Opening my eyes I looked around the forest seeing the sun dotting the forest floor with dimples of light. It seemed perfect, the silence of the forest absolute.  

"CHARLIE," Shouted a voice, shattering the silence and breaking the peace of the moment. "WERE THE HELL ARE YOU?"  

 Sighing I slowly got up from the kneeling position I had been in and then groaned as several waves of pins and needles shot down both my legs fully awaking me from my stupor. Pine needles covered my legs from my ankles up, I quickly brushed them off sending a small shower of the things back down to earth. I turned and started to head towards the source of the voice.

The silence was shattered again as Bonno wandered round the corner shouting at the top of his lungs "CHARLIE GET BACK OVER ... oh there you are." He said spotting me standing just in front of him in my full camo outfit. I half grinned as he took a half step back.

"Hey Bonno I'm sure the bears appreciate the wake-up call" I said calmly with my back straight, emphasizing that I was taller than him, and stronger.

"You know I don't like it when you do that to me, you always just seem to appear out of nowhere," he looked past me at the small bed of pine needles I had been sitting on "erm ... oh, you need to get back to camp, we decided we would start making our plans now so we have time to prepare for tomorrow."   

"Okay, let's go."

I glanced back again, looking once more at my small peaceful glade which I had sat in. I was all ready wishing for that peaceful serenity that I had got from just sitting there, letting the worries of the real world fall away. We kept walking, it was true, we didn't have time, we had a war to fight.  

The End

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