It was well into winter when Hawk was forced to flee for his life from his family farm. But he did not miss the back-breaking labor he endured by himself every day. Totally responsible for nearly every chore, Hawk never had time for anything else. He had briefly thought to take one of the horses with him when he escaped into the mountains to that small hunting shack, but he knew he would have enough trouble feeding himself much less an animal that would depend entirely on him.
The fall before he moved to town, Hawk’s father caught him behind the dilapidated old barn “canoodleing” with the neighbor boy. It had only been an awkward kiss and heated fumbling through thick trousers, but it was enough for Hawk’s father to label Hawk as unclean and evil.
Finally alone in the mountains and ensconced in the hunting shack Hawk’s grandfather built, Hawk believed he was safe. The cabin was small but that made it far easier to heat and keep clean. In a natural clearing, Hawk remembered the one summer he and his father spent insulating and stocking the tiny house for when the end of the world came. An event Hawk’s father thought was right around the corner. Of course, the old man made it clear his one and only son was not invited should that event take place. “Cabin’s too damn small for two of us, you damn idiot. Find your own,” is all his father had to say about that.
The large fireplace took care of heating and cooking and the main light inside the tiny cabin. There were candles but Hawk used them very sparingly because money was tight. Thankfully he had brought thick quilts from the house to keep him somewhat warm.
The one thing his grandfather did was to build the cabin near a deep mountain creek, more a raging river in the spring. Beautiful and treacherous, it was Hawk’s main source of clean water.