So it seemed both Groate and Gronk worked for the corporation wanting to destroy the natural landscape. Steve may be a business lawyer now, but he did not believe in profit at any cost. Besides, this forest was important to him. So many good memories were made there. The wilderness had survived so far and he hoped it still had a future. Steve sat on the bridge with his feet dangling over the side. It was like he was a boy again. He took off the gloves and hood. Unclipping a side pouch to his assault pack, he pulled out some food and fizzy water for lunch. He watched the steam slowly meander its way through the trees. Steve listened to the sounds of trickling water and birdsong. Insects buzzed in the wild flowers. Sunlight made the reflection of trees flicker on the water’s surface.

With lunch over, Steve put all his gear and the rubbish back into the assault pack. He walked to the edge of the stream and leant in. Splashing it onto his face, he washed the mud off. When done, he put both hands into the water and rubbed them together until clean. He stood up and shook his hands. Looking around, he took in the familiar sights he once knew as a boy. The hills, stream, trees and fern were all as they had been years before, even if the track was more overgrown and the bridge a bit dilapidated. He breathed in and smiled. Steve loved the tranquility of this place.

As the corporation owned all this now, there was no need for a gamekeeper anymore. The forest was less dangerous than when he and Scotty were hunted down by the man employed at least in part to keep trespassers out. Life had changed so much since those days. Some for the worse, but a lot for the better. Many of his friends had moved on so keeping in touch proved difficult. He sighed and decided to go further into the forest. If the biggest danger was a couple of suits with flawed personalities, he figured it was safe to take a good look around.

Copyright © 2023 Callum Stanford.  All rights reserved.

Author: C.Stanford

Writer, blogger, outsider, survivor.

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