It was the dead of night; unfathomable darkness pervaded everything.  It flowed in the gaps between roots and undergrowth, clotted out the nexus of branches overhead, seeped in on us like liquid…filling up all interstices.  The rain grew heavier: hundreds of large drops, cold as ice, drummed down on our heads and shoulders, dissolving whatever layer of warmth lay between our skin and clothing.

“We need to find shelter,” I said.  “We can’t keep this up.”  We were getting soaked to the skin.


“Oof!” Sailor said.  She lurched to a stop, as if she’d run into something solid. Her grip on my hand tightened.  I felt her take my momentum into her arm.  I stopped.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah.  But check this out,” she whispered.  She pulled my hand forward through the rainy, inky darkness until it touched something cold, metallic, round.  With her wet hand over mine, she rotated the thing.  It was a doorknob.  The door swung open.  A soft yellow light revealed the door to be a low-arched, wooden, cut from the trunk of a primeval tree right at the center of our path.

“Shelter,” she said.  We ducked through and closed the door behind us.  We were out of the rain.




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