This is a solo story at this point. However, if a skilled author comes along and can contribute I would be willing to resubmit as a collaborative effort.
Please critique this. Mercilessly even. I plan on publishing this someday and it needs to be a complete work.
I am still creating this chapter, so be sure to check in on my progress.
It was nearing dark, and I was a long way from home. Well, not so long during the daylight hours. But night-time is no time to travel in these hills. Especially not when it was winter and game was scarce enough in the higher, mountain forests for the Tall-ones to be wandering about near humanity.
Luckily, Tall-ones fear fire as much as other wildlife, but deities preserve us if the Tall-ones ever got over their fear of fire. They are far too clever by half! On another hunting trip, I found a stone spear-head that was larger than my hand. The shaft for a head that size could only be thrown by a mature Tall-one.
I was near an old stonework ruin that would protect me on two sides and I could build a good fire to provide safety from predators and scavengers for. I hung my freshly hunted deer in the corner of where two stone walls joined. A foot or so out from that I laid out my bedroll. Another few feet from that is the fire-pit. Not as good as a cave with a five at its mouth, but close enough.
I lit my fire and kept it alive with wood that I had stored here in earlier times. This old ruin is one of many campsites that are within my normal hunting range. I learned from my father when I was very young to keep them supplied with a few days emergency rations and always replenish the wood that is burnt at night. He had learned a motto from his father that he passed onto me.
“Shit happens, so be prepared.”
I took these words to heart and learned every lesson that he taught me. Aside from how to make a fire, or how to chip flint and obsidian in the absence of a good steel blade, my father taught me how to improvise. He always called it hillbilly engineering.