I used to do a lot of cycling, but I jacked up my achilles tendon. Went to the doc and she said that it’s a clear case of over training. I like riding up and down hills, and I guess putting all the weight on the balls of my feet as a crank up all the steep hills isn’t so good.
But I need to exercise, and I can’t stand exercising inside. It drives me crazy. I tried walking, and it felt OK. Only problem is to get the same workout as going up and down a bunch of hills for two hours, I have to walk quite a while. I checked with my doc, and she said so long as wear boots that evenly distribute the weight, I should be OK.
So lately, I’ve been doing a LOT of walking. At first, I just started walking around town. And I mean all around town. I started getting up earlier and earlier. After a couple of months I was getting up at 4 and walking for three hours before showering and then going to work.
It took a while to get used to it, but once I settled in, it felt pretty good. Yeah, it’s a totally different workout that going up and down hills, but it still works. It’s much subtler. And it allows me to do a lot of deep thinking. That’s something I was never really able to on the bike.
I actually started doing research on the brain. To find out what things I might do to enhance my thinking on those long walks. I researched all kinds of herbal pills and stuff that’s supposed to enhance creativity. I ended up spending a lot of time on forums that talk about psychotropic over the counter type herbs.
I finally found this stuff that is supposed to be really trippy. I mean like takes you to another dimension kind of trippy. Naturally, I couldn’t take this during the week because I need to go into work. But I definitely wanted to try it on the weekend.
So after doing a couple months of research, and getting into really good shape, I decided I’d try it. I don’t want to name the actual stuff that I took, since it’s illegal in some states, but not others. And I actually had to drive to the next state over and set up a PO box so I could order it online.
But the day finally came. I had my pack filled with supplies. I was going to be walking next to a creek bed, that I’d verified had water in it. I brought some water purification tablets. A hand held GPS, enough food for two days, and a space blanket.
A space blanket (or emergency blanket) is super warm and only in case of emergencies. It’s basically like a giant sheet of tinfoil, only it’s really hard to tear. It keeps ALL of your body heat in. I checked the temperature, and it wasn’t supposed to go below fifty at night.
My thinking was I’d leave early in the morning, hike through the hills for four or five hours, then turn around and come back. Worst case was I’d get lost, and then stay the night. Then I’d wait until the buzz wore off, check the GPS and then make my way back to my car.
I actually got to the trailhead the night before, and slept in my car. I wanted to get an early start. All the information I had on the stuff said it lasted anywhere from six to twelve hours. I figured if I dosed at four AM, then worst case I’d start to figure out what’s what by noon at the latest.
So I took the dose and took of. And the first four hours were amazing. I had thoughts and ideas that I can’t even begin to describe. Like I was watching myself from some far off point in the universe where all knowledge is accessible at once.
I totally understood everything. Emotions. Feelings. It was as if I was simultaneously reliving the entire evolution of mankind and watching the subatomic effects of the birth of the universe at the same time.
But then it got weird. After about five hours, I noticed that I wasn’t thirsty. Not one bit. But I figured I’d better drink some water. When I reached into my pack, all the water was gone. I still had the bottle, but it was empty.
Figuring I must have drunk it and forgotten, I went down to the stream to refill it. I reached in to taste it, to see if I needed to use my water filtration tablets. But it was delicious. I mean pure. Clean. I wasn’t that far from the city, and the elevation wasn’t that high, but the only other water I tasted this clean was way up in the Sierra’s above 12,000 feet.
So I kept walking, and my buzz started to wear off. I decided it was time to turn around. I pulled out my map, and my GPS, but I wasn’t getting any signal. I tried my phone, as it also has a GPS, but no signal there either.
And I started looking around the mountains, or hills, to kind of guess where I was based on the map, but it didn’t even come close. I figured I’d just follow the stream down, as it would eventually get to some flood channel.
But after an hour, I came up to this village. I saw this woman and two kids washing their clothes in the river. The girl saw me, got really excited and ran away screaming.
The mom stood up, came over and apologized. That’s when I noticed she was wearing some really old fashioned clothing. Like they were doing some reenactment or something. I didn’t want to sound like an asshole, so I didn’t say anything. I was also kind of still buzzing, so I didn’t want to make an idiot of myself.
She asked me if I was hungry, and I said yes. I followed her to her small town, or village. And the whole place looked like it came out of a history book or something. No electricity. Simple houses with smoke coming out of the chimneys.
The first thing I thought of was that movie, where the people pretended to live in a village, but really they were close to regular city. I thought it was sort of like that, but only like a weekend retreat or something.
I think I read something about those places. I think Oprah went to one with a friend of hers, and they made a reality show about it or something.
So right when I thought I had it figured out, all the people started running out and getting stuff ready. Pretty soon they had this big table set up, and all kinds of food.
And they put me right in the middle. Like I was the guest of honor or something. I didn’t want to rock the boat, so I ate and ate and ate. All kinds of old school type stuff. Roast pork, lots of chickens, a couple of turkeys. All fresh.
Then they brought out these jugs of wine. And everybody started drinking and singing. I had no idea what was going on, so I just did what everybody else was doing. By then it was dark, and I knew there was no way I was going to get back to my car before the next day.
By then, they cleared away all the food. I was so smashed I could barely stand. Then they came back, after they’d cleaned everything up, and formed this big ring around me in the town center, where the meal had been. Except it was only the women. The men were nowhere to be found.
And they started chanting. This weird language I’d never heard before. They held their hands together, and I started to feel really uncomfortable. So I tried to leave, but every time I moved then would automatically move as well. So I was always in the center of the circle.
But they had their eyes closed. But they still moved when I did. I even watched a few of them. I don’t know how they did it. So I just gave up. Maybe it was some kind of game. Their chanting grew louder and louder, and I really started to freak.
Just when I started to feel that point where the anxiety turns into raw panic, and you start to just lose all control of your thinking, and all you feel is sheer terror, they stopped. Then they let go of their hands. And backed up.
And just behind them were all the men. And they were holding axes. I tried to run, but it wasn’t long before the first sharp iron bashed the side of my head in.
After that, I don’t remember much. All I know is they chopped me into little bits, and spread my body parts all around the outskirts of their village.
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A boomtown on the edge of economic liftoff. An evil lawyer with inescapably psychotic power. When Marcus Canfield, an underachieving bartender realizes his gift has been reawakened, only to have the girl of his dreams snatched away, he knows he must stop the horrific threat to both her and the entire United States before it's too late.