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Janderson

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  1. It started out as a list of the ways I nearly died while mountain climbing in Greece, then I got bored, altered some events and made one a little story. Enjoy.

    -

    We had come the wrong way again. We could see our goal taunting us from across the chasm. The path to our salvation. The road to glory. Were we on a flat plain, it would be but three hundred meters away and footsore, tired and thirsty as we were we could have - would have - sprinted to that wonderous dirt road's embrace. Unfortunately mountains aren't flat and a seemingly bottomless pit lay between us and Poolside Action. On the edge of that cliff, staring into that abyss I felt like a man looking into an abyss, which ironically, was what I was doing at the time. Then our minibus appeared, tooting merrily, mockingly, kicking up dust on the trail we desperately sought to reach.

    Our leader, defeated by the trail and broken by the sight of our ride home, announced that we were going to climb down into the abyss and back out, taking it: "as the crow flys." From the deranged glint in his eye we could tell that there would be no reasoning with this man. To this day some believe his soul still walks the correct trail looking for his wayward body.

    The young mountaineers resignedly began tying, knoting and doing other ropey things, each one fearing a callous boot from our leader and a cry of "THIS - IS - BUTTER!" or something equally insane. One lad, a wirey youth with curly locks and the blood of Hercules himself a-flow within his veins, was plucked from the group, tied up and cast to the depths by our despicable leader. "Sort that out, VH!" He roared, foaming at the mouth. He himself followed shortly after, leaping into the ether like a homeward bound salmon. We only knew he had survived by the maniacal laughter coming from beneath the canopy of foliage. Then the dread cry: "First man, down!" he whooped.

    The first man just happened to be me. Being slow on the up-take I failed to join my comrades as they clamoured to escape the horrors of the edge, leaving me alone and vulnerable and a little bit chilly. I turned to Compo, the closet albino and my long time buddy from way back (few months ago), mouthed 'bollocks' and made to follow our challenged leader, who, at this point, was crying and banging sticks together.

    Three points of contact; leg over hand; chest out, arse in; I fell off the rock face, tripped on the guide rope, half-rolled half-clambered, kicking loose many stones and rocks, which I found, as I broke the canopy, our leader was devouring like french bon-bons. I slid to a halt a mere ten meters above the formerly human mountain leader. He awarded me nine points for style and beckoned me with a waggle of his finger and a flick of his... ... ... tail. Then it happened.

    Time seemed to slow. Compo above me screams "BELOW!" The leader pulls out a banana. At that moment a large rock blurs past my head, crashing down upon a rock mere inches from my skull. The leader bends into an impossible shape narrowly avoiding life as a vegetable The rock catches the banana which explodes everywhere. Time resumes. I scream "FUCK!"

    As I completed my trip to the bottom, to meet a living, breathing VH. I thought about what had just happened. I had no idea what the leader was planning to do with that banana, but thanks to Compo's quick thinking we were spared the - most likely - grisly results.

    When the rest of the team reached the bottom safely, our recomposed leader uttered "Bollocks. The sides are too steep. We'll have to follow the ravine." Then he ate his eyes.

    ~fin~

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