The night was calm and quiet.  The wind whispered softly above in the sky moving wispy clouds across the full moon.  A man trudged through the thick forest; broken, dreary with hunger, and delirious due to thirst.  His clothes, ragged and torn, were caked with a concoction of dirt, mud, and blood.  Sweat beaded on his brow and plastered his dark hair to his forehead.  Weak grunts forced their way out of his gritted teeth as he made the trek through the rugged woods. 

            He closed his black eyes for a moment and leaned against a tree.  He caught his breath in short gasps and his hand clutched his side. Only for a moment,he told himself.  He had to complete this journey.  The rewards that awaited him once he’d finished…

            With another grunt, he pushed himself off the tree and continued on his way.  It hadn’t been in his plans to get lost; he’d expected to be at his destination before nightfall.  Now, after all his preparation, he was about to miss his chance. 

            No!  There!

            His head perked slightly as he willed the forest to quiet around him.  He strained his ears, begging them to prove to him that they hadn’t imagined that sound.  Sure enough, there was the unmistakable sound of cars across a dirt road. 

            Quickened by this discovery, the man pushed his legs faster.  He stumbled over fallen trees and plowed through bushes.  Soon, he encountered the ditch on the side of the old dirt road. 

            Headlights of the car flooded his vision, and as a feeling of accomplishment coursed through him, he fell, unconscious, to the earth. 

The End

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