Scrounger: Eleven

mells of pine and dead leaves fill Nathan’s nasal passages. The mold throughout this forest will be the death of him, he believes, if he can’t find his way out of this hiking trip gone so wrong. With the flip of his blade, he hacks a chunk from the tree closest to him, his own GPS signal, marking his way as he circles.
Oh God. He sees another one of his marks, right over there, a dry mouth gaping. He is circling, and the light’s dimming, and he really does not want this to be his campground.
Not when they are out there. The news keeps telling the public to stay away from the woods. They commune in the woods. The woods are theirs; they are not yours anymore.
To his right is the body of a bear. There are holes in the bear’s fur. It’s face is mostly missing, exposing glimpses of licked-clean skull.
The cool, autumn sunlight starts evaporating, transforming from velvet orange to subtle cadet blue.
And over there are the eyes of one of them, glinting in the darkness like dog eyes. He raises his machete.