My mission was top secret.
I was deployed in a stealth bomber – almost silent, invisible to radar and infrared,
with an operating altitude too high to be seen by the naked eye – but it was not immune to that most nefarious of enemies: the seagull.
And so I found myself with a jammed engine, locked in a steep downward spin, activating the ejector seat, and swirling in a tangled parachute to the ground. I lost my sidearm. I lost my radio.
I landed on a small island, smaller than a Manhattan apartment, in the centre of a freshwater lake.
I was unlucky. The fall didn't kill me – it just broke my legs. Splinters of bone pierced through the flesh in my calves, sending the coppery scent of blood wafting on the wind.
Soon I could see them, rustling through the trees, circling the lake, slowly puzzling out a way to get to me. Eventually it became clear that I was inaccessible by land.
It was a warm day in Siberia, but still too cold for swimming.
I understand the nights are colder.
Right now, the wolfpack is sitting on the lakeshore, licking their jowls, their golden eyes staring me down. I took my jacket and pants off two hours ago.
My only hope is that I freeze before the lake does.