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Re: [at-l] *Fiction*, Parts 5&6

Your so cool ! VBG>>

> From: Felix <AThiker@smithville.net>
> To: at list <at-l@saffron.hack.net>
> Subject: [at-l] *Fiction*, Parts 5&6
> Date: Wednesday, February 05, 1997 3:58 AM
> "Ummm, yea, there was a guy through here about an hour ago" he said.
> "Going north?" I asked in my most puzzled voiced.
> "Hell, I don't know. The same way you're goin'" he was loosing interest 
> as mine was piqued.
> Well, I was guessing it was my friend from the night before. I was 
> certainly surprised to find that he was here an hour ago. I had only 
> travelled about a mile or so. I thanked my doctoring friend again and 
> headed out. It was close to noon and still very foggy. I stopped in 
> Massie Gap for a quick bite to eat and to check out my new wound in a 
> mirror. He really did a nice job on it. It was sore and throbbing, but 
> didn't appear to be life-threatening.
> The fog seemed to be lifting and it was getting brighter. I ate some 
> trailmix and cream cheese on crackers. I couldn't help but wonder about 
> the guy in front of me. Where had he stayed that he was still that close.

> Where is he now, and will he be tonight? The food was helping to relax my

> body, as some of the activities of the morning had left me somewhat 
> over-wrought.
> As I was putting everything back in my pack, I realized that my stove was

> gone. This prompted me to pull everything out of my pack, cussing all the

> while. I had, indeed, used the stove this very morning. I take no steps 
> without a cup of coffee, and I had had two cups in the loft at Thomas 
> Knob. As I reloaded my pack, I became pissed, then confused, and even 
> scared again. What had happened to my stove? Could I have left it at the 
> shelter? Never. I check too closely. My stove would not be easy to leave,

> either. It nestles inside a small square aluminum box that makes it look 
> like a bomb.
> I finished loading the pack and headed to Old Orchard. I knew I had 
> enough cold food to make it through the night and next day, less the 
> coffee. I couldn't help but retrace my mornings activity. Had the 
> seemingly friendly, doctoring stagehand set me up? I couldn't figure out 
> how he did. I looked at every possible scenario.
> My stomach was again knotted. It seems to like to do that. As I hiked on,

> the weather cleared and I was offered some nice views from Pine Mountain.

> I was making good time, simply hiking on emotion and frustration. I 
> pondered what I would do if my new hiking enemy was at Old Orchard. 
> Nothing.
> I wondered why I considered him an enemy. He had said no more than 20 
> words to me, yet I feared him, his persona, as I have never feared 
> another man. I will never forget the way the air seemed to die when he 
> came into the shelter. His aura was definitely swimming in some weird 
> cosmos. The one good thing I could feel coming out of this day was the 
> fact that I would never again have to think about what was my worst day 
> of backpacking. It was obvious.
> As I decended the switchbacks that lead to Old Orchard, I considered 
> prayer. When the back of the shelter came into view, I become reluctant 
> to continue. I stopped and watched for activity. I could see through the 
> walls of the old log-style shelter. I could see movement. My heart sank. 
> I continued on, deciding to face my nemisis. 
> As I approached the shelter, I could hear the voice of a woman. A weight 
> heavier than my pack ever was was lifted from my shoulders. 
> As I walked along the side of the shelter I made out the words "I am a 
> traveller of both time and space, to be where I have been". This can't 
> be, I'm thinking. A Led Zepellin fan with a wonderful, lilty voice.
> I came around the corner, trying to make some noise so as to not frighten

> her."How ya doin'?" I said, in my est'don't-be-afraid-of-me' voice.
> "Great. And you?" 
> "Oh, it's been a long day." I really didn't want to go into yet. I knew 
> that I would later, after I settled in a little. I sat with my pack on 
> the edge of the shelter floor and slid out of it. The temps were in the 
> mid-30's, so I took off my sweat-soaked shirt and put on a nice, dry 
> fleece-pullover. I was feeling better already. That would change, 
> however.
> I started to look the shelter over to see where I would be best situated.

> She had her stuff fairly neatly spread out on the left, so I moved to the

> right. I was spreading out my Thermarest when I noticed, there in the 
> corner, my stove. The chill that had danced down my spine this morning, 
> just ran back up it, kicking every nerve on the way. I looked at her, but

> she was watching a pot of food boil, humming all the while. I went about 
> my business of setting up for the eve, waiting for her to mention it. She

> didn't.
> Finally, I said "Do you know what that is?" pointing to the stove.
> "Oh, yea. That's your stove. I forgot all about it." 
> Well, I don't know if I wanted her to know what it was or not. It was all

> getting too weird for me. "How did you know that?"
> "You're Felix, aren't you?"
> I kinda went into a numb stare. I was looking deep into the aluminum of 
> my stove's casing. I perched my lips and nodded my head, in a distant 
> trance. I hadn't told anyone my name. I hadn't signed a register. I 
> didn't say a word.
> I slowly began to set things up. I was famished and wanted to eat before 
> dark. I got my bed and clothing situated before I finally reached for the

> stove. I was hesitant to open it, but it was fine. I looked it over and 
> could tell it had been tampered with. I pumped it up and lit it. Much to 
> my surprise, it took right off. In fact, it burnt better than it ever had

> before. I had always had trouble with it flaming up, if not catching on 
> fire. But now, it was purring along like never before.
> When my food was finally done and I sat at the edge of the floor eating, 
> I said to my shelter-mate "Where you from?"
> "Paris" she said, matter of factly.
> -- 
> Felix
> It ain't much, but try http://members.tripod.com/~Felixhikes/index.html
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