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Sport 40: 2012

Without any doves or laurel

Without any doves or laurel

She arrived at the hostel and unpacked her things. Now she could finally relax. No more thinking about work or difficult relationships, this was what she had been waiting for. Seraphina deserved a break.

She decided she would do the bush walk that afternoon, recommended to her by the hostel’s owner—an enthusiastic fellow, who seemed to be everywhere she went. Ten minutes in and already she could tell this wasn’t a walk for the faint of heart. The track was marked at varying and sometimes much too long intervals by orange hazard tape tied around trees—the kind that said DANGER and DO NOT ENTER in black.

Seraphina went up, down, up and down again—following the orange markers—through a stream, up once more and finally was led to a clearing. She had lost all sense of direction, she could be anywhere now.

At the end of the clearing was a modest cabin, from which a small man emerged. He had brown hair and had filed his teeth into sharp points, or else had been born that way. ‘Welcome, my dear,’ he said, with a shining smile. ‘I’ve been waiting for you such a very long time.’