Russ Bickerstaff

There are birds off in the distance. I see the rustling of leaves. And I hear them as well. Everything is very still. It is Don. I look at the clock. It’s set of numbers that Donna really seem to mean much of anything. And I try to remember where I heard something before. I’ve made my coffee. I made my oatmeal. I have showered. I have shaved. There’s something that I remember hearing or reading somewhere. In circumstances like this it’s important to maintain a routine. Thinking about it further, it occurs to me that those words had come from a movie that I’ve seen about hostage. Those were the thoughts of a hostage. It’s important to maintain a routine. Just to keep your sanity about you. But maybe that’s what vacations like as well. However, it’s very difficult to tell whether or not this is in fact vacation.

I think I feel much more comfortable considering this vacation if I was her of my own free will. I’m not sure that I’m not. It’s hard to tell. Because I don’t remember actually getting here. I don’t remember actually getting to this place with all this peace and all the stillness. This nicely appointed cabin. There is a dishwasher. I don’t have a dishwasher in my own place. And here I am out in the middle of nowhere. And the big forest. Blue skies. A wine rack. Admittedly, no wine on the wine rack. The crown molding is very nice. Very nice touch. However, I one gets the feeling that it’s all very cute prefabricated. There’s no sense of character about it.  It’s kind of the way it feels.

It’s not like I have any pressing appointments or anything. I’m positive of that. I’d cleared away quite a bit of my schedule to have some time off. Which is what leads me to believe that I may, in fact, be in a vacation situation. However, it’s very difficult to tell. It’s very difficult to tell whether or not this is the case as I don’t remember actually getting here.

I do remember specifically waking up here this morning. It’s a nice bed. And I do specifically remember showering and getting dressed. It’s a nice shower. Perhaps the one thing that makes me uncomfortable more than anything is the fact that all of my clothing is here. At least most of it. They’re in the dresser. And in the closet. It’s been meticulously put away by pans that may have been mine. However I do not remember exactly putting them there. And that’s was kind of creepy about it. Kind of unusual. Kind of uncertain.

I take another sip of coffee and listen to the birds. The sun is relatively low in the sky. Then that would sort of just that it’s morning. It would corroborate this with the clock. Which has a little and I am after the strange jumble of numbers that appears to be the time. Again, it looks like a perfectly normal set of numbers. But for whatever reason just looking at them doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. I can judge by the fact that the sun is relatively low in the sky that it’s relatively early in the morning. So I have the whole day to try to figure out what’s going on.

It should also be pointed out that I don’t have a phone. My phone that is normally with me is not. And that makes things seem all the more uncertain. However, I do have my car keys. I do have my wallet. I do have everything else that would signify me as being who I am. I just don’t have a car. There’s that. That’s another thing that’s a little uncertain. There’s a bike. That is to set your bicycle. Not a motorbike or a motorcycle. A simple bicycle. One speed. It’s standing next to the garage next to the empty garage. It’s empty. There’s nothing in it. My car is not in it. And I’m surrounded by forest. There is a gravel path leading out of the garage.

So my only form of transportation out of this perfectly comfortable house is a bicycle. Granted, I had meant to get in shape. Truly I had. But it was always something that I was going to do later on. Not anything I was going to do in the immediate. However, had I known that would be in this position where my only form of transportation was something that required physical exertion then I probably would have thought about getting in shape.

So there’s that.

It should be noted, that there is no real reason to leave the cabin. At least not yet. The kitchen is fully stocked. It’s fully stocked with food that I like that I wouldn’t normally buy for myself. Is not food that I love. But it’s enough to get me by. And while there isn’t any wine, there is plenty of beer. And it’s pure that I would drink though it’s not. I would personally bye.

Interestingly enough there is a study in this cabin. Interestingly enough in this study in this cabin there is a rather large collection of books. Couple of books cases full. And what’s strange about this is the fact that I don’t recognize any of the names or any of the titles on any of the books. Now, I would like to think of myself as being pretty well read. They’re all in English and everything. With copyright dates in the last 20 years. I would like to think that I would be more familiar with these books. There’ll published in standard publishing houses. They weren’t small presses writing like that. Not print on demand publishers or anything like that. Some of them are fairly large publishers. I have heard of the publishers before. I have not heard of any of the authors or any of the books.

The path ahead would have seemed like a bad idea regardless, but I think that it might have been a good idea just to stay put so long as it was the case that I had everything I needed to be able to live. Of course without anything in the way of discernible direction, I guess I find myself in the rather unenviable position of being forced to live without any real sense of what it was I was doing there. I think that I probably should have considered that before I moved forward with things the way that I had.

I had made a point of scouring the cabin. For any sense of where I might have been or what might have been going on. My big fear of being in a cabin in the woods might have been made all the more complicated by my fear of being alone in a cabin in the woods with someone else. So I made absolutely certain that I went through every single square inch of the cabin to make certain that there wasn’t anyone else there with me. Interestingly enough, the locks on huge doors worked such that, if everything was completely locked from the inside, no one would be able. To come in from the outside. The shudders on the windows would have made it impossible to even slide in through them once everything was completely secured.

What struck me as I was going throughout every single room was the fact that there really wasn’t anything that would connect up with. The outside world in any way. There was no computer or tablet or phone or tv or radio. No walking talkie. Nothing. All I theoretically would have had was that bicycle and that dirt path. And I really had no way of knowing exactly where I was. I suppose that if I knew more about astronomy I might have been able to figure out generally where I was. The stars came out at night in a big way and the only thing I really knew bout that was the fact that I was pretty far from anything in the way of civilization. No light spill from any highway light or city lights or anything like that, which meant that it could have been a very, very long journey to civilization. Under the circumstances what with me being out of shape and everything I don’t know how much I could really trust my ability to make it out to the nearest sign of life before dark even if I left at dawn.

A part of me started out  think in terms of the possibility of civilization not being that far off was the fact that I had a flush toilet and running water. And electricity. Although, I can’t imagine what I would do about fixing anything if it got broken or broke down for whatever reason. There was no one out I call and nothing to call them with.

Really thinking about that in any serious capacity only made me hungry and I guess I was thinking in terms of just getting round to getting adjusted to things in the cabin before I tried anything crazy like leaving safety. So I decided to make certain that I knew the cabin inside and out before venturing out. Of course, it had occurred to me that my amnesia may have been some sort of a thing that was going to cause any memories I hade built up…any coherent picture of things that might come to me might actually end up being lost with each successive day if that ‘s the way this memory thing works.

Really the cabin was remarkably fully-stocked aside from not actually having been connected in any way to the outside world. That was a bit of a concern. But really…there was even enough to entertain me there as the sun went down. I got into reading one of the mysterious books in the library one afternoon.

Reading one of the books was kind of like looking at the clock. You knew that there was time. You know the time is passing. But didn’t necessarily know much more than that. Reading books was a lot like that. You knew it was fictional you know it was nonfiction any of the records. Any of these words were assembled into sentences. Nina about sentences were assembled of the paragraphs in chapters and so on. However, you didn’t necessarily know anything more than that. I spent the entire afternoon in the same paragraph over and over again. I need to just was being said. But the moment that I finished reading the paragraph it completely left my head.

Patrol assembled into categories. And the categories were all very cohering genres of fiction and nonfiction. However, I’ve never seen any of the authors. I’ve never seen any of the titles. I’ve never seen any of the genres before. Clearly there was a beginning a middle and an end to all of the novels. Not every short story and everyone of the short story collections. However, given the opportunity to describe it I really didn’t have anything going on at all. I couldn’t come up with anything.

Even trying to write little book reports on the manual typewriter that was in the study. And really I wasn’t able to do much with that either. Even trying to transcribe the books via typewriter to typewriter paper was an act of sheer folly.

Made to learn something about where I was from that library. The all the atlases that were discernible were just general. Nothing necessarily type this place down to be anywhere in particular. And that was a bit of a problem. That was a bit of an issue for me. Really there was no way to get around that. There’s no way to find a certainty with respect to anything with respect to that. And I was beginning to feel a bit cagey.

Once again I decided to consider the possibility of leaving the cabin. There were keys. They were case to the outside. Which is to lock up the cabinet leave. However, as tightly as I could lock up things when I was gone I could lock up things much less easily.I suppose that this could be construed by some Ascensor afterlife. But I really don’t know. Bottom line is that I’m very comfortable. I could see you living here for quite some time. The food in the refrigerator room appears to be enough to define quite confident play for quite some time. I don’t know when any of this would go bad. I called refrigerator room. It’s Ameet locker. Rather than being filled besides different things like that it’s filled with ready-to-eat males. Just hit them up in the microwave. There is some neat. Theoretically I could grill. Just a matter of letting it fall. First well-stocked refrigerator as well. That’s with Mitch before my favorite beers. That’s for the phone. Could live here quite comfortable play for probably a couple of years and want there already. Overall Presenta play KVET frozen foods what you can start to go bad after evenone year or so. That’s not like as an indefinite timeline. I am going to need to at some point Leefest place find at the very least something to stock up with. Someplace. My wallet still has a credit card in it and it’s probably safe to say that that’s still okay credit card. I just have to find a place to use it. For something. Not Messerli anything right now. Although right now I would kill for an Internet connection. And something to use it with.

I would kill for some kind of connection with the outside world. Does that surround?

I believe that might be why I am interested in leaving as I am. After all this actually starts to manifest itself in greater and greater movements out. However, in the interest of maintaining some sense of decency about it some sense of stability about it rather than just running from your screaming, I come up with what I feel is a fairly decent schedule for myself.

I was going on vacation. Actually it was going to be a rather long one. I was going on vacation for a full summer. I feel as though it probably has some right now. Although if I’m in a warm text of the country it could be any time of year it all. And this logic maybe be faulty however I’m not very well-traveled so if there is much of a difference between summer in the Midwest and winter and say Florida I wouldn’t know. Related to the anytime if you have it all. However, I was in the right my text time off from work and that’s why I am where I am right now.

But it isn’t in the interest of things that I think schedule anyway. It’s how I wanted to relate to the day. To tell anyone wants to relate to the day. I remember being a kid being able to associate to have free time of the day with what program was on network television at the time. What programs run ABC NBC and CBS on any given moments of any given day. This would of course and to an understanding of where I would be at any given moment on a weekday. In class. And of course eventually into work. Having been through college. You wanted to come up with a different moment. You want to associate different moments with different things.

So I would wake up in the morning. I don’t have any specific understanding of time however I know enough to people to construct some concept of the day. I will wake up. The sun will just be rising. I will shower. I will shave. I will get dressed. I will have a breakfast of cereal. Interesting thing about the serials I have here. The breakfast cereals. In keeping with the theme carried over from the study and all of the books and they’re the serial works very well designed. Let’s say the boxes. And there are a variety of different kinds. Sugary cereals for kids. Diet conscious cereal for adults. Things don’t look like they were marketed towards Mount and things of that nature. However, I do not recognize a single one of them. The company that makes them is nine Battle Creek Michigan. Some other place. Of course, every time every the box I forget what that is. And have to read the box again. And if they’re still milk in the refrigerator I will pour some milk on cereal. Have breakfast that way. This private of frozen milk in the meat locker. In any case, I get up in the morning I have my cereal and then I having showered and shavedI do a bit of morning reading.In the study next to the typewriter there is a three hole punch. And there is a box full of binders. The binders are growing my journal. My journal this place in my experiences.

If I have written anything I will put it away properly documented. If not, I will mark my place in the book that I was reading and put on my shoes. Making sure that everything is properly locked up as much as candy but I’m not here I set out the path. I have reserved use of the bike for only time in which I really need to get out of here as quickly as possible.

I will walk along the path until such time as which I get tired. That point I will sit down wherever it is on the convenience town or something appears to want one time been a bench. I will sit down. I will take a rest. And then I will go back in the direction in which I can. It used to be the case I would get back home and have lunch. But as things progress, I would get further and further away from the cabin with my underlings increasing over time.

And seven lately I have been taking to putting a lunch into my backpack. And I’ll take it with me out to the morning journey. Which is increasingly becoming more of a morning afternoon journey. I’m getting much better than being able to tell the general time of day based on where the sun is in the sky. I can give you so long as I don’t think about it too much. Because if I think about it too much I actually come up with numbers that get jumbled and fall apart. Better to go instincts.

Come to the point where I wake up in the morning and get ready and and. And it’s rather strange situation because it’s no longer a daily routine. Now it’s 13 minutes Banzer couple of days. Gradually it’s grown into something that has become a routine that spans the entire week. Reason being that the length of these journeys has gotten longer and longer.

Got to the point where my endurance love me to go home as far as I need to go out in order to get back by sunset. You have to didn’t even really need to do that. Because I found out and the core doors of my memory that there was a tent in storage. Of course, by this time is getting used to the bicycle. And so I had To the point where I was able to continue the journey through and sunset. Really it was a matter of making good. As a matter of making sure that I paste myself just right.At some point it had begun to occur to me that the cabin which had been my home for so long with more and more becoming a home base. It’s getting to know the area quite well. However, Vista to make matters any easier as far as knowing where I was. And not knowing exactly how many days there were was kind of a concern. Oh, sure, I have gone back in the ever-growing journal and trying to make some sense of the time. Make some sense of the day. But every time I try to quantify how many days I have been there I have begun to lose track of it all. The weather numbers always act in the cottage. Everything seems so fake. Try to get a quantity on anything and it ends up disintegrating into meaningless ether. I have been trying to deal with that. I have been trying to work with it. But they didn’t seem to be any. There didn’t seem to be any practical ability to get it done.

The results of the sinking suspicion that I began to realize that my memories of who I had been prior to waking up where I want us were beginning to wash away. I knew that I was where I was a 91 Oak Hill like going through this whole experience of finding this cabinet finding myself as But I don’t remember anything prior to that because I have it down. I could have kept myself for not doing so. I really didn’t know who I was at this stage. I didn’t know it was from the moment prior to coming here.

This began to become a bit of a concern. However, for once was invading my home my home that may not actually be my home was nice enough never to come around while I was there. However, this could be entirely just sheer chance. I began to wonder. Perhaps while I was gone there was someone else that I was lying in bed sleeping and reading the same books and sharing the same spacewalk was there. Maybe it was just happenstance that I never run into them because I was spending some much time out now.

I have begun to wonder whether or not it might be a good idea to simply switch up my schedule. Switch uprooting. My brother and pick him to become cold again and I thought maybe you might be an idea to spend some time in the cabin. Just bear. There’s enough in the storage to be able to settle down and trim winter hibernation mode without having to worry about anything going bad running out.

Certainly having that done that before. It’s just strange that now I was fully aware of the fact that there are people replenishing my supplies of food and likeliness so suchlike. And they never showed up I was there. Indeed, it would be very difficult to get such supplies to such a remote cabin.

One thing was for certain,. Went to lunch, I would have to spend some time in there. I would have to rest. Wait out the winter cold. Before I ran into somebody. But considering it had happened was that happen anytime soon. You can expect. I know that. I don’t care.

The way that things had begun to go was beginning to feel more and more like some king of actual lifestyle and less and less like a vacation of any kind. The whole thing was beginning to settle-in on the winter. I guess that’s when I began to realize that things were they way they were and had been that way for several years. And I had also begun to understand that I had begun to be kind of a solitary kind of life. I guess there was always the sense that there was something missing in my little world and I guess I sort of came to the conclusion that it might have been other people but it was difficult to tell.

It’s not like I was feeling particularly lonely or anything. At this stage if I was to run into someone who I had known from before this whole inadvertent vacation, I wouldn’t be able to recognize them anyway, but I don’t think that I was goo terribly social. This was evidenced by the fact that the whole question of not being around people hadn’t really come up until a few years into this vacation. Another big clue on this was the fact that I had been going on this vacation by myself. Surely if there was anyone else in my life I would have brought them along. And I think that if it were a situation where I would feel comfortable leaving on a vacation off in huge middle of nowhere would probably go to support that idea as well.

All this being said, I really don’t have to feel beholden to who I was before I went on this vacation. I can be whoever I want to be now. And I think that I am perfectly okay with that, but if I want to be social there really isn’t any opportunity to redefine myself with respect to that in this particular circumstance. There’s a part of me that begins to realize that I am in rather a unique position to be able to completely redefine who I am as a person, but I really have almost no way of knowing who I was before the vacation, so I really have no way of knowing whether or not I am redefining myself or simply defining myself the way I always have.

Really all I had that was evidence that I had ever existed before this vacation was the fact that I have memories of remembering things from before and I have a wallet. Those were really the only two bits of proof that I had that I was anything more than a product of the cabin and its surrounding wilderness.

The wallet itself was of little use to me. There was US currency in there. Quite a lot of it as near as I could make out, but what with numbers behaving the way they had been recently, there was no telling exactly how much it was. The engravings of the presidents on this dollar bills seemed to shrug back at me. Clearly the cash is of almost no help.

The driver’s license probably could have been of some help. Clearly the picture on the ID had the same face I saw when I looked in the mirror. So it was me, but the name and information on that license looked exceptionally strange. The name was accompanied by a street name and a state name that jangled around in my head uncomfortably.

There was much else in wallet to give me much of any idea as to who I might have been. No pictures, however, as I understand it no one relate. Around pictures and their wallets anymore anyway. There was a gift card to a department store. Nothing real specific. No membership card for anything or anything like that. Not even frequent coffee buyer occurred or anything like that. It was pretty nondescript stuff. Ledo allowed on the table and it really does not amount to much. I get the feeling that the fact that I have cash it all means that I have quite a bit of it. And there are a number of credit cards in the wallet as well. Of course, not actually worth anything. But I kind of hope that at some point they might come in handy. It would be really nice to find some sense of civilization. But it was very difficult to know exactly how to do that.

Looking at my wallet, I quickly realized that would have been disoriented confusion and become a rather overpowering vacation which has turned into a lifestyle which was now something of prison.

I was now determined to get out of that prison. This was going to be a challenge. I had completely acclimated myself to life in the cabin. Not that I hadn’t been trying to get out for quite some time. That was the real desire behind all those long camping trips.

It had occurred to me that I have been crawling around like the rest of the animals. Ultimately that’s what it wants. Very difficult to see exactly how an outside perceiver would see that. If they weren’t looking for anything specifically human award looking that they wouldn’t see me. And so I started keeping a regular bonfire outside of my cabin. Nature it was as safe as possible the cabin had smoke detectors. The cabin had a fire extinguisher. If I was going to be able to get out of the cabin or very far from the middle of winter, I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything I could get noticed by anyone who might be human. You should as fire. Kindling. Make sure that that fire Running through the night. Slept in a chair by the window overlooking that fire. Waiting.

About a couple of months into the winter I was beginning to wonder whether or not the bonfire with even doing anything. However, did keep my mind occupied. To keep me active. And to some extent it made me feel like I was doing something to try to contact the outside world. Now that this place had officially become a prison for me I really need to get out of here. The best way to do that when the weather was cold was to build a fire. Try to attract anything anyone who would be able to help me get out of here. Of course, there was no one here for that.

In reading I have been trying to draw as much as I could from those characters who were survivalists. Trying to find wilderness survival texts. Very difficult to do when the genres of the fiction that you’re reading aren’t really fixed and things team seem to slide around for no reason at all. You don’t really know who the characters are you don’t really know why they are where they are and you don’t really know what’s going on. But you try your best to draw summit inspiration from the general overall sense of survival.

Gradually the winters started to subside. It had occurred that I didn’t really remember the winter before. And what was kind of disturbing about that but the fact that it had suggested to me that either the winters were never as harsh as they had been this one this year. Which is entirely possible. I do remember some cold mornings. I do remember a whole string of them in a row. This may not be my mind playing games with me. In which case this is a particularly harsh winter with snowfalls of up to 3 inches on location. Which means that everything blurs together for me after only a few months. It’s been then losing track of a lot more than I had when I first got here. I believe. There is some sense that maybe the amount of history that I can hold my head without going back to the binders it is shrinking. I would concoct a number of different experiments to begin three

The length of my memory. I would never rock go through with them because it would be too depressing.  I had thought about the possibility of using the knowledge that my memory was dying in order to help motivate me to get out of my current situation. However, I don’t know what further motivation there could beor what further motivation could actually help me. I would imagine further motivation to get out of here would result in some kind.

Things have started to drift a bit and what was a very, very heavy and bitter winter.

Graduating my own room has there is a kind of mutated quality about it. To perfectly logical fashions of science had slowly twisted into something far more poetic and far less coherent. At some point it had occurred to me that I had started to actually drift into what I was writing. Not and seven abstract sense but in some very real sense there was a whole part of my mind it was drifting into the writing directly.

I mean I know I’ve been saying it all along but I really don’t know what it was that first time I actually saw it. I know I’ve seen it for a while. Obviously had seen for quite a number of years. But for whatever reason I just didn’t seem to understand that it was there until that one moment. Not sure exactly when it was.

It struck me as being kind of strange that it was there. I tried in my mind to imagine what had been there from before. I don’t think I was going crazy when I walked into the shopping plaza. I saw the familiar brands dear and the things of that nature that were at that shopping center. There’s things I wouldn’t normally Brian if I wasn’t on vacation.

They weren’t my usual brands of anything. At all. They were what they were. And it all looks so familiar from the stores that I had in mind And compound. The girl at the cash register recognized me. Said hello by name. She was very cute. Just to make sure that everything was real life purchased a couple of things from her. Walked at home.

I don’t know how long it was between the moment that I first realized that I knew that the shopping center was there and the moment I realized that I knew that I was keeping a hostage in the basement. Or indeed that the captain even a Adde basement. I have been feeding the hostage quite well. She was a nice looking woman. This news I could tell. There was a sense of fear in her eyes. Naturally, she was a hostage. There was plenty of room in the basement for her. A couple of lights. Evidently I’ve been thing bringing books down there for her. And given the nature of books in this cabin probably more of an act of torture than anything.

I really have no idea what I’m just looking at the national Window. I was looking up window when I could see shopping center. The shopping center that always been there. But I hadn’t seen until just now. Some maybe it hadn’t always been there. But it felt like it had. I want to really shock for the first time I knew that I’ve been saying it for quite some time. And I really wasn’t certain as to why there was a hostage in the basement in the first place. Really didn’t know what to think. And I was going on got instant when I took the bull by the horns and actually asked her what was going on. I no I probably shouldn’t of trusted her. The people are put in basements like that for a reason. But it’s never usually a very good one. And if I could she have been there for as long as he should that she had sort of suggested that maybe my concern about her was a little misplaced. Going to come looking for her. So there was that. And maybe it was just my sense of sort of ChexSystems chivalry cost me think that maybe she’s a little more than a harmless little girl who for some reason I had trapped in the basement. It’s not like her living conditions were awful. She had a shower down. She had toilets and plenty of supplies that I brought down to her. She was eating just as well as I was for the most part when I can tell. Without realizing that I have been the one who has been replenishing all of my supplies. From the shopping center across the way no less.

Listen quite casual when I had invited her upstairs. I don’t know what our relationship of been like before. And it was going to be a long time to work out exactly what, if anything that actually was. But I decided I should start being civil about it. She didn’t seem all that comfortable coming upstairs. Had a great deal of difficulty trusting me. We talked briefly in the kitchen right around the stairwell area that lead into the basement. She seemed unwilling to go any further. I asked her how everything was downstairs. And she said fine. Her words were very brief. Very small. Her eyes were darting about looking for what I knew not.

Things were such as they were. And she seemed unwilling to spend much time above the basement. So I decided to ask her if she might invite me around for dinner sometime. The scene like the most logical thing. But I figured she probably knew more about what was going on than I did.

Patient has attempted first. But she seemed okay with the idea at least in theory. We set up a specific time and I had decided to set an alarm for that time. It was all too likely that I will miss it not really knowing what time wise. She didn’t seem to have as much of a problem with it which sort of suggests to me that she had a firmer footing the world that we were in. Which felt very reassuring.

Of course, the time came around for me to have dinner with her. I felt nervous. Uncomfortable. But I first aid without womanizing get up been holding in my basement without allowing her to go out. I didn’t know for certain that this was the case. The fact that she been upstairs and have not bolted for the door suggested that either she was really, really distrusting of me or there might’ve been something beyond that was uncertain.

I suppose it hadn’t occurred to me until I’ve noticed my nervousness that I was actually kind of attracted to her. That was a bit of a surprise. A bit of a shocker. But not anywhere near as much of a shocker as it would have been finding her there in the first place.

Actually had placed a couple of chairs at the table down there. Her movements were shallow she was reluctant to engage and I contact. I tried to be as cordial as possible. I tried to ask her about casual things. I told her that there were moments where it felt cold in some of the rooms upstairs. And that the basement seemed a bit drab. She seemed reluctant to engage in the conversation I was trying to have with her. Even when I asked her direct questions about things she rather quickly acknowledge them without really answering them.

It was a step in the right direction anyway. I tried to tell her that if she ever wanted to come upstairs she was more than welcome to do so. I told her that I couldn’t remember why the door beyond the basement had been locked in the first place. She seemed to be taking in what I was saying. I couldn’t tell exactly how she was taking it, but as there as no immediate sense of elation or anything like that it was difficult to tell exactly what she was thinking.

And thus it was that I tried to consciously give her access to the whole of the cabin. I may not have remembered how or why I put her down there . . . or if indeed I had put her down there at all, but no one was going to be a prisoner in this cabin if I had anything to say about it.





Russ Bickerstaff is a professional theatre and comic book critic and aspiring author living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife and two daughters. His short fictions have appeared in over 30 different publications including Hypertext Magazine, Pulp Metal Magazine, Sein und Werden, and Theme of Absence.