A few minutes later the group picked their way out onto the road. Jenny had been persuaded to leave her giant panda behind, belted securely into the passenger seat, but had insisted on bringing along the oversize soda cup she'd purchased at the park.
"It survived the crash," she said, holding it up like a trophy. "It's our lucky charm."
Christopher didn't feel as though they were having an awful lot of luck at the present moment. As they waded through the undergrowth back to the road he'd managed to step into a patch of nettles, and then almost trip into a ditch, tearing his shorts in the process and almost losing his glasses.
"So," he said. "Which way we heading?" Winter squeezed his hand and huddled a little closer. She did not, as a general rule, enjoy the dark.
"Same way we were going," said Mark. "Jen said she saw a sign for something in a couple of miles. Can't be too far, can it? We'll be there before we know it."
Christopher rubbed at the thin patch of stubble on his chin and glanced down the road. Being a remote country lane it was lit only by moonlight, everything rendered in shades of grey. Branches swayed back and forth in the breeze, rustling like whispers.
"Come on, happy campers," said Jenny, grinning. "A nice little hike will do you the world of good."
"Actually," said Winter, "that might not be necessary." She pointed to something at the side of the road. "Look at this."
It was a sign. A large wooden one that looked as though it was a fair few years older than any of the group. The lettering was practically antique, and the wood was dark with age and weather. But it was still standing, and as they moved closer Christopher could make out the words: "Hogarth Hill B&B -- Next Left -- 100yds".
"A bed and breakfast," said Winter. "We can use their phone to call for help."
"I don't know," said Mark. "This sign looks kind of old."
"Better than walking two miles to the nearest outpost of civilisation though, don't you think?" said Christopher.
Mark still looked a little sceptical. "I guess," he said. "Tell you what: you guys go see if you can use their phone, and me and Jen'll stay here and try to flag down the next people who come by. Between us we're bound to get somewhere."
"Sounds like a plan," said Christopher. "Come on Winter." They set off up the road together, turning to wave goodbye. "You guys try not to get eaten by wolves until we get back," said Christopher cheerily.
"Wolves?" said Winter quietly as they headed off up the road.
"Don't worry, I'm just joking. Besides, if it came to a fight between Jen and a wolf I'm not sure Jen's the one I'd be worried about."