It’s nearly pitch black and I am walking up a hill. My watch tells me it is 1AM. If it weren’t for my headlamp I could not make out a thing. All I can see around me is dirt.
Gravel and dirt.
I can feel the subtle grit of dirt in my teeth. Dirt swirls through the air, illuminated by my the beam of my lamp. There is no wind, and this dirt tells me that people have been here recently. My headlamp will only reliably illuminate distances of about 50 feet, and the dirt goes on long past the confines of the beam. I sigh and press on in a futile effort to find signs of civilization.
I check my phone again. No signal. No calls. No social media. I become cognizant of the fact that I am completely cut off from the comforts we take for granted in technology.
I put my phone back in airplane mode and turn on music to calm my anxiety. This proves a fruitless effort as well. Cicadas surround me and their 90 decibel screech is all I can hear, their chorus droning endlessly in chaotic intervals.
To my right, a slope leads down to a mountain valley hundreds of feet below. I take small solace in knowing that leaping from it would provide a quick end to my woeful loneliness and queasy stomach.
Two tiny dots, no larger than the pin of a head, shine at me from the ground. They are the eyes of an insect or arachnid of some sort and I dare not stop to investigate which. In the corner of my headlamp I spot black slender line, less than an inch wide, resting upon the ground. I know it is either a stick or a copperhead snake, and I avoid it either way.
The uneasiness of my stomach doubles. I need sustenance and I will not survive for long in these dark confines.
Three words begin to echo through my mind without my conscious approval. These words get stronger and stronger with each repetition and this once fleeting thought is quickly becoming truth. I try and push away the thought but it has taken root. Sweat drips off my brow as my strength fades. My last remnants of will and constitution escaping me, I scream this fateful phrase to the heavens:
“FUUUUUCCCCK THIIIISSSSSS SHIIIIIIIITTTTTT!”