January 22: "You're in a tent"

- Mountain Man -

The birds sang their lullabies, accompanied by the fiddling of crickets. There was a freshness in the air that seemed unique to summer. The night had a faint chill and a crispness brought on by clouds growing pregnant with rain. The warmth of dying campfire embers and charred marshmallows lingered, but were quickly fading to memory.

Chris looked at the thick clear screen of plastic above his head, and again marveled at the idea of these new tents. Canvas was still a classic, and most of his pop-up home was still the durable fabric. However, nothing was quite like lying on the ground and staring at the stars until you drift off to sleep. Then again, it was not the most fun experience to be startled awake by rain or the chill of morning dew.

Skylight tents were the happy medium. Coziness and shelter while still basking in the wonder of the universe. Only out in the middle of nowhere could one actually see as much of the galaxy as humanly possible. That sheet of see through plastic was a wonderful window to nature while still being embraced by it.

Chris snuggled into his sleeping bag and folded his hands under his pillow. He needed to get away, and this was damn near perfect. No people. No technology. No complications. Just him, nature, a few s'mores, and his camera. He wondered if he could just stay there.

Stay away from his bitch of an ex-wife Sally. Stay away from his lazy and hormonal and drama driven coworkers. Stay away from his ass chapping boss. Stay away from his fair-weather friends and online-only relationships. Just; stay away from humanity.

Who needed them anyway? He'd drive back into town once a week or so for groceries. Get a shack where in he could keep a shower and fridge. Sleep under the stars. Spend his days with the animals. If it could work for Disney princesses, why not him? He'd figure something out for money. He had his camera. He'd freelance nature shots. People always ate that shit up.

The white pinholes across the blue-black sky called out to him. Calling for him to get lost among them. Leave the world behind and just stay within the curtain of their light.

His eyes grew heavy and he fell asleep wishing on each star he saw that he could stay. Wishing that he could just run away and live within nature. Wishing that he was home. Wishing that every night he could have this view. Wishing that the quiet song of birds and crickets and bats could lull him asleep all the time. Wishing, and yet knowing it all, every wish, was only a fantasy.

**A/N: Super short story. I wasn't really sure where to go with it, but I hadn't written in a while, so I hunkered down on my front porch and just wrote while listening to my wind chimes. I filled the page and called it a day. At least I had written something. Perhaps there's also something here. Maybe one day in the distant future, I'll take a look at Chris' life and figure out why he wanted to run away to the woods.**