Chapter 25

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We reached the lake just after sunset. There we stopped for a little while and had some of the lake water to drink and Megan had caught a small fish with a spear she made from one of the tree branches.

"this always looks so easy on the movies, but it's really not!" she had laughed as she walked around in the shallow water with the spear.

While she was doing that, Hayley and I had tried to get a fire going. I walked around collecting kindling while she used her outdoor skills to light the fire. She was very quiet the whole time and I knew she was missing Jake.

"How you holding up?" I asked quietly. She did not look up to meet my eyes as she sat on the ground with the sticks. I knew why she didn't, she always did that when she didn't want people to worry about her, even though she was very hurt inside.

"Yeah alright." She said.

I decided to leave her because I knew she would not give me any more information right now. She was still very hurt and I knew she wanted closure, but as much as it hurt me I could not give her that.

"I promise that in three days this will all be over." I said the words without thinking and I knew, and so did she, that that is not a promise I can make.

She just nodded and continued with what she was doing.

"Alright people, I got us some dinner!" Megan announced as she made her way out of the water with a fish on the end of her spear. "I hope one of you knows how to cook this baby because I have no idea." she said jokingly.

"Oh dear. Give it here!" Hayley said grabbing the fish and smiling at Megan. It was so nice towing see how they could cheer each other up, they really were best friends.

Hayley finally got the fire going and was using a sharp rock to clean the fish. Meanwhile I kept looking for more dry wood that we could use for the fire, but that was hard considering it had rained for quite a while today.

"So what's the plan?" Hayley asked me as we sat down around the fire which was the only thing keeping us warm.

I looked towards the lake. Hoping that somehow it would give me an answer as to what our next move should be. I saw a piece of wood making its way downstream, there must have been a strong current arounf there as the piece of wood moved very quickly.

That's it! I thought. We should be going downstream! It should be easier walking downstream so we can cover more distance in the time span we have. And also, Lake Argyle Village is located near the lake, which we would reach if we walk downstream.

"This is the plan..." I began and told them what I thought we should do. "Any other ideas?" I asked after I explained.

"Nope, that sounds good." They both said.

"Cool. I think we finish eating and then set out that way." I said pointing to my right, which should be east.

"Are we going to walk the whole night?" Hayley asked, I knew she was tired. We all were.

"Just for a few hours. Then we will stop and rest for a while and when the sun comes up we start walking again. The next three days are not going to be easy, but I suspect that all of us want to make it out of here?" I asked the rhetorical question.

We finished eating and stood up. I noticed to my left a small head poking out about 30cm away from me from underneath a log.

I screamed and leaped as far away from it as I could. It was a Mulga snake. One of the most venomous snakes in the area. My knowledge of dangerous outdoor creatures has grown ever since I've been here the last time. I knew which snakes I had to stay away from.

Megan and Hayley had seen my reaction to the creature and also jumped. "On second thought I think we should walk three days straight and get out of here as soon as possible!" Megan said with a shaking voice.

"Is it venemous?" Hayley asked, slowly backing away from it.

"Just a little. But be careful. Hayley, you are the furthest away, just back away slowly. Any sudden movements would set it off and it would charge towards you." I said, remembering the snake bite I've seen before that came from this snake.

The snake slowly moved towards us. I froze at it came very close to Megan. Hayley was almost out of sight. That was good, we just had to wait til it leaves and we can continue with our trip.

It kept poking out its tongue and it almost looked as if it was daring us to touch it. Megan froze in her spot. The snake was going over feet. She held her breath and kept perfectly still as it moved, not paying much attention to her.

A few seconds later it had made its way back into the bush, as if it did not scare the crap out of any of us.

"Phew!" Megan let out a sigh of relief.

"That was a close call. Let's hope we don't encounter any of the other wild life here like that." I said.

"Is it gone yet?" I heard Hayley yell out in the distance.

I laughed at her. She must have been really scared, she had probably moved back over a hundred metres.

"Yes, it's gone, Hayley." I assured her.

Megan and I followed her as we set out again for the long and hard journey.

We chatted as we walked like old time on school hikes. We talked about each other's lives and caught up on the latest news in each other's lives.

Hayley was a police detective and she had spent most of her time catching bad guys. Megan was a personal trainer and had the body of a model. She loved sport and we all knew she would one day go into a sport-related career.

My best friends' dreams had come true. They were happy with their lives and they had the most beautiful personalities. I thought about my dreams of being a psychologist. But they were still only dreams. Maybe right now I needed to talk to a psychologist rather than be one.

 I looked at the ground and my eyes wandered around at all the different kinds of leaves on the ground. I really was losing my mind. Even leaves were entertaining me!

That's when I noticed two little sores on the back of Megan's leg.

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