Last Will; Testament of Joe Freeman
I, Joe Freeman, would like to leave all my personal belongings to my sister, May, in the knowledge that she will distribute them wisely.
We always used to say, better to die young, than to never live at all. I guess we're going to get our wish. I know enough about survival to realise I won't be surviving much longer. John-O, my buddy - I just don't know. My left leg is broken in three places, and I suspect I may also have shattered my pelvic bone.
Three hours ago, after we'd set up camp, John-O set off to find some usable timber for the fire. When he got back, he was very excited. I couldn't work out what it was that had got him so agitated, but I went along with it all the same. I should have recognised the signs: soon after, he got worse. He jumped me when I turned away, burying my face in the snow, trying to suffocate me. I still don't know what he found in the ice to enrage him so. 'Lucky' for me, the ground gave way, and we both fell.
I landed hard on ice, and desperately clawed my way onto more solid ground. I was running on adrenaline, didn't notice the pain, I just knew that if I was going to die, I didn't want it to be in the frozen water beneath me. When you fall into a frozen lake, you don't just drown, or freeze to death. Your whole body seizes up from the cold. Every instinct tells you to swim for the side, but your body won't let you. You gradually dip under the surface, your last breath expelled when you fell. But you don't drown there and then: your body shuts everything down, survives on what strength you have left. You can last for an hour, just floating there, slowly, slowly, dying.
So now, I'm lying here, my soaked gortex slowly freezing me in place, me on one side of the lake, John-O trapped on the other. I'm worried about him. From what I can see from this side, his arm is dislocated, his shoulder blade fractured, and his wrist broken. I can't hear anything he yells, but he looks to be constantly muttering to himself... testing the ice with a crowbar from his pack. I don't know how he can stand the pain, or where his strength is coming from, but at any rate, something strange happened to him. Fortunately for me, he can't cross the ice: it'll give way under his weight. The only way to cross would be to carefully spread your weight evenly across the surface, and he looks in too much of a rush for that.
There's a lot of drugs in my system right now. I have another bottle of painkillers, there's enough to finish the job. I always said I'd rather die pushing the boundaries, than drift away in my sleep.
I guess I didn't mean that after all. I'd rather gently slip away, than die cold, or bleeding.