Far from the taunts and the stares of Steelhead I hauled my canoe onto the riverbank that led up past an icy stream to the snow-laden forest that was my new home. I stood in the early morning chill and listened… nothing… pure silence.
Around me nature was slumbering under winter’s blanket, even the river seemed sleepy and slow as it gurgled past, innocently hiding the fact it was deeper and colder than hell itself.
It was a steep climb up into the forest, the trees creaking under their snowy burden as I passed beneath them. I spotted the yawning maw of a cave hidden in the gloom and made note to be on the look out for curious and hungry bears come spring.
A sudden roar of steam had me ducking for cover! It seems my new home had its own central heating system in the form of a geyser that erupted every fourteen minutes or so in a most impressive manner!
Looking down and back to my landing spot I knew I had made the right decision in coming here. Yes Beck was worried, but if not what the doctor had ordered then this glorious isolation was what the patient needed, I reasoned. Since I had entered this world I hadn’t for one moment been alone. The Elemental severed my connection with my creator, the fire swallowed up the Elemental and his damn backpack, and Shade had connected directly with my mind during The Erase. Since then I had managed to have only one voice in my head and I liked it that way.
I pitched camp by the water and lit a fire to boil some tea and warm what was left of me. Canvas would do for now, but I wanted more than that. I looked first at the trees high above me and wondered how many I’d need to build a cabin. Then staring across the river to Mara Razor’s mill, I began to wonder about approaching her for regular supplies in order that I wouldn’t have to venture into town.
My tea finished I moved over to the stream to wash my cup. Under the silent gaze of St Helens I gazed at the stranger staring back at me from the water and drew up my plans never to see a living soul again. After all, who in Steelhead wanted to see this walk amongst them?
To be continued…
All the “Mutations” posts can be read here.
Links to other blogs and stories:
1) This tale follows on directly from Far From Home.