- [Sunday, June 6, 2162]
The last dark of night stole shape and substance from the shadows beneath the pine. A first waking of birds tested the air. The muffled crack of a limb, twisted by the gentle fingering of a cool draft, and the drop of a pine cone onto the thick mat of fallen needles went unnoticed by horse or man. But another sound, no more than an insect against the first soft bluster of oncoming dawn, pestered the larger silence.
One eye opened. Through a gray wisp off the ashes of his campfire, John looked toward Rosie. Wide-eyed, she backed against her tether, snorted, and returned his stare, her ears erect and turning nervously. John slipped a hand forward in his sleepsack to his gun, shifting the clasp with his thumb. A gathering chorus of catbirds, warblers and cardinals further tattered the quiet. Calculating that the lingering dark would hide the movement, John turned his head just enough against the undermat to better hear. Rosie saw his attention and stood still. The only odor he noticed was the warm whiff of insect repellent from within the sleepsack. A pine knot, still smoldering at the center of the ashes, began to buzz like a fly. But above that faint noise, there was another sound. A vibrating. Metallic.
A drone perhaps? Continue Reading →