Life felt like it was set on endless repeat. Though it had probably only been a day at most. Maybe two. Maybe... but no. It must only have been a day. Except the sun had set at least once in there. Hadn't it? It was just so the never-ending same that he couldn't keep track of where he was, let alone where the sun was. Climb down the ladder. Wonder around looking for something new. Get too tired to keep the eyes open. Climb up the ladder. Fall asleep to dream of being chased by spidery men. Dark. Light it didn't matter. It was irrelevant to the cycle. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. With a groan he struggled to his feet and headed for the ladder again. Even if he was too tired to safely get down the ladder, he couldn't take another dream.
Surprisingly, when he reached the bottom of the ladder, there was something new. A basket, neatly covered over with a blue checked napkin, was sitting comfortably in the center of porch. So someone had been here in his sleep while he was busy fighting the monsters in his dreams. To bad he hadn't heard them. Maybe he could have gotten a ride out of here. Then again, if they had left him food, they had also known he was here... and left him all the same in this dreary place with its phantom ghosts and lack of amenities.
He shoved it roughly toward the steps with his foot, afraid it would turn into something else. What he didn't know. The dreams were getting to him. It didn't. He nudged it one more time just to be sure, then settled down on the top step next to it to examine its contents. A moment later, his entire world had righted.
The basket was filled with soft flaky cheese biscuits still steaming from the oven, a container of pan fried brussel sprouts with bacon and pears, a small jar of what turned out to be the best peach jam he had ever tasted in his life, a thermos of hot sweetened coffee. A strange mix perhaps, but he dug in with gusto, nearly moaning after every bite. He only had two biscuits left and a few swallows of coffee left in the thermos when it occurred to him that perhaps he should have rationed the food a little better. Apparently hours, days, without food and little sleep, a sleep laced with a hoard of chasing hooded figures, had left him too famished to think that far ahead.
With regret he forced himself to wrap up the last two biscuits in the blue checked napkin and put the cap back on the coffee thermos. Then he looked out at the grass lawn and the endless field with its dusty rows.
Within moments he felt the overwhelming fatigue begin to weight him down again.
He shot to his feet. No, he wasn't staying here to fall asleep again. He refused. He needed to be up and moving and DOING something. He looked around desperately for something that might qualify as needing doing. Besides taking the ladder down. There was nothing but emptiness. He took off around the building in four quick laps, racing the feeling of lethargy tugging at his bones, pulling him down. Back at the front steps, the ladder beckoned the next stage of the repeat. Sleep. But someone had been here while he slept. Who? Where? He didn't know, but he was going to find out.
With sudden decision, he picked up the napkin holding the biscuits where he had left them and pushed them into his shirt. With a swift about face he headed away. A moment later, he was down at the edge of the field carefully examining the ground for any signs of where a vehicle or a walker might have come to bring him his basket of breakfast.
At last he found a faint track running out across the even rows of turned earth. Yes, he decided, it did look like a faint track. And with a decided nod and one last look around at the house to make sure he hadn't missed anything important, he set off across the field to see where it would take him.