Posts Tagged ‘climbing’

The heavy rain had finally let up, and my young friend and I entered the barn looking for some mischief and fun.  The interior was poorly lit, but the ceiling cast a faint blue light down from its metal roof.  The barn’s large open space was completely flooded and had become a deep pool of black water.  On the other side of the door an old wooden boat lay broken but still floating against the wall.  Long ropes and steel cables hung from the ceiling, drooping across the water and boat.  Suspended high above the boat was the corpse of a man who had hanged himself with the cables.

We jumped in the cold dark water and began swimming out to the boat.  The plan was to climb up the ropes above the boat and then let go, plummeting through the open cargo hold below and rebounding back up off some old, warped lumber and out into the water.  It was going to be fun, my friend reassured me.  He’d done it many times before.

I slowly pulled myself up the ropes, mostly avoiding glances at the hanging corpse as I climbed.  Scattered drops of water still rained from the cracks in the roof near my head. My friend smiled up at me from below where he tread water near the boat, waiting for me to let go.  I looked down and grimaced.  The path to the open hole in the boat was not directly below me, and looked much too dangerous.

Instead I reached across to another hanging rope, this one suspended by a pulley near the ceiling.  I descended rather quickly as the counterweight on the other side of the pulley burst out of the water.  It was another corpse, pale and rotten.  I dropped into the pool and swam to its edge where it met a shop room inside the barn.  This room wasn’t flooded yet, but a steady rain picked up that dripped through the ceiling and penetrated my rain coat.  The cold water slid down my back and I hunched over, sneaking between bits of old farm machinery parts as I sought an exit.

I continued the long climb up the metal ladder.  The view of the stomach turning drop below me was mostly obscured by the bars and circular supports surrounding the ladder as it scaled the steep cliff face.   My dad climbed immediately below me, with nearly a hundred people in line following us up.  I reached the top and slid out the metal gangway that led to a rock ledge just in front of the ladder’s top.  The ledge ran for several yards to my right directly up to the entrance to the Mexican fortress carved out from the granite cliff.

We ran quickly inside before we could be seen and immediately assailed the cashier there.  He laughed at us.  “I only have $110 dollars, so the joke’s on you!”

“That’s okay,” my dad replied.  We’re not here for your till money.  To show this fact he even took out a large plastic scoop from his pocket and emptied a huge pile of change into the open register in front of the cashier.

I walked across the room and rummaged through some cupboards.  I had to move piles of snacks and pastries aside to get what I was looking for.  “Here we go!” I exclaimed.  I held up a neat stack of $5,000,000 worth of currency paper, just waiting for us to print money out on when we got back.

I kicked back with the rest of my family and threaded up an old movie projector, passing the time eating popcorn while we waited for the money to print.

Ronnie and Jessica (from Hung) were arguing in the front of the car as we drove down a country road.  Neither could agree upon the best route to take to the campground .  “You know what guys?” I said from the back seat.  “I’m outta here.  Tell me when we get there.”

Rolling down the window, I climbed out and onto the tall aluminum ladder attached to the side of the car.  As I reached the top of the ladder, perched 20 feet above the roof of the small car, Ronnie stomped on the gas.  I clung on tightly as the car accelerated and clung even tighter as it veered suddenly to the left.  The whipping wind plastered back my hair and I strained to keep my eyes open under the onslaught.

The ladder started shaking violently as the car turned again to run atop a set of railroad tracks, the shock of the tires on the heavy wooden ties making my teeth chatter.  Apparently this was the route we were taking.  Rapidly approaching ahead was a slower car also traveling on the tracks.  Ronnie maintained our breakneck speed, swerving around the car and back onto the tracks.  The ladder swayed precariously back and forth, sending me hanging out over each side of the car.  I narrowly missed colliding with the overhanging branches of pine trees lining the tracks.

I could see our destination ahead.  A campground set in tall luscious grass, fenced in by tall chain link topped by barbed wire.  Another family was headed there too, about to beat us.  Ronnie made a screeching turn  just as we reached the fence, careening around the corner.  I leaned the ladder up and over the edge of the fence, dropping down and rolling in the grass to absorb the shock of my landing.  The other family left, disappointed we had reached the spot first.

I sat there on the grass, enjoying its feel under me.  I eventually realized that I was quite hungry.  Sam Burns approached me and offered a PayDay candybar.

“No thanks,” I said.  “I’ll see what’s over on the shelves.”  She shrugged and began eating it herself.  Something on the shelf caught my eye.  The Breakfast Energizer.  A foot-long slab of semi-solid processed cheese, three inches wide and half an inch thick.  Attached to the package was a small bag of pretzels.  I turned the package over in my hands, seeking the nutrition facts.  35% daily cholesterol.

“Ouch, this stuff is terrible for you.”  I elected to go through a bag of old, fallen apart Ritz Bitz  sandwiches, putting them together as best I could before eating.