Stacks of neatly cut logs loaded against every fifth tree prompted Oscar to make camp in that unfamiliar forest. He drew out dry pieces from the middle of the woodpiles and set them ablaze with a dollarstore lighter and stacked on more fuel until it roared in a single tongue of high flame.
That there were no people or homes in every cardinal direction of this alpine silence was whole reason he came this way. Urged by the falling of the snow and the lack of feeling in his boots he would press on further after some time fireside.
He placed some snow in a can on the earth before the heat and once it boiled drew it away with pliers and steeped a handful of pine needles. Oscar heard not the voices ring out vacant and dim nor the heft of footfall from the invisible black and his eyes were still too fireblind to see what came. He put the brew to his frosted lips and looked out to the limitless dark.