Chapter 2 - Lost
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Wait… where the hell was she? Why was she on a hill? Whose grass is this?!? Remy sat up again. Was this even real? Or was she just dead? Had she died on the train? She ran her fingers through the grass then brought her hand to touch her face. She felt real, the grass felt real. She pinched her cheek – it hurt! Pain felt real too.
She crossed her legs and took a deep breath. She existed still – her consciousness was her own as she was definitely having her own thoughts about the situation. Her body - Remy did a double take; yes, those were her flats, yep same jeans, same shirt. She look at her hands - they looked like hers. She ran her hand through her hair - it was still the short pixie cut that she remembered. Everything still seemed like her own and was tangible like a body should be. Her senses seemed to be functioning normally and her pulse, she briefly checked, was a steady healthy rate. Medically speaking – she was alive.
She looked around the area that she sat. Behind her was her med bag, resting on its side and beside it lay the knife. It was THE knife. She didn’t want to touch it, but forced herself to reach for it anyway. It was heavy in her hands and warm from lying in the sun. It looked to be about 12 inches, the blade taking up two thirds of the length. The handle was old and worn and was decorated with three round stones, one blue, one green, and one red. Remy ran her finger over the stones – they felt so smooth, almost soft.
She moved her thumb to test the sharpness of the blade and it immediately produced a cut on her first and lightest touch. The blade was sharper than scalpel. She pressed her thumb into her pant leg to stem the bleeding. Within a few minutes she checked the status of her cut. The blood had been wiped away on her pants leaving her free to see the damage. There was none – there was no cut. She ran her fingers over her thumb – it hurt so she could feel the cut was there, but it was so fine that it couldn’t be seen with her naked eye.
Lucky for her, a cut that fine should heal quickly – on the flip side, the blade on that knife was incredibly sharp and extremely dangerous. Remy popped open her med back and reached in to pull out a notebook. She opened the book near its center and placed the knife, blade up, between the pages. Closing the book around the knife, she placed it back into her bag.
Great. She bent her legs, propping her arms up on her knees she surveyed the land again. So, she was stabbed by a guy on a train with a weird knife. Knife ended up here with her and so did all that she was touching. Something had magically transported her from the train to this hillside. Remy’s bet was on the weird-ass knife that now sat tucked in her bag.
Remy reached and opened the side compartment of a her bag and pulled out her cell phone. No service. So much for just calling for help. The battery showed 53% remaining. She sighed and hit the power button. She would save the battery for now - just in case.
She had a few options. She could sit here and wait to wake up – perhaps this was all a dream? Unlikely. Or she could wait here for someone to come find her. Remy scanned the valley for signs of life. The brightness of the sun made it difficult to see – but as far as she could tell she only saw trees, grass, and more trees. The odds of someone finding her here didn’t seem too great - perhaps it was best that she go in search for help herself. Remy’s gazed paused on a sparkle that dipped past a hill nearly two kilometers away – the sparkle could be water, maybe a stream.
Judging by the sun in the sky it was either nearly midday or slightly past. The hill gave her good vantage point; she could ascend further up, but behind her the forest looked dense. She had a pretty good sense of direction – but not that good; her chance of getting even more lost than she was now would increase ten fold if she went into the trees.
Remy stood, dusted off her pants and picked up her bag. She would have to start moving if she planned on ever being found or more accurately ever planned on finding help. Remy set her sights on the glimmer of water. If it was a river of any kind it was her best bet to lead to back to civilization.
The sun was high now. Remy’s shadow tucked close to her feet. She had just made it to the river bed and had decided on following it downstream. From the river she could see that the hill she descended was near the base of a mountain range and that the river likely birthed from its snow-capped peaks.
The river rushed at a good pace and had a width of approximately thirty feet. It could be wider, Remy judged, but the level of water wasn’t at its highest. There was about ten feet of bedrock between the water and the riverbank allowing Remy to walk alongside it without difficulty. She had stopped to inspect the water and found it crystal clear. She soaked her hair and the collar of her shirt to battle the heat from sun. She even refilled her water bottle she kept in her bag. The water was moving quickly and from a mountain spring – she felt confident that it would be safe to drink.
Then she heard it. A tremendous blast rumbled from a distance. Though it seemed far away – whatever had made the boom sounded explosive. Remy had determined, with the help of the sun, that the mountains were north. And if the mountains were north than the direction of the sound came from the southwest. The river headed south – provided… provided she was in the northern hemisphere.
Remy began walking, her pace was fast. She would continue to follow the river south and then cut into the woods when she came closer to the origin of the sound. Her heart fluttered at the thought – she wasn’t and expert but she was pretty sure explosive sounds didn’t happen too often in nature. She hoped that it was man made. Perhaps a mine, a blast site – maybe limestone? Whatever it was – it definitely meant that help was not far off.
With the hope of finding answers, Remy’s head filled with questions. Where was she? Who would she find? She had noticed the foliage as she walked. It wasn’t like home. Home was rocky and Mediterranean. Here seemed more tropical. Wide leafy greens and tall skinny trees populated the woods. And the humidity in the air was more than she was accustom too. She had a gut feeling that she had travelled a great distance. How she was going to explain herself to a stranger about how she got there was going to be a tough task.
She heard it again. This time the blast had moved. It was closer to the river. It was more south then southwest. Were there two blast sites? Remy felt an urgency to move faster. Her feet stumbled on the round rocks of the exposed riverbed. Not only had the blast moved toward the river, but there seemed to be less distance between it and Remy.
She walked on keeping her set pace. As she closed the distance between her and the blast site new sounds rose. Crashing sounds, almost like that of a tree falling over. Perhaps it was a logging company? Before her the river turned sharply to the east leaving a row of trees directly south. Another blast erupted and this time Remy could see a cloud of dust shoot up into the air just past the tree line that was directly in front of her. She was close.
She approached the tree line with caution. The sounds of crashing had ceased after the blast. Remy climbed the riverbank and peered through the foliage before entering. She didn’t want to walk into an active worksite – especially one using explosives. But, it was so quiet now. She couldn’t hear any equipment that would have sourced the crashing noises. She listened intently for signs of life, for the voices of the work crew. She held her breath and strained to listen.
She could hear shuffling, like something moving through the underbrush some distance away. Was it moving toward her? She looked for movement in the foliage. Then she saw it – the shaking leaves of the underbrush about fifty feet into the woods. And from it emerged… a person? Remy couldn’t tell from her position. The shade of the trees made it difficult to see, but the figure outline looked humanoid, like a tall man.
Remy raised both her hands and began waving – “HEY, HELLO!” she yelled.
The figure shifted in her direction and as far as Remy could see she seemed to have gotten its attention.
“Oh wow I am glad to see you. I’m lost and I need some help…” Remy began to holler to the figure. She stopped when she saw it abruptly turn away and crouch down. Confused, Remy looked in the direction the figure had turned to face. A crashing noise came again – it was loud and rushed toward her like a wave. Remy watched the trees in the forest bend as if bowing in submission to the sound… and then she felt it.
The blast launched her from the riverbank backward on to the bedrocks. She felt the hard contact of a rock connect with her skull.
Remy’s eyes shot open. Her head throbbed fiercely. She had never been knocked out before and knew well that it’s not something that just ‘happens’ like in the movies. She reached with her hand to touch the back of her neck. She found it sticky with blood. Not good. She probably has a concussion.
It was still light out, but the sun was sitting lower in the sky. Remy sat up to look at her surroundings. Leaves littered the riverbank; the blast had torn them from the branches of the trees. Some smaller trees had even fallen over leaving splinter trunks in their place.
What the hell was that? Remy groaned. Today was the weirdest day ever. Cursing, Remy stood. Her legs were shaky and her balance wobbled. She faced the wreckage in the woods and decided she didn’t want to rush after whatever caused the damage. She turned, instead, to the river and stumbled to the water.
She bent and splashed water onto her neck. The pink droplets spotted the rocks around her. She rubbed at the caked on blood. The wound was at the back of her skull. The gash felt superficial. Remy wasn’t surprised, head wounds were always a little over dramatic when it came to blood. Her head continued to throbbed, though, it had lessened a bit.
Remy rolled thoughts through her mind. She decided that it was best she didn’t follow the figure in the woods. Whatever it was running from seem to be causing the blasts that she had heard earlier. The last she wanted to do was encounter something like that again. Whatever it was – it definitely wasn’t anything industrial. If it was – there would’ve been safeguards in place, it likely would’ve been less mobile. So whatever THAT was seemed more like a weird force of nature than man made. Or if it was manmade – then it was more like a weapon then some kind of industrial tool.
On the bright side, she was sure she saw a person. So, that definitely means there was hope to find help. Remy rolled from the heels of her feet and sat back on the rocks. She dug her hand into her bag and flick on her cell phone - no service. She decide to leave it on - with people around perhaps it might grab a signal. She hung her head between she knees and breathed deep. A possible concussion and lost in dangerous territory. It would be really BAD luck if she had been transported to some kind of warzone.
Remy felt her eyes droop. She was beginning to feel sluggish – not a good sign with a concussion. With a lot of effort she pushed herself to her feet. She started walking downstream again. Her limbs felt heavy but she knew she must keep putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving. And so she did…