I will be posting the first ten chapters of Wyld over the next ten weeks. I hope it will inspire and engage you all. Please share with your friends:)
Sue skilfully guided the helicopter through the sky at speed. She circled the edge of the forest once more and then hovered. The visibility was poor and the atmosphere freezing. A couple of times she thought she saw plumes of smoke, but of course that was steam rising from bubbling mud in the geothermal pools and tar pits.
‘Beverly do you see anything?’ Sue asked through the headset.
Beverly, Kane’s wife was a stocky woman whose build was strong like a female weight-lifter. She sighed and shook her head sadly. If her child was out in the wilderness she wouldn’t be holding it together so well. ‘Sue I really haven’t seen a thing. What was he wearing again?’
‘He was probably wearing a grey hooded jumper, maybe a silver jacket, his jeans and trainers.’
‘Those aren’t colours that stand out,’ replied Beverly thoughtfully.
Sue agreed, ‘but the mottled colour may work in his favour because he is less obvious to predators.’ She took a deep breath, ‘I feel sick Beverly. I feel like I have left my vulnerable little child to the wolves.’
Beverly turned her stocky frame and adjusted her pure white hair. She studied Sue’s harrowed features and revealed a sympathetic expression. She didn’t want to say what she really thought about a rule-breaking child alone in the wilderness. ‘Sue you said he has been on numerous survival courses and has an extensive knowledge of bush-craft. He also has a strong hunting instinct. That is why he is here. Now we are going to hope that everything he learned will rise to the surface.’
Sue nodded with tears stinging her eyes. The truth was: the longer her son was out in the wilderness then the less chance he stood of survival.
The pair flew one more lap. Sue didn’t want to give up, but a helicopter only had so much fuel. She attempted once more to guide the helicopter higher, but for some reason the helicopter couldn’t rise above two hundred meters. With a frown, she made another attempt, no helicopter she had flown had been designed to reach a height limit. She pressed the dials, alarms sounded whenever she reached the upper flight limit. Sue shook her head, it didn’t make sense. Why would an upper-flight limit be imposed in a remote area with no other aircraft? Something else bothered her: the fuel tanks on the helicopter were smaller than the helicopters she was used to flying. It was as if the helicopter could only travel short distances for an allotted period of time. Sue wondered whether her fear for her son clouded her thoughts and made her suspicious. With a deep sigh, she felt agony over her missing child. Another deep breath and she re-focused, concentrated and scanned the area once more. Nothing revealed her son’s location. She didn’t want to give up but the reality was that darkness was closing in. A light mist rose from beneath the trees and ruined any visibility. She prayed her son had listened to everything he had been taught. It had been drummed into him over and over: the keys to survival are to keep warm, well fed and hydrated. After that has been taken care of you create shelter and make sure you rest. Exhaustion is a killer, as is hypothermia. Sue had listened to her husband repeat the mantra over and over again. It was just whether Wyld had absorbed it because he was going to have use it to survive alone.
‘Sue come in,’ said a familiar voice over the radio.
‘Dan? Any luck?’ asked Sue desperately.
‘No…’ He said in a dejected tone. ‘I don’t know what to say… I am sorry darling but we are going to have to turn back now. We are not equipped to spend the night out here. And Sue you are going to have to turn that chopper around.’ Dan’s tone was definite but clearly concealed disappointment.
‘But I can’t leave my child out there alone!’ Her voice cracked.
‘I know… but there’s no point searching if we can’t see anything.’ Dan spoke in a weary tone. ‘Turn back and we will meet you back at the cave.’
‘Dan is there anything else we can do?’ Her tone was desperate.
‘No darling, there is nothing else we can do… We have considered all our other options and we don’t have enough people to do a night search… I want to be out there as much as you do, but all we can do now is wait. Anyway knowing Wyld he will probably be back at the caves waiting for us. You know how he is.’
Sue sighed, when Wyld was five she had sent a search party out looking for him. In the end they found him in his bed. He had fallen asleep flat under his super-hero duvet. When she had checked the room she had assumed the small bump was just a pillow. Sue hoped what Dan said was true, her instinct sensed her son was anxious and feeling very alone in the vast wilderness. She wondered how he was going to cope. What would he do when the temperature dropped over night?
Sue glanced at the horizon, a band of thick cloud rolled over the mountains and descended into the valley. The speed at which it travelled meant trouble, there was going to be a storm. Sue turned the helicopter around and felt a deep pang in her heart. Her little boy was about to spend the night in a snow storm and he had nothing with him to keep him warm. She fought back her tears, she had to trust his expertise. That night was going to feel like forever.