|26th June 2012, 10:10 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2012
So. There I was. In the Himalayan foothills, where the Tibetan Plateau begins its long, meandering tumble into the dense Burmese jungle. It was three days since the last road, a muddy riverside slither, and beset by washouts, had petered out, and my onward path had reduced to single file track
I had spent the morning trekking up dead end nomad tracks to isolated pastures. The local villagers had waved vaguely to the steep forested banks that blanketed one flank of a side valley, but it took until after lunch for a small mule train, slung with Chinese fizzy drinks and foil packs of instant noodles, to amble gently out from the undergrowth, signaling the position of the trail head.
I knew it would be a tough climb, but after the terrain levelled out, I mistakenly declared the pass to be imminent, and ripped apart my days prepared snacks. How the path then cruelly twisted and turned, revealed the ridge up the back of which I had struggled, as merely a spur of the great chain of peaks under whose shadow I now gazed in despair.
Time taunted me, forging ahead down the path, always one step ahead, no matter how hard I marched. The sky took on an air of gloom, as imperceptibly, the light filtering through the forest canopy faded to grey.
The way ahead grew steeper with each footfall. The trees in front towered, whilst the tops of those I had passed rustled behind me. The valley resonated with the heavy boom of explosions: Thunder, or the final crash of terrible landslide, the affliction that scarred this pristine landscape. I did not dare to turn and find out.
Crackles of a thousand taps descended from the heavens as hail peppered me from the twilight sky. The path ahead leveled out and a few mournful strings of faded prayer flags strung between the trees greeted my reaching of the pass.
But the light had failed, the day was gone, and I would have to descend to the unknown valley before me in the dark.
The journey would be quick now, I reasoned. No more uphill slog. I raced down, dancing between stones and steps in the rock, spurred on by the thought that the end was near. But soon the undergrowth sprung up around me, scattering the path until my feet were splashing down trickling streams. I was lost.
That was when the howling began. Creeping dread tingling up my spine from the wild calls of the nocturnal predators, distant at first, the echoed replies suddenly cried at close quarters. The glinting eyes of a hunter peered across the valley side, joined by another, prowling through the leaf litter, the sound of their movements masked by the tinkling of the stream and the patter of the rain that had replaced the hail.
I stepped back slowly, then again, regret soaked in fear drowning my soul as I finally swung around to confront the creature lurking at my back. Ivory white teeth barred, a snarling hate-filled growl. The wolf's anger however, was not reserved for me. Instead it vented scorn across at the shadowy forms stalking the terminal gloom.
It darted at once, bounding across the stream, and the adrenaline surged me up the side of the hills, scrambling panic, blind and instinctive until without warning, I stumbled. I had chanced upon the trail, slicing its way round the slopes. I searched in either direction for a clue as to which direction flowed down.
It was then my heart burst with joy, bleeding hope that washed away my regret. A small nomad's hut, just visible before the path bend. I sprinted towards it, looking back just once to see the wolf that had saved far up the trail. It glance my way, then slink back into the night.....
.... Ok, so I made the last bit about the wolves up. But the rest is a true story!
|26th June 2012, 11:41 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: West Virginia
When I was around 8 or 9, I fell into the deep end of the pool and got turned upside down. Due to me panicking, I couldn't right myself to get out. I couldn't hold my breath any longer, so I blew it out, and sucked in water. As weird as it sounds, I'd put my hand on the Bible and say that I breathed the water like I breathe air.
The story ends in my mom jumping in after me. When I got to the surface, there was no choking or anything.
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