The Miracle of Wark Forest

by Richard Rippon

We were feckless, hungry and hopelessly lost, the eight of us on mountain bikes, somewhere beyond the back end of beyond. We might have been about ten miles away from beer, lamb shanks and soft brushed cotton sheets, but nobody knew for sure. Suddenly, we noticed an impression had appeared on Mark’s t-shirt, of eyes, nose and mouth. It was like the shroud of Turin, or at the very least, Robert Powell (or was it Willem Dafoe?). Though it was merely sweat on his belly, chest and man-boobs, we took it as a sign. Soon after, the path became clear, our course set: we had been looking at the wrong part of the map.

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Richard Rippon, author of In His Wake, lives in the North East of England. He has also appeared in Cautionary Tale and Mannequin Envy.