Wasty Presents: Death Is Near You


After days I had now reached a point in this wilderness where certainly no man had ever been before. I was here all alone and relied only on myself. Only a few single birds could be heard. I couldn't tell where exactly I was because thorn bushes reached up to my neck and all I could see was steep rock. With a stick I fought my way through the thicket. As I, totally scratched up, crawled out of it I faced a wall. I looked around. Behind me was the thicket that didn't show a trace of anybody having come through it. No one would be able to find me. To my left was the rock face. I saw that I was standing on a plateau and could see down into the valley to my right whose beginning and end could not be made out. I was thoroughly pleased with my situation.
A week ago I had escaped from prison that was booked for me for the next couple of years. I didn't know where to go and had no money at all. My only thought was to get away to a place where no one could find me and return years later when I wasn't wanted anymore and the crime was too long ago to still be punishable by law.
I stole an ax and a rifle to have the necessities for survival and hiked up into the mountains. I soon left the path for the wilderness. I marched day and night without eating much, crossed rivers and climbed rocks. I guess I had to be a hermit for the coming years. The most important thing now was to find a good spot with water to build a house. So I went further into the woods. After a few hours I finally found a good spot. It was a small clearing near a ledge. Right in front of me it went straight down but I had a good view. Next to me a small creek flowed and plunged over the edge. It came from a spring in the rock and gathered in a small pit right below where even a few fishes swam. For starters I had food at least - later I would have to go hunting.
After I had succeeded in starting a fire and gained strength from eating the fish, I began cutting trees to build a house. I wasn't unskilled with that and in four days I had assembled a decent log cabin that I was rather proud of. I made a soft bed out of leaves, laid down on it and started thinking. I certainly was a bit afraid of the wilderness and the loneliness. Maybe I would have to domesticate some animals. But first I had to recuperate from the hard work and gather strength again.

Meanwhile about a year had passed without me ever seeing a human. My hair and beard had grown very long and my clothes were totally torn and ripped. But I got used to the life here. I felt like a little Robinson Crusoe. I had my own tools and weapons, supplies and a badger for a pet. I never had to go hungry or thirsty.
One night I suddenly heard a low creaking or scraping at the door. I jumped up and rushed to the door. But no one was there. I only saw a vague shadow disappear in the bushes. That was quite eerie. Maybe I was dealing with a pursuer here or a whole horde of people that had found me. I was also very upset since I didn't seem to be the only one in my territory. Something dared to enter my territory and threaten me! I decided to find this enemy and to eliminate him. After all I didn't want to go back to prison.
The next day while hunting I heard steps following me in the woods nearby. As I hurried over there they went away fast. I returned to the cabin, packed as many supplies as I could carry and went back to where I had lost track. I threw some rocks into the bushes. Suddenly I heard a sound that could have been made by handcuffs or a gun. It had to be the sheriff. If he would recognize me at all, now that I looked wild and strange? The police had to think for a while now that I was probably dead. I had to find my rival! I had to find him before he would launch a mean surprise attack! I had to be as alert and skilled as a wolf.
The steps I heard must have been my own. Did he loose my track? I had picked up his scent.
I had pursued him for four days already without ever even seeing him. My supplies were running out. I kept getting lost and going the wrong way. Who knew, maybe I even went around in circles. I grew weak.
The next day I could only hear him. I had gotten a fever and hadn't eaten for a day. Still I pushed onward. At times I walked on all fours.
But if he wanted to catch me, why did no one ever show himself or attack me? The rival must have stopped now. Somewhere he was hiding and watching me. All day long I felt like I was being watched. Maybe he waited for reinforcements. I really was at the end of my strength. I had shivers and fever attacks and kept bouncing into trees. I had lost all orientation and didn't count on ever getting out of here. At least then they could not put me back in prison.
I had gotten so used to this wilderness, would it defeat me now after all? I heard a rustle nearby. The sheriff would be here any moment. I stumbled and fell to the ground. With a last effort I could hear steps right next to me and swimming in front of my eyes was a large creature, coming closer. Then I dropped my head.
From the thicket, a wolf crawled towards my dead body.


Copyright © March 1983, Wasty, Savage
German title: Rivalen
91 lines
Reading time: approx. 7 minutes


Wasty Home Previous Page   Book Table Of Contents   Next Page

Last updated February 12, 2001 by Martin Mathis, e-mail lastbandit.com