• Erin Gilman

Book 001: Day 006

Noah saw his father up ahead as the trail curved on itself across a sharp drop. He felt his hopes rise towards the prospect of getting out of the extra chores today, but he noticed that his father was running differently, at a much quicker pace than normal. Noah knew that while his father was much quicker in the short term, he was faster over a distance so Noah settled into a safe distance and let his father burn off his extra reserves. Over the years they had spent a substantial amount of time discussing how to use your energy properly and using it too much too soon would cost him in the end. He was going to make sure nothing like that happened today. Noah could not help but smile as he began to feel he has somehow outmaneuvered his father in a game of chess. He settled down and concentrated on his pace one footstep at a time and keeping his breathing steady.

The entire path was just under four miles and Noah fully caught up to his father two miles in, when the path leveled offer several yards before it climbed upward again and then looped around back towards the cabin. The second half of the run was the hardest part as it climbed up steep slopes and then dropped down suddenly. Also, for the rest of the run, the once smooth path would be littered with racks and fallen black branches.

Noah knew his mother would be getting up soon to put on the fire and in the iron stove to heat up water and make coffee for herself. In the last couple of months, his parents had started to let him drink coffee but Noah found that he liked the smell of it much better than the actual taste. Noah continued to run a couple of paces behind his father out of habit and matched, stride for stride, as they made a final turn on the level ground.

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