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To Hell and Back

2
Theories flew around, much to Joseph’s disgust.
A wolf had gotten him, was one. Another supposed that he was caught in an avalanche.
The third, and most preposterous, was that he had gotten sick of his life and wanted to
live in the wild, full time, away from everything. Maybe he just snapped, people would
say.
“How 'bout it sport, let's set up camp right here.” Joseph fought back tears and nodded
without looking up.
He hadn't slept well since his mum delivered the dreadful news.
He had been working on a school assignment, calm peaceful, content.
What happened next was like a bolt of lightning in the dead of the night.
His mother had knocked on his door and came straight in.
Unusual, he thought, she usually waits for me to answer.
He looked up and her face said it all. Her mascara had run and she hadn't bothered to
wipe it away as she fought back tears.
Her voice trembled.
“It’s your father”. His heart skipped a beat and he dropped his pen, sending it crashing to
the floor and he started sweating.
“He's disappeared, somewhere up on the ranges.”
His father, his hero, his idol, was gone.
The loud snapping of twigs brought him back to the present.
He began setting up his new tent Peter had bought him especially for this trip. He looked
up and noticed Peter was having trouble with his own tent. Smiling slightly for the first
time in ages he wandered over and within minutes had the tent ready.
“Thanks Joe” Peter smiled warmly at his stepson.
A week from now it would be exactly a year since the accident.
An office manager back in Courtenay, Peter couldn't stand things being messy or out of
place which got on Joseph's nerves. He couldn't relax around him.
Give him a go, the voice inside his head told him.
“You should treat every day like it's your last; you never know what could happen next.”
Peter sounded like he'd been watching too much Dr Phil.
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