Chapter Thirteen – Hunger

Jasmine’s brain begins to work hard on producing an image of a wolf.  The questioning expression on her face was telling of her inability to produce an image to match the wolf.  In a low calm, yet trembling voice she asks, “Do you have an image of this wolf?”

“Accessing… old image retrieved…”

Jasmine looks at the image the device produced and it was an image of a grayish black wolf in a white snowy scene with its teeth bared in a snarl.

“Wolf approaching slowly… thirty five yards…”

“The image shows them as dangerous, is that so.”

“All known varieties have been extinct for approximately eighty nine years…”  “Fifty percent possibility of danger to humans…”  “Distance thirty yards…”

Jasmine, a little more nervous, “any suggestions?”

“Scanning….only current option… use gun…”

Jasmine realizes the gun was still next to Gregory, she picks it up.  She points it at the entrance of their shelter and waits.

“Wolf distance twenty yards…”

Many minutes pass in silence and anticipation as Jasmine waits for the wolf to appear at the entrance and for her to pull on the soft trigger.

“Wolf distance twenty yards…”

“hmmm…” Jasmine responds in thought and waits a little longer.  When Philomena does not say anything she then slowly starts to move to the entrance and begin to look out.  For a moment she does not see anything in the darkness.  After her eyes adjust to the change of light from the firelight to the moonlight, she then notices the shape in the distance at the edge of the trees.  The eyes were shining in a golden red glow.  Another moment passes of Jasmine and the creature staring at each other.  Jasmine does not feel as frightened as she thought she should be.  She was more in wonderment at the thing that was looking at her, as if it was looking at her with some intelligence behind those exotic eyes.

Jasmine gets out of the shelter and stands erect looking at the creature’s eyes before her, gun in hand.  She did not have the gun pointed in front of her, but she noticed the creatures eyes shift from her to the gun and then with quickness turn and vanish into the dark trees behind it.

Jasmine stands there for a few moments to see if the creature will return but it did not, so she goes back into the shelter.

“Philomena, is the wolf still in range?”

“Wolf no longer in fifty yard range…”

“That was a strange creature. It seemed large in size and had some intelligence behind those eyes.”

“More data needed for analysis…”

Jasmine puts the gun back on the ground next to Gregory and lies down beside him and begins to fall asleep as she ponders the strange creature she met.

Right after the sun rises Jasmine wakes up hungry.  She eats the contents of the last 3 cans.  She says a few prayers, gives Gregory a pellet, and kisses him on the forehead.  She walks out of the shelter and with the help of Philomena she begins to adventure out into the surrounding area.  Philomena points out different roots, berries and fruits that are safe to eat.  She gathers some of those items and heads back to the shelter.  she eats some of the items she gathered to taste them and to satisfy her on going hunger.  She finds the taste enjoyable of each thing that she was tasting.

“Well that was a tasty lunch. I cannot wait till Gregory tries them.”  Jasmine talks to Philomena as if another person was next to her as she gives Gregory his food palette and checks on his wounds again.  “The wounds look almost healed.  Philomena how are his life signs?”

“Life sign scan in progress… Life signs in normal range… Brain activity scan…”

Jasmine sighs a little and then kisses Gregory on the forehead.  She begins to say her prayers as they have had since they started living with Father Ed.

“Brain activity indicates comatose state…”  Jasmine keeps praying quietly, “Ninety five percent recovery expected…”

Jasmine then stops praying, “There is always hope.”  She then looks at the device, “what is on the activity list for today?”

“Shelter fortification… source of protein scan… prepare hunting tools”

“The first one I understand, the second is on you, I just have to walk, but what is the third one?”

“Primitive hunter’s tools and training required to acquire protein resource…”

“Okay that did not help, but let’s do one thing at a time, show me how to do the shelter fortification.”

Philomena starts the instructions on how to fortify the shelter and expand it as well.  It kept Jasmine busy all day cutting more wood and binding them together.  Before nightfall she stops and builds the fire before the cold air rushes back into the night.  She prays again and gives Gregory his food pellet.  “How much more on the fortification do we have to do?”  Jasmine asks as she eats some more of the roots and plants for dinner.

“Task seventy five percent complete…”

“I should be done tomorrow I hope, and I am glad you are with me Philomena to instruct me or I would be completely lost.”

“You are welcome…”

Jasmine then gets up and moves out of the shelter and stretches her aching body.  She looks at the bright moon and stares at the clear night sky.  She listens to the gentle waves hit the sandy shore and the air flowing through the trees.  She moves her gaze from the sky to the jungle before her and notices the golden red glowing eyes looking back at her through the trees.  Now she could make out the shape of the creature, it was on all fours looking at her as if it was watching her every move.  She did not feel in danger but she felt uneasy at that moment.  She did not know what that creature might be if not a wolf.  Jasmine just looked at it trying to figure out details of its features but the jungle and the night was not helping.  All of a sudden a howling sound rises from the direction she was looking at and engulfs the other sounds of the night.  She takes a few steps back in surprise at the sound and the creature turns from her and disappears into the jungle.

Jasmine a little shaken by that sound retreats back into the shelter for the night and next to the warm fire.  “Philomena, is the wolf in your sensor range?”


“Okay,” Jasmine lies down and at once notices the aches in her body and the overwhelming tiredness, and quickly falls into a deep sleep.

The next morning she wakes up as the sun rises and walks out to the beach and watches the sun come out over the sea into view.  Then she walks back to the shelter and begins her morning routine of feeding Gregory and prayers.  She eats the last of the roots, fruit and berries she gathered the day before.  After that she continues work on the shelter which takes her half the day to do.  She goes to the edge of the jungle and collects some of the edible things and brings them back to the shelter.  As she sits and eats, “it is good to be done with the shelter.”

“Shelter completed… Do you want to continue other tasks?”  Philomena language and dialogue has begun to change the more that Jasmine was interacting with the device.  It was becoming more natural as if it was adapting and learning from Jasmine.

“I am feeling more tired today, my body feels so, hmm, achy, if that is a word.”

“Physical activity increase is the cause, next tasks will assist in providing more nutrition, but rest is now needed to start next tasks.”

“I agree,” Jasmine smiles and acknowledges her tiredness and lies down and slowly falls asleep.

At dusk she slowly wakes as she feels the cold air on her skin, and notices that time had slipped away from her.  She quickly feeds Gregory and as she does she noticed the hunger pangs in her.  She then satisfies her hunger with the things she gathered from the jungle.  “Philomena, I guess I was more tired than I thought, need to start the fire now.”

“Affirmative, I was going to wake you in the next five minutes to do that task. Temperature is dropping and currently at fifty six degrees.”

Jasmine begins to start the fire and gets it going quickly.  The shelter starts to warm up as the fire grows.  “I guess we will have to wait on the protein thing for tomorrow.”

“Agreed.  Success rate will increase in daylight by ninety five percent…”

“Well I guess you can give me the instructions since I am up and then I can put into practice tomorrow.”

“Accessing information…”

Jasmine spends a few hours with her devices going over how to use her make shift stone knife to make a four pronged spear.  Then she eats some more of the food she gathered and stokes the fire with a few more pieces of wood.  She then lays down and begins to think of all that has happened in the last forty days which had changed their life and says a prayer of thanks giving to God, “I don’t know Lord what you have in store for us, but I know I can trust You.”

She closes her eyes and dreams start to flow into her mind.  An image of Mr. Bill appears in her dream, and he was chasing them yelling that he will kill them over and over again.  She finally wakes up from her deep sleep startled by the dream, with Philomena’s voice echoing ‘danger’ over and over again, only to find herself in a nightmare of sinister blue eyes starting deep into her soul.