Chapter 5, First Kill
“When I open my eyes, face down in the dirt, it’s still too dark to be morning.
Looming silhouettes of boulders and trees surround me, animated by the soft swing of hanging branches. The river noisily swooshes by a few meters away, bringing a constant humidity that impregnates everything from the pores in my skin to my too-thin clothing.
Roots and stones scattered in the hard soil press against my stomach and chest, but after endless hours of lying on the biting cold riverside, I’m so numb I could care less. Regular shivers run through my body, the only signs of life beside the small fogs of breath escaping my nose. And the painful cramps stiffening my legs every now and then, that I wait out until the hurting muscles relax and soothing warmth washes over.
But I’m so tired of breathing, tired of fighting to live.”