For those of you who read my "Retreat Into the Maine Wilds" post below is a little more development on my stories main character "GUNK".
The years have left me close to death and forced me to undergo desperate measures to survive. My mind is a savage mechanism, a tool honed to a fine edge by adversity and the challenges faced over the last two decades spent alone in the wilds. Twisted perhaps are my thoughts, to the point where some would classify me as unstable, violent or unbalanced. This would, however, be a dreadful miscalculation of my mental state. The wilds have transformed me into an animal, cunning, calculating and lethal. The primitive and primordial areas of my brain, dormant in the populace of the civilized world, have been awakened and refuse to ever again sleep. Isolation has slowly eaten away at my ability or perhaps more accurately care to speak and my words whispered to the trees are hoarse and garbled. My body acts without hesitation and the animals I stalk are killed swiftly and without celebration. Long gone is the thrill of the hunt and I take from the earth what I need to survive, with little care for mans laws. The animals of the forest whether bear, deer, turkey or squirrel are meat and only seen as the raw fuel needed to carry my body through another day.
My body is ravaged by the harshness of my situation and operates on a level barely above starvation. Infrequent are the days when my stomach doesn’t growl constantly and my waist shrinks as the weeks pass without the availability of a good meal. More famine than feast is the fate of the nomadic traveler and hunger is a constant companion ever alert to gnaw at my mind as my body battles against malnutrition.
Staring at my hands, nine long bony fingers, marked by the scars of frostbite erupt from palms callused, leathery and cracked. The stump of a missing digit itches fervently, despite having been torn from my hand well over a decade ago. Fingernails split, torn and dirty from an unknown age of toil are dragged through my course beard that reeks heavily of wood smoke, sweat and wet earth.
The beast within that in times of turmoil switches off the minds propensity to control anger, violence and aggression. The fight or flight instinct, that has forced the human species to survive in the face of severe and absolute adversity for well over a millennium.
There are places deep within the soul of men that are better left undisturbed. These hidden points of escape can be refuges of peace or focal points to drive hate. It seems that everyone wants to talk about their "happy place" but few are willing to explore the darker areas of psyche that control courser, darker emotional responses. Due to our reluctance to explore these emotions are we becoming socially inept at controlling them or do we simply strive to bury them so deep within our emotional core that they rarely surface?