Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weekend Assingment #209

Half of this is not true. I am pretty sure you'll be able to figure out the parts that are and aren't true (this will get a bit violent you've been warned):

We have family friends in upstate New York. When we were younger they had recently bought a new house. They invited my family and my cousin's family to come spend the day with them. So one early Saturday morning we packed up our cars and headed out on a cross state road trip.

The details are a bit fuzzy but I remember heading in the general direction of Albany for several hours. After which we coasted into a small town. Now the thing about me and my cousins is that we're basically city kids. Growing up in Brooklyn and Queens we became pretty jaded and aloof.

"What the hell are we going to do in this dinky little town?"

"I know right, do they have like an arcade?"

"They probably haven't heard of video games"

"True that" We headed into what passed for downtown. Demarcated by a single traffic light.

"What do they do during rush hour?"

"They probably have to hitch their horses and wait it out." we snickered

Feeling pretty spiffy we headed deeper into town passed some mom and pop shops and then headed into the residential area. After a bit of searching we finally pulled up in front of a modest looking house. It looked pretty normal except that it was perched on the edge of a hill. Our cars strained as they hauled us up a steep gravel driveway, bordered by trees on both sides.

"Holy cow! they bought all these from Home Depot, that must cost a fortune." Unbeknownst to us this was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As we drew closer a lush green backyard came into view. But what really had us thunderstruck was wild woodland as far as the eye could see.

"They must have gotten a discount" we pried open our car door and cautiously stepped out of our vehicles staring in awe. Luckily our slacked jaws came to attention just as the proud homeowners came out to greet us. We all merged into a happy cacophony of greetings. The grown ups did there thing speaking in arcane terms like real estate tax, Mortgages, demographics and what not. We kids looked at each other disdainfully.

"Let's go see if they know what a gameboy is."

"Okay!" we laid on our urban charm quite generously. They eventually became quite fed up and
decided to fight back.

"Papa, can we go into the woods?" they asked looking slyly at us

He gave it some thought and then carefully responded "I dunno what with the wolf pack and all"
"Wolves?! That's some !#$%& up !@$^&*"

"Nah, man don't get all little-house-on-the-prairie with me 'aight"

"Oh don't be silly they only come out at night" the kids sweetly responded "Can we please"

Their dad scratched his beard and thought some more "Only if we take along our neighbor's rifle." Guns we understood and we didn't give any lip about that. But that didn't mean we weren't nervous about entering uncharted lands. Of course we couldn't admit this to these dweeby country kids. We kept up our hoodlum facade long enough to hear the neighbor pull up.

An oversized 4X4 roared up the driveway kicking up a cloud of dust in its wake. A sharp turn to the left brought the behemoth to a sudden stop. From our point of view we saw a tan cowboy hat lunged back in its seat as the mega machine stopped lurching. Out popped a thickly mustached face hidden behind dark sunglasses. "Howdy, brought ma' rifle for ya'" the man suddenly brandished a long stemmed weapon "run out of ammo, load up on these" he tossed a box of bullets helplessly grinning all the while. Their dad thanked him and told him it only be for a couple of hours "Take your time" he exhaled waving away the constrained offer "Just don't let me hear about ya' on the evenin news." he looked around suspiciously and then lowered his glasses "I am enough trouble as it is, know what I mean?" he flicked his glasses back on and gave their dad a big toothy smile. "Don't be a stranger ya' hear?" he tore away backwards through the driveway kicking up dust from the front this time. A wide turn brought him back to the steep incline which he hastily dipped into grinning all the while.

Their dad stood there rifle in one hand a box of ammo in the other, he quietly blew some dust out of his mouth and commented "very neighborly of him"

***

We all made a line and headed in to the woods. We first hiked along the border of the backyard and the forest. This wasn't so bad as it was relatively sunny in these parts. When we headed in deeper the canopy grew denser. The soothing darkness was a welcome relief from the harsh summer sun. We enjoyed ourselves taking in the scenery and enjoying nature at its finest.

That's when we came across a rabbit carcass. We stared with complete wonder at the once bouncy and lively creature. It had been picked clean of its meat and all that was left was a ragged patch of fur. "Daaaammn, Maaan! They don't got no kibble and bits up and over here?" nearby wolf tracks didn't give us anymore comfort

"Okay kids time to head back home. This is far enough." their father commanded "Your mothers have prepared a lovely lunch we can't keep them waiting."

"But we want to know what's over the hill, papa" his kids whined

"It isn't safe who knows what lies beyond that ridge." he reasoned

"We'll find out together, it'll be an adventure you never let us do anything fun!" they pleaded

"Listen we've only moved in a couple of months ago these woods are new to me. Once I better understand them I'll take you guys. Right now we need to head home less we lose our way." his logic was irrefutable but that didn't stop his kids

"It'll only be for a second we'll only take a peak from the top" they smartly added. At this point we began to feel uncomfortable having to watch a family feud. We didn't say anything partly because we didn't want to annoy our host and partly because not being lunch sounded very appealing.

"Just one peak?" he asked with a mischevious grin

"Just one"

He squinted his eyes deviously weighing the facts and then popped them open cocking his rifle and exclaiming "Let's ride!"

We couldn't believe it but not wanting to be outdone we followed along. The climb up was easy and our group of children and one half crazed adult quickly reached the top. What we saw on the other side terrified us to the core. A slumbering pack of gray wolves.

"AAAAAAH!" rang out hi pitched screams from the girls at this point none of them cared about impressing each other and gladly indulged their collective fears. We told them to be quite but to no avail. To our horror the wolves began to stir.

Their shut eyes instantly flung open and were trained on us. Seeing intruders on their home turf was unbearable, they rose up and took attack postures. Venemous snarls spewing from their throats hit our hearts like pierced lightning. loosing all sense of composure the girls ran in the other direction. Baring white fangs, the wolves gave chase.

Fearing for the lives of his daughters the anxious father fired off aimless shots. The sound of exploding gunpowder did nothing to stop the unrelenting charge, the woodland beast would settle for nothing less than the flesh of innocent girls. A sudden sensation of chivalry overcame me spurring me to action. Drawing a combat knife from my boots I lunged forward.

The alpha male had taken the lead and was bounding towards me. I eagerly covered the distance and braced for impact as the beast jumped into the air jaws headed for my neck. I bent forward and shoved my shoulder into the exposed belly. We collided on the forest floor. I quickly twisted my torso and took his snout in my hand. In the next instant the serrated blade of my knife was smoothly swiped against the pulsating neck. A torrent of hot blooad gushed out splashing my face. The cut was deep enough and the wolf quickly succumed to the second law of the jungle.

In a flash I bared my bloody blade at the rest of the pack. Seeing that their leader was killed they lost their will to fight and quickly turned tail. The exhiliration of the hunt would not relinquish my senses, indeed today was a good day to be alive.
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