“The final days pass the same as the first: I chop, I build fires, I eat, I sleep, I rest. Only I am thinking differently: my mind has clicked into a gear it has never used before. I begin to take pleasure in cutting the wood, getting better at it until I am dicing the logs like they're onions. Instead of counting down the hours like a prison sentence, I am content to let them drift by.

I sit and write like I did when I was a teenager – sloppily but freely – trying to describe the view outside the front door of the bothy, the way the reds and purples mingle with the greens and browns, the way turquoise fur quivers on the branches of the trees.

I start to think of others fondly, rather than panic because they're not there.

I start to enjoy my own company.

I stop sleeping with the axe.”

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