A Brush with Strangers

I’ve never been fond of fog. No line of sight, no way of knowing which noises are normal and which ones might be The End hunting for you. That’s the problem with living all the way up here with clouds. Sure you’re not visible, but end of the day it takes a lot of faith to think you’re the only dumb bastard who ever thought of heading up. You got to know one of these days someone is gonna see you come down from the clouds, watch you collect timber, water, and whatever food you can muster, and then just follow you back up to try and shake you from the nest.

It’s happened once already. Can’t say I blame them for trying. I blame them for throwing a goddamn kerosene lamp through my window come nightfall. You want to try and pry the house from my hands, fine, it’s your right, no one gave me this place, but to burn the thing to the ground…petty. Might as well have set fire to the whole goddamn forest. Didn’t help they positioned themselves at the exits, figuring to cut us down as we fled like some sort of Viking raiding party. Damn thing pooled and burnt out before it could catch on anything, just let the night in.

When that went to shit, they tried forcing their way in by bashing in the doors, Laura and I left the kids in to push up the doors, we took the bowstrings and had ourselves a nice round of hunting.

There was seven of them in all. Mostly men, couple of boys, search party most likely, figured they’d clear us out and bring the rest up come morning. Not sure what part of the house’d be left when they were finished, but I don’t suppose they’d thought that far ahead. Got an arrow through the neck of the biggest one and the rest scattered. Spent the rest of the night hunting them down slope.

When we came back the kids had already cleaned up the mess, cut up the big bastard’s body and laid him out by the bait traps. I almost felt bad for him. Then Laura showed me the crack in the corner of the door. It was a couple of weeks before the wildlife had taken care of the bodies, a couple months more before we found Geoffery had collected the skulls and nailed them to the back of the trees. Appreciated the boy’s gumption, but we didn’t need anything of interest that might get people looking up. He seemed a bit upset by that, figure he liked the novelty of the company.

Only kids could take a brush with death and turn it into a game.

God Bless’em for it.

About Tietsu

Someday the words that fill my brain will fill cheap paperback books. Until then, I will collect them here.
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