OMG Dumb ass kid. Lost his compass and his watch, which means he lost his tracker. We spent the better half of the afternoon looking for him. We found his compass near a creek. And the watch under a wayward pine.

Trent went back with the boys, they weren’t going to help much with the next phase of tracking. A few of the older boys who were training to be hunters had offered to help us. But Dylan and I declined. “Stay with the others, “Dylan had said. “We got this.”

It was our job to keep track of the boys. Technology made it easier. When I was a kid – Now I sound fucking old – when I was a kid we didn’t have GPS in everything. Back in Dorian’s day – geez. Technology makes us all feel old when it wasn’t that long ago.

Dylan and I followed the boy’s tracks. Unlike most people who know to stay put when they get lost our lovable little rocker boy kept moving. He kept going in circles. He wasn’t tracking himself, but he didn’t know how to navigate well enough to go in a straight line. Which was good for us. I stayed put calling out Carl’s name, and Dylan went backwards through the direction.

The boy heard me calling and eventually headed my direction. We waited for Dylan to make his circuit and we all went back to camp. Stupid boy.

Carl got a lecture about staying put when you are lost. He tried to say he wasn’t lost but when we showed him the watch and the compass he shut his mouth and listened to what we had to say. The rest of the boys got the same lecture once we returned. Dylan was far from happy. And we had missed dinner and there was only the dredges left. And they were burnt too. So much for dinner.

Dylan grumpily lectured on night navigation. Thankfully we had a clear night and the stars were out. They would go over the star charts in detail later in the year of class. This was just an introduction. Not many actually needed to know the stars. Hell I barely remembered. But I did remember how to use it to navigate in the direction I wanted. But I rarely worked in the hours of the night. It was dangerous to hunt creatures in the dark. They could more easily kill you than you them.

After the lessons were done the boys wound down around the fire. Everyone was eager to hear Carl’s tale of misadventure. He apparently saw a mountain lion and freaked out. He didn’t mention the freaking out part, but the three of us knew he’d lost both his compass and his watch in his plight to get away from the skulking creature.

Mountain lions were rare in these parts but not unheard of. Maybe we’d see it later. To set the story off there was a wolf howled in the nearby distance and most of the boys jumped. I smiled as I sent my senses wide and closed my eyes as I laid down on my pack. The woods were speaking to us tonight. Maybe it would be a good night

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