Thunder cracked loudly overhead and then faded to a low distant rumble. Lightning cut through the darkness, lighting up the whole countryside for a split second. Wind battered the thin wooden walls until the glass in the single four-paned window vibrated and rattled. He prayed fervently that the glass would hold for this was the first half-decent shelter he’d found in days. It was also the worst rainstorm he’d witnessed in a long time. He cringed inside with every powerful gust of wind. All the while, rain pounded the earth relentlessly and hammered like drumbeats on the roof of his temporary abode. He was bone tired but did not want to sleep until the storm showed signs of abating. If the window blew in, he would have to spend the night in the truck.
It was dawn when he opened his eyes, and it was quiet. He had fallen asleep after all, probably from exhaustion, sitting on the floor with his back up against the wall. Slowly he got to his feet and stretched, moving his arms and legs to work out the stiffness. He hadn't even taken the time to unroll his sleeping bag, and he realized now that he could not continue living like this. And there was no real reason why he should.
Now, in the growing light of day, he began to look around, taking stock of his situation. Overall, the place looked to be maybe twelve feet wide and maybe eight on the ends. The roof slanted from front to back to avoid too much snow building up in the winter. The ill-fitting door was centre-front with a latch but no lock. The small two-pane window in the end towards the highway had survived the storm but didn’t provide much light. Some small pieces of bark and wood chips on the floor indicated that it had probably been a wood shed at one time but there were no signs of recent use.
His thin lips curved slightly in what might pass for a smile as he considered the possibility of staying here for a few days. He walked outside and looked around. He could see water beyond the trees.
It would be nice to stay in one place long enough to catch up on his journal and decide what his next move should be. But first he needed to stock up on some supplies, and he hoped to find a service station nearby with a convenience store attached. A public shower facility would be nice too, but if he didn’t find one he would make use of the water he had glimpsed through the trees.