The Nest

What is supposed to protect you may also kill you.

To feel the cold wind across my cheeks would tend to be a pleasurable experience in most cases, but not in this one. The wind only makes the reminder of where I am and where I have been for the past week a bitter one. The cold gives me chills that have been all too familiar during the time I have spent in this nest. This nest has become a prison of my own advantage.

I have my back against the dwarf-sized barrier made of unforgiving stone, as it gives comfort to know that I am not alone. I look across from me and see only the equal amount of weathered stone, making its way around the moldy wood flooring. When the three other soldiers and I had first taken stake here, we had a guess that this crippled tower was over sixty years old. If only it aged like fine wine.

The wood floor, itself, was made of fine dark lumber, smooth and gentle as a newborn's skin. Though, with weather and time, it has become relaxed, for it has turned moldy and less durable. We discovered this when Anderson broke his leg because the floorboard decided to break under his weight. Unfortunately, we did not have the proper medicine to help the infection that came along with it. Since then, Todd, Richards, and I were careful where we stood on the circular platform.

If the flooring was not bad enough, the little wall and four pillars surrounding it were no better. The wall itself was only around three feet in height, giving us little protection from the area around us. The stone of it was smothered in dirt and dust from its worn-out self. The rain had whipped its lashes over the years, making the stone look faded and weak. The pillars have taken the worst of the two though. With passing time, pieces on certain pillars had fallen off as though the heavy weather was attempting to create statues out of them. The three of us were suspicious of the pillars. We knew it was only a matter of time before one broke and dropped the wooden roof on us.

The wall was the next to show its betrayal to its visitors. Todd had placed his sniper rifle on the edge of the wall, looking out in the distance for any possible threat. We soon found out that the wall that he had placed the rifle on was the Achilles heel of the protective structure. All we heard was a crack, and before Richards and I knew it, Todd was hanging off the edge of the broken wall. We went to go reach for him, but before we could touch him, we heard a BANG! in the distance and watched as Todd’s corpse fell off the broken edge of the wall.

Less and less of the structure could Richards and I trust. With each passing day, it came closer and closer to ending us both. We began to stay in one spot for periods of time trying not to move at all. Sadly enough, due to the roof's sense of humor, we had to keep moving, pacing around the faulty structure. Many holes had eaten their way through the roof and termites devoured its protective cover from the harsh beating of the rain, causing rain to fill the platform. Each night it had rained; more and more every night, and the rain would always find that spot over one of our heads and drop beads of rain on it, making us move to a dryer spot.

One night, after an extreme downpour, the rain had almost made its way all around the entire platform, making it nearly impossible to walk on. Richards though, as stubborn as he had always been, was determined to find a dry spot to rest for the night. I told him to just deal with it for the night but he would not listen to reason. He went from spot to spot, looking for the holy grail of dry spots, becoming more frustrated with every move. A thing to know about Richards is that he was always a knife fiend. Whenever he grew anxious or angered, he would take out his switchblade, which he kept handy at all times, and start doing tricks with it in his hands. So, after finally finding a dry spot to rest, he took out the blade to calm his frustration and prevent reckless behavior. Before I could even state the problem, I saw it coming. I watched as Richards slipped forward on the slick wooden floor and land. I knew his recklessness had been the end of him.

I sit with my back against the hate-filled stone, wishing for it to give me my final peace. The cold wind pushes itself on me, giving me hope that the wall behind me might collapse. I hear the floor creaking beneath me giving me the sense that I will fall. But it teases me, the Nest has no intention of bringing a quick, pleasurable end to me like it had for the others. It will hold me, and protect me, only for it to see me fall apart on my own.