Randy was enjoying his time at the lake, just him alone in the woods. It had taken some time, but he finally felt his sanity being restored. Anastasia/Anna, the woman he thought he had known was fading into the memories of his past. The pain wasn’t as sharp anymore at having been deceived by the nutcase that she was.
Who knows, maybe someday he would have someone to come down to the lake with him and fill the chair beside him. For now though he was perfectly content with being single. He had no one to answer to, he could fish on the lake all day, no problem. No one complaining that his supper was getting cold. Of course he did miss the meals that Anna had made, she was a good cook, but he was learning. He had made gourmet Mac and cheese the other night, he baked it and was pleased at how tasty it was. Next on his list was learning how to make spaghetti. He burned the pot pretty bad the other week, scrubbing that thing took forever!
Speaking of supper his stomach was starting to rumble. Time to heat up some stew over the fire and then maybe he would take another walk in the woods before it got dark. Ahh! The fire was perfect. It felt good as the air started getting cooler. Heating up the Dinty Moore stew didn’t take long and it had hit the spot. Grabbing his flashlight, in case it got dark before he returned, he headed into the woods.
The silence of the woods resonated with him, bringing him peace. Life was good, when one was communing with nature, taking time to slow down and breathe. Down the path he went, not worrying about the next day and what was to come, just being in the moment. Crack! What was that? All of Randy’s senses went on alert. Crack! There it was again, was someone following him? He was afraid to turn around and look. It sounded like someone or something stepping on sticks as they walked. Crack! Randy was beginning to sweat, he had to turn around and look, the suspense was killing him. At the same time maybe he could walk faster and somehow elude whatever was following him.
Picking up the pace he walked faster and then began to jog. He would run, but then he would probably have a heart attack, for his heart would be in shock. Running was not his thing. The peace he had felt only moments before had vanished. Whatever was following him had picked up their pace too, he could hear them better now.
Well, it must not be a bear, for a bear would have killed him by now. In fact any wild animal would have, so he tried to breathe a little slower. If it was a person why didn’t they just grab him, they easily could have if they wanted too. Randy began to slow down, this was ridiculous , he was running from something unknown. It was time he stood up for himself and be brave. Obviously it wasn’t a snake behind him, so he could breathe easy about that as well. How bad could it really be? He stopped and the footsteps behind him stopped. Taking a deep breath, and whispering a prayer that he would live to see tomorrow he turned around.
Laughter emanated from Randy when he saw his pursuer. The most adorable shaggy sheepdog that he had ever seen. It was standing there looking up at him with such an innocent expression on his face.
Randy squatted down and the sheepdog came bounding over to him, promptly licking him in the face. That made him laugh again. “Whoa boy, you are a friendly fellow aren’t you!” Randy scratched him behind his ears, wondering where he had come from. As far as he had known there were no other campers here today. It was the middle of the week, people were at work and school.
The dog didn’t have a collar, and could use a good grooming, was he a stray? Whatever his story was it looked like Randy had a friend, for when he started to head back to camp, the sheepdog was at his heels. Randy was smiling, he wouldn’t mind having a dog. They made great company and he didn’t have to worry about them trying to talk to him when the game was on. Feeling relieved and happy he started whistling a happy tune as he continued his walk. A man and his dog, what more did he need.