I don't know how long i was out there. it could have been days. I had lost my hat. I didn't know where i was.
I thought i had a stash out here somewhere. it was just some Spam and an aluminum water bottle wrapped in an old Army blanket. It would have been enough to get me to my canoe hidden by the river's edge. Then I'd be ok, i was sure of that.
Even when I got tired of paddling, I could drift with the current until I got to my little camp. They might not find me there. I was alone and not worth sending a drone for.
But everything gave out. The lights went out as they say. Then I heard dogs baying--hunting dogs. They weren't looking for me. Probably raccoons, but one of them must have picked up the scent and veered off course until he found me.
I remember him licking my face as the hunter approached. I came to as the pickup truck hit a rut. "Sorry about that," said the driver.
I wondered for a moment if he was an Informer. The government didn't pay much, but a gas voucher was worth its weight in gold. I saw a plastic cross swinging from the rear view mirror. He must be a good guy, I thought as I drifted off again.
I woke up in a chilly green room. I remember the wall paint was shiny green. I craved water. I took a drink from a nearby pitcher. "Your water bill is gonna go up," i said to a nearby lady. She was not a nurse, but some kind of military person.
She smiled ironically as she stepped aside for two men pushing a big wheeled litter. It had heavy leather straps. "Our water bill isn't going up, but our gas bill will."