I wake into cold, into quiet. The sounds have been swept away by the night. And the waking world has arrived without me at its door; I don’t know where I am. From a seed of panic my eyes spring open. I ready myself to let the weight of the world work its way into me, but, there is nothing.

All I see above me is the brightly lit lining of the tent, the red nylon stifling the light beyond. My body relaxes with relief, my sleeping bag bustles around me. My limbs become aware of the chill that has crept into the tent over night, collecting in its corners.

A bird’s song pierces the silence, and I am shocked at the kindness of the calm that cushions my waking moments. I stretch my body and strain against my semi-sleeping, sleeping bagged state. I am scuppered. A thought floats through my mind; I need to pee.

But I don’t move. Instead I lie quietly, banishing thoughts of freedom. I try to look through my nylon lid, and imagine the world outside, and the life left behind. I lament the fact that I cannot stay here, in the warm toasty home my body has made for itself. But I must get up, I remind myself; cold, cruel human needs.

I take a breath and break myself from the bag in a burst. Gritting my teeth, I rush, attempting to be careful in my confinement, putting on my trainers, pulling on my mac. I draw down the door zipper and take a stumbling step out and into the field where there is, nothing. No one, but a thick mist which dazzles my vision with dew.

I pull up my hood and stare hard, searching. There is really nothing here. A few more birds burst into the gloom and the sun glows low through the mist. I look about me. I am completely alone. No one to ask me, no to tell me, no one to push me. No one here but me. And I am content.


During the Covid outbreak my writing teacher is challenging us to create a piece of writing based on three specific words. This piece is based on the words: nylon, dew, hood.

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