Matheus halted, mid-creep, staring across at a clearing with one hundred percent more cabin than he expected. After Hunter Junior, Matheus decided some circumspection might be a good idea, given the long odds on a lucky knockout twice in a row. He focused on each step, stopping at every snapped twig or crushed leaf, so dedicated to sneaking that basic observation fell by the wayside. The trees thinned out, giving way to waist-high brush that offered nothing toward concealment. Tiny nettles pricked at Matheus as he crouched, ready to run if necessary.
The cabin sat in the center of the clearing, a small outbuilding tucked about five yards behind it. Both structures looked as though made from leftover parts. Brown paint covered the left side, a darker shade on the right. Stacks of concrete blocks served as a makeshift foundation. The rumbling sound of a generator explained the floodlight next to the door and the lit cabin windows. Figures moved inside, too indistinct for Matheus to make an accurate count.