(March 2020, Week 1 Day 3)

She came to and found herself sitting, alone, on a park bench. She held still as she soaked in her surroundings and took stock. Around her were thick-trunked trees with branches heavy with green, yellow, and red leaves, obscuring her view of any other people that might be around. The thrumming hum of distant cars gave her a hint of how far she’d have to go to find someone. The sun hung above her, its tentative warmth and light marking the time as late morning.   

The dampness on the bench beneath her and the smell of what she hoped was her own urine shook her into action. She stood up quickly and had to reach out for the back of the bench to steady herself while she convinced her legs to do their job and her stomach contents to settle down. She tasted enough of the bad choices from the night before as it was without adding vomit to the mix. Knowing full well they were empty, she patted down the pockets of her jacket and jeans. Empty. No keys, no wallet, no condoms, not even a matchbook with a fake number scrawled on it. At least she was dressed this time.

She shrugged out of her jacket and tied it around her hips. The smell might come with her but she wasn’t going to walk into town, assuming she could find a town, displaying a wet ass. The hairs on her arms stood up in response to the light breeze and she rubbed them down into submission as she pivoted around straining to pinpoint the source of the car sounds. How had she gotten into this clearing? She left the security of the park bench and walked the perimeter of the clearing looking for signs of disturbance that could give her that answer.

She emerged onto a large, rolling parkway. The trees here were planted in a deliberate pattern with varying degrees of distance between them. All of them were less robust than the ones she’d just fought her way through, and, based on the light sawdust smell hanging in the air, some of them had been recently trimmed. The sour smell of sweat from her armpits fought for dominance over the slightly sweet smell of uring clinging to her pants. She ignored both as she checked the sun again for direction and headed towards what she hoped would turn out to be a main road. That this area was well-tended told her she was on the right track. 

The parkway was completely deserted and she was hungry to at least lay eyes on another person. Shimmying through overgrown trees had proved enough of a distraction that it was only now that she was presented with a relatively clear path that she found herself going back through what she could remember of the night before. Flashes of sound and light and smell and taste blurred past her and refused to land in a helpful order, and the glimpses of faces and bodies just added to her confusion. 

2 thoughts on “Survival”

  1. One vote here, too. Somehow, adding the lack of condoms to her empty pockets makes me want to know not only what happened, but also what she intended to happen.

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