Are you listening?
I haven’t been able to come up for 4-days. When I removed the covering and crawled out of my hole, my mouth was crusted, dry with dirt; my eyes nearly blinded by the dust and lack of hydration. It took a while to gain my composure and “clean up”. It took a while to quench my thirst and to fill my belly so that the shaking of my hands would calm and I could write.
It’s bad when that happens; when you have to stay down for so long, 6-days was the longest for me. I didn’t think I would make it. It wasn’t too long after I’d removed my chip and I was still sick with fever. My water ran out, I had no food after the 2nd day.
You start to lose your mind in that hole, but in order to survive; you have to stay down as long as it takes. This time, the government camp was set-up no more than 20 yards from my hiding place. I thought they were just passing overhead, but they stopped. I could hear their raucous laughter late into the night. I barely allowed myself to breath.
And, the dogs, my God I was so worried their dogs would give me away. At least twice I could hear one above sniffing away; scratch, scratch, scratching at the ground. Luckily something else caught its attention and it left me in peace.
I didn’t dare allow myself to defecate no matter how my body was screaming for release. The odor would be too strong for the dogs not to make a scene and give me away. It was bad enough I couldn’t hold my urine long, but the less I drank the less that became a problem.
Patience. These days, it is your best friend and even then, there are no guarantees. Patience can save your life, but it can take it too. One more day in the hole can be the difference between life and death.
The soldiers left a mess. I have to clean it up otherwise it will only draw the attention of other passersby and I don’t need the worry. They left behind a few things that I can use. Supplies are always slim so I take what I can get. This time it’s a knife with a chipped blade, two half-eaten MREs, a torn pair of Government Issue pants and almost a full pack of gum.
I haven’t had gum in years and I know just how to best utilize it. On the days I have to stay under I can supplement water with chewing gum to help keep my mouth moist. For now however, I stuffed two whole pieces in my mouth and it’s the best thing I have tasted in a long time!
The pants are ripped up pretty bad. Whoever wore them last was obviously injured in them as the tears are caked with dried blood. I will cut them off for shorts even though they will be very big on me. Thankfully I still have the same belt I was wearing when I first escaped. I have had to make several new notches to accommodate what near-starvation does, but it works.
There isn’t anything I can do to repair the chip in the knife, but it’s still sharp and weapons – unfortunately, are important so it was a good find.
Today I gather my things and head west. I have other dig-outs I have created over the years. They allow me to travel looking for supplies and still have safe places along the way. I’m low on everything here and wouldn’t survive but a couple more days.
There is nowhere to go, but round and round in this endless circle of hiding places. There is nothing to do except gather supplies. I need to find others like me, but where are they? Which direction could I go and be safe?