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In The Midnight Lands

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34. Ambush.



WHEN I got back to camp from the House Tent, nobody was around.

Muddy Sneakers Resize

I made a coffee, wrapped myself in a blanket and plonked myself down under the tarpaulin to fire a phatty: cold, encrusted, fried - thoroughly content with the world.

As the weed scattered me further I stared blankly out at the other half-hidden campsites, damply drooping and drooping damply, and in the furtive grey punched through with ghost-eyes blankly staring back my way.

My mind turned inwards. A cannibal, it cracked the bones of favourite moments blowing up like supernovas and sucked them dry; an internal baseline kicked it all along. Soon the yawns.

My thoughts now on sleep though it would mean disturbing Sam, climbing in over him with my wet and muddy clothes, and my dirty shoes poking out through the flaps as I pulled them off, and my sodden rags being peeled, dripping, and my elbows akimbo, digging,

and the need for dry attire, searched for and horizontally pulled on, and the unzipping of my sleeping bag, and the crawling in, and it all taking far longer than was acceptable, but inevitable, given my current head case.

A thought that had occurred to Sam also for he’d prepared accordingly - lying in the long grass, his clothes the colour of trees.


“You just get back?” he greeted as I unzipped the tent, his face poking toasty-warm from his sleeping bag. Just a warm Sam chrysalis in his sleeping bag. He made no attempt to hatch. Now I was thinking about freckly butterflies. I focused on his question.

"Yeah, man, been at the House Tent for hours. Fucking epic. How was your night?"
"Wet. Spent most of the night out in the rain with Darius and Kathy."

“You're keen.”        

“Not me, Dar, you know what he’s like. I finally got him in under cover at the DnB zone around 3. Oh, and we were at the House Tent there for a while as well.”

"Ah, wished I'd seen you guys . . .

“Could have hung out . . .

“Yup . . .

“Would have been good . . . ”

Small talk exhausted, I squatted in front of the tent waiting to see if Sam could take a hint. He couldn’t. So I pantomimed a yawn and stretch and said, “Well bro, I’m knackered. I'm afraid I’m going to have to - "

Sam sprang his trap.

“Want another pill, Izz? I’ve got one spare.”

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