Monday, May 16, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure! Be warned: you may or may not survive!

Yes! You clicked the link! That means you're brave...and must be ready to set off on a journey that you may or may not survive. Be warned, friends! Are you sure you can handle it? I have faith in you! <evil laugh> Get your gear together...get THE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE image to...duh...start your adventure.  Perhaps your journey will lead you back to this post---where horrible things just might happen.


             You recall the legend of the Talkative Yeti. Your grandfather, who died in these very mountains, told it to you as a boy. You can still hear his haunting voice—that sent a chill to your eight-year-old bones—describing the night an entire village was massacred by a mountain beast. Not any mountain beast. The elusive yeti. And not any yeti. A talkative yeti. Perhaps the very one that stands before you now.
   “He slipped into the village just after sunset,” Grandfather had said, “and entered the huts one by one. There was only a single survivor, a boy about your age.”
   “How did he escape?” you had asked.
   “The yeti—hunched over, claws outstretched—descended on the boy, ready to rip him apart.”
   “And the boy,” you had interrupted, “pulled a weapon from under his pillow?”
   Grandfather had laughed. “At first, the boy’s weapon came in the form of a question. He asked the beast, ‘What ails you?’ and the yeti, ready to fill his belly once more, stopped, blinked with his enraged  eyes, and answered, ‘No one has ever asked me that before.’” 
   “The yeti talked?”
   “Talked is an understatement, m’boy! The yeti, blood covering his matted white fur, sobbed the tale of his only brother who recently died in a trap laid by humans. As he held his dying brother in his arms, he vowed to kill every human he encountered.”
   “But the yeti let the boy live?”
   “Actually, that’s when the boy reached for the weapon under his pillow—a stone club—and whacked the unsuspecting yeti on the head. The boy escaped while he could.”
  “He should have killed it. Why didn’t he kill it?”
  “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, son.”
   You remember the quote while wondering if the monster kneeling before you is the same yeti from the legend, the yeti who pledged to kill every human he meets. Although, he sits in a submissive position, you imagine him springing forward to set his sharp teeth into your frail, human neck. You feel ill picturing the remains of your body rotting away in this remote cave.
   Now you understand why your wife called you a fool and divorced you before you set off on this ambitious adventure. 
   You back away slowly. But when a bat drops from the dark ceiling, whooshing over your head, you nearly slip on the icy rocks you stand on. The beast doesn’t react well to your sudden movement. It leaps from its squatting position and growls, “Don’t go.”
   Is it lonely or does it want to make you its lunch? You are too terrified to find out, so you turn and run. The yeti is chasing you. You hear the ice cracking beneath its feet.
   Somehow you reach the entrance of the cave all in one piece. You are standing knee-high in the snow, searching for the best way to run. But is there time to run? You hear the yeti emerging from the cave and whip around to face it.
   You take a step backward. The farther you are from it, the better. “I won’t harm you,” you say. “I swear!” Of course I won’t harm it, you think. With its incredible speed and hulk-like strength, the yeti can snap you in half before you have the chance to reach for a weapon.
   “Don’t move,” it snarls.
   But you can’t just stand there. You have to try to survive. You take another step backward.
   “Stop!” it howls.
   Your feet, like the rest of you, have gone numb. Too frightened to have noticed sooner, you are now standing at the edge of a cliff, and you are already falling before you have a chance to grab onto a branch from the nearest tree. You feel the icy wind at your back as your body plunges straight down into the ravine. You know this is it. You will die in these mountains just like your grandfather.