I knew I’d never been here before, but it just looked so familiar. Like I had been here in a different life… but that would have been impossible. I reached up and touched the bumpy texture of the gray rock wall. I could see the pile of ashes where a fire had once burned and some straw in the corner that someone had once used as a makeshift cot.
For some reason, the cool dampness of the cave calmed me and calm was not a feeling I had felt in a very long time. At first, I had thought all of the running I was doing was fun, an adventure if you will…. but now, after ten years, it was just exhausting. Some days I felt like just giving up. Sticking to one place and taking the risk of being found. Was anybody even still looking for me? It had been so long since I had any human contact, I had honestly completely lost all sense of time.
The sound of rocks crunching under someone’s shoes shook my from my haze. I looked around for somewhere to hide, but I was stuck. How had I let myself get into a situation like this? I was no newbie. I knew the rules, always know your exits, don’t get stuck in a place without cover and always be prepared to fight.
I looked in the direction of the sound, but the tunnel from which I had come was pitch black. Whoever was in there must know this cave pretty well to not need a light. I got into a fighting stance, prepared to do whatever I had to do. I knew that there was a much better chance of this visitor having malicious intent than being a happy jovial old chap.
As the threat came closer, I prepared to attack. I reached down and pulled the blade out of the leather sheath I had strapped to my upper thigh. Because of the blanket of shadows, he still hadn’t seen me. When he was close enough, I pounced, taking him off guard and knocking him to the cool hard ground. With a muffled “mmmph” we both hit the stone, with my knife to his neck I hissed “Don’t make a move” into his ear. I was surprised when he didn’t make any attempt to struggle, most of the individuals I had encountered would have at least put forth some effort. I was actually kind of disappointed, with adrenaline pumping through my veins, I had been looking forward to a fight.