View Full Version : Potato sounder
13th July 2011, 03:16
Potato was born into this world a pup amongst 9 of the litter, not the runt nor the beast.
He fought for the tit and most times got one. The old man who built the birthing box, had done this before, and had made a shelf inside the box all the way round. This kept the bitch from crushing the pups and letting the runt's find the end around to a new feed.
The old man liked potato from the start. After 100's of pups and he handled them all, this one stared at him and knew what to do. When weaning time came, the dog required nothing more but a reassuring finger to the food.
" Hmmm, thought the old man...I might keep this one ".
Sure enough after all but one were sold, the old man could not part with Potato.
He sold dogs, he did not keep them....what was he doing he thought to himself.
13th July 2011, 03:21
Potato.was a chip ?? :rolleyes: :laugh :laugh
13th July 2011, 03:39
The old man thought to himself, "one more time i will raise a dog" he said aloud.
After all, this one was smart and strangely ATTUNED to the world early.
"why not" to no one in the house as he move to the garage with little Potato at his heels, who was stopping to chew at a paw.
" Are you coming or not"? The pup dashed through the now open door.
13th July 2011, 04:19
The garage was large enough for what he needed. A car here and a few motorcycles there. He had developed a well worn path to and from the lathe and mill, to service the subject at hand whenever needed.
Potato sniffed the old mans tracks and soon was gone from sight.
Smash, crash, splash, was erupting putting the old man in semi terror.
" oh shit this was a bad idea ". The pup popped up from under the 1943 band saw, covered with a mixture of saw dust and metal chips, sneezed, farted and did a perfect corkscrew shake from nose to tail. Waddled up and sniffed one pant leg and sat down looking directly in his eyes.
13th July 2011, 04:37
It was like God was staring at him....."what am i going to do with you, you little shit" he said and the dog wiggled it's tail and yelped knowingly.
"Ok let's do this" and the old man walked up to mill, put a piece of at reach stock, in the vise and turned it on. The noise was not something that he would call loud but certainly not good for the tool nor the stock.
Potato, not really interested in the sound, found the hot chips fascinating and leapt at every one he could find. Once pouncing on the target of choice, he would jump up barking from heat of the metal, back up get low and snarl...
13th July 2011, 04:50
Feel free to add to this story ladies and gent's...that is the purpose.
13th July 2011, 06:35
The old man was quite the hand at his lathe, he could turn wood and metal alike! This had been an escape for him, and breading puppies had only been a means of survival, You see the old man is a hermit. Paranoia and anxiety have plagued the old man.
His last dog a good mutt died of Giardia, Trouble was his name and thats what the mutt would get into.
13th July 2011, 06:54
The old man recognized this and thought maybe this one won't be trouble.
It did not look good, but maybe. There was this all knowing look in the eyes of the dog.
Like it had been through this before.
Hmmmm. " who are you " aloud. Potato just wagged and headed for the door... follow me, old man.
13th July 2011, 07:10
And together we will see many things, wonders to the eye.
Potato, Liked this big "two legs" from the start!
Potato decided to call him "Marp-Marp" only because the "two legs would come to this name.
13th July 2011, 07:26
The old man opened the garage door back into the the house proper.
He looked back, but Potato had scurried in, without him looking...cursing, " christ this going to be work".
Still out of eye shot, the old man called for Potato.....smash, crash....the young pup came out of the linen closet with a towel, made his bed and knowingly through the eyes...did 3 turns and flopped like pancake, yawned and flip a paw at the old man.
13th July 2011, 21:51
Marp-Marp, Marp-Marp! "Were are you nice mr. two legs" thought Potato.
Marp-Marp, Marp-Marp! Potato had something to share with the old man.
Marp-Marp, Marp-Marp! Paitently the young pup sits in front of the worn orange recliner, Potato knows this is Marp-Marp's soft spot, because his smell was heavily on the chair.
16th July 2011, 21:20
Potato settled as " marp " did. Together they watched tv and both drifted off in to a deep slumber.
16th July 2011, 21:28
The old man awoke and answered nature. He thought Potato would need the same and opened the door to the outside. No Potato seen, a whistle and a common " come here boy " resulted in, nothing.
Just what has this little shit got into now, thought the old man as he scoured the home to see the tell tale destruction of a pup.
17th July 2011, 15:28
Meanwhile out in the garage in the corner farthest the lathe was an odd assortment of enamel signs, some from now defunct service stations, others from old Mom and Pops stores that frequented the area in the 50's But this corner was the lair of what Potato would soon find out to be his biggest threat. There in the dark recesses was a rat, and if a name could be attatched, I'd guess it would be Chopper Vince, The Rat...... the rat of this garage anyway. His needs were few, a dropped crumb, a misplaced snack or sometimes even a beer left on the floor, easy enough to tip and enjoy, yea Chopper Vince knew about beer... The days were growing shorter slowly, it was early September and a chill in the mornings sometimes woke a hungry Chopper Vince from his slumber, his bed amazingly enough was a couple ...?.. lost microfiber rags, not so much lost as appropriated by Vince. This lair would come to be Potato's secret hideaway as Vince warily at first ....formed a friendship with Potato.
17th July 2011, 15:31
---- to be continued----
17th July 2011, 16:42
The Old Man would learn of this growing friendship much later, and in a peculier way. The Old Man would be busy that day looking for his jewler files as he was in need of a bit of dressing some threads, fine threads at that in a whitworth bolt for one of his early Triumphs. The sun was shining, but a dull yellow came in through the decades old painted shut window on the lathe side of his garage, and the film of years of manly wrenching and bike endevors had seen little in the way of cleaning. A couch against the rear wall was his rest zone, and many an hour were spent there or on his mechanics seat with casters, though one wheel was broken and would often times just scrape across the concrete floor. Other times it would serve for his tray of smoking goodies. It was late morning and it would find him here with Potato, and while Potato seemed to have a fasination that drew him over by the old signs, the Old Man occupied himself grooming a bud and looking for his zig zags. The smoke wafted through and up forming dancing shapes and the Old Man was thinking of Triumph parts today. He had had the good fortune to find an old 51 Thiumph pre unit basket from a friend of one of his neighbors, and while most of the rest of his bikes were made in Milwaukee, this was just the diversion he needed. Something new to spike his waning interest as fall crept in. Through the rising smoke, he could see Potato fiercely giving what-for to an old blue rag in the corner, shaking it back and forth like it was some conquered foe surrendering all its soul. The Sparklets cooler was humming as the thermostat turned on, Potato and the cooler were the only sounds besides the sound of him exhaling. It was Saturday.
19th July 2011, 03:07
With a thumping tail the dog beamed proudly at the destruction, he had now created.
The old man shook a finger and bellowed something way beyond Potato's patience. The human seemed red skinned and not normal, much louder than when he had ever remembered.
Potato felt an urge to urinate. The human was tied up with some sort of ritual red face play.... I will pee right here on this t shirt as not to interrupt him.
19th July 2011, 03:32
Potato, notice Marp was making a smell. It would make potatoe sneeze when he got close to this smell. Potato didnt care for the smell. But Potato is a smart dog and knew the old man needed the smell.
Potatoe fell asleep.
Potato awoke (5 minutes later) to a loud clank, and bang. He scurried over to the old man whom was adjusting a side-hack on his old Norton motorcycle.
Marp scuffled Potatos fur a bit and told him the cart is for potato to ride in.
Potato looked exhaulted and gave the old man a look of wonder and delight.
19th July 2011, 03:50
The old man turned and closed the garage door behind him, leaving the dog now trapped.
This was not what he wanted. Too old to deal with this he thought.
After pacing a bit he sat down in the old chair and fired up his pipe. It was a pipe he had got from his grandfather 20 years before. He pinched from the leather bag a special blend, of long leaf North Carolina and mid Maryland tobacco that would soothe his nerves.
I need to hunt with this dog, i could use the walk and god knows this pup will ruin me if i don't. The old man reached forward to the coffee table and grabbed a Double Gun journal.
Certainly not great stock for upland birds, but maybe just maybe.
As if on cue the dog perhaps reading his mind started to bray.
23rd July 2011, 07:45
Potato knew the old man wanted him for a bigger purpose than a companion. He knew there something big that was going to happen. he could hear voices from the future, he heard them telling him were to go. He didnt know how to get the old man off his rump, put down his smelly pipe and go. Potato needed to find a way, so he barked for Marp and tried to get his attention. It seemed Marp had forgotten all about Potato, so Potato would sound for Marp the best he could.
24th July 2011, 19:55
Potato just circled and laid down, his paws to rest his chin on. He was content because the human was quiet now, and barely doing anything. beyond the hum of the water cooler he could hear a sound, one he had seldom heard, but here it was again, a raspy clicking sound that would start and stop. It was coming from over by the signs, and he could smell another smell, one that seemed bitter. It was Chopper Vince. He was testing the properties of a still wrapped stick of gum, perferating through the paper and foil, and potato could hear him. There would be time for all this later, potato was falling off into slumber, the world was alright.
27th July 2011, 04:43
Chopper Vince whiskered the now silent night. Scrambling over and across some now forgotten copper pipe, he smelled first then saw the dog. It was new but not immediately alarming. It also smelled of food and food is good.
The old man awoke and did his morning stretch. Ambling over to the kitchen he turned the gas up high for the kettle. With the now half full pot on the burner he turned his attention to the back room. Grabbing his pack and a belt of rounds a trusty turn found his beloved Winchester model 21 at hand. To be sure, he pushed the top lever over and a snick later he look down the side by side for any obstructions. Satisfied he closed it and put it in a leather case that his son had bought for him on his 60th birthday.
He knew the pup would hear him and start playing puppy games. He quietly slipped into the kitchen grabbing the kettle before it whined. 3 bags of tea in the thermos he poured the water almost full and closed the top.
1 sandwich bag of dog food and 2 previously prepared roast beef with swiss grinders were swiftly stuffed into the pack.
He heard the dog yelp, almost in pain he thought. " all right i 'm coming " He snatched the door open and Potato was in the house before the man could blink.
Now wagging his tail the pup knew it was an adventure. The old man was dressed for outside, potato thought. The front door opened and the sun just over the Aspens beamed in. The old man pointed out and potato moved in that direction, he hit the front porch newel post hard, so hard he lost his feet and tumbled down the four steps to the grass.
The old man looked apprehensively, then shook his head and closed the door as potato bounded for the woods. The old man could still hear the snapping of twigs as he fired up the international carry all truck. He opened the passenger side door and clapped his hands, "come on boy" and another clap of the hands. The pup crashed out of the woods at full run, hit a dip in the ground tumbled and pop up running slightly confused.
The old man laughed and pointed into the truck. The pup lepted in, skidded across the bench seat and smashed into the driver side door. The old man closed the other and snickered as he walk to the drivers side. He open it to find two paws on his chest and a wet sloppy tongue attacking his face and ears. " Ok, ok" the old man giggled. He closed the door poured some dog food in a bowl and set it on the trucks passenger floor.
Potato looked like a mongoose digging away at the food as the old man drove away from the house.
27th July 2011, 15:45
'His 60th birthday' That hadn't been very long ago, and the leather case was no cheapie either. It had the Western Floral cactus blooms stamped into the leather, all in all, a piece of artwork really. He just hoped he'd not scratch it in the feild somewhere. The 'Corn-binder' was not too fast, but it was surefooted and well suited for the absence of roads, with only an ocasional wheelspin through a unknown puddle. He knew his way through these trails because he also had scooter his Brother had left him as an inheritance. It was a peculiar Scooter, more motorcycle than scooter and more tracter than motorcycle. He oftentimes carried a plastic milk crate on a rack in the back and sometimes a few odds and ends in a basket on the front axle. It wasnt very fast, it only really was good for about thirty, though there was more throttle left, it was a bit of a squirril at higher speeds and it also was two wheel drive which sort of compromised high speed. But chugging through mud holes and through brush and grass, it could not be beat. He knew what mud hole was shallow and which ones were mushy and deceptive, thus he had stored this mental map and had little trouble driving this much bigger vehicle through the well known trails. Potato was experianceing something he had only ever experianced once before. It was that peculiar feeling of weightlessness. It was odd, he felt like the flore was sucking him right into it and in a moment later he was weightless, all his feet off the funny acting floor. This went on for a few minutes, he didn't know what minutes were, but he knew what one or two 'sleep' rest times were. He had past two of them. The floor and funny noises the floor made were getting old, he looked behind him at the big black flat spot this human was setting on and bump.... that feeling again, down and up..... the up launched him this time to just about shoulder level with his human, and the seat was coming up to meet him fast.Plop and sort of a roll and he was on this thing he hadn't payed much attention to before, all he remembered is that it was slippery and he ran into the door, the konk on the head, he didn't like. This was great, it was better with the human caressing his back, and he didn't seem to be getting pushed around by this 'odd feeling', the same one that made him hit his head and then be thrown up and frightened. It was time to pull over, driving through the trail he had come to the location of his first stop, all in all there were two other spots to stop at further down the trail. The tea would be brewed good and strong by now as the seeping had all taken place inside his thermos, a cup would hit the spot. Potato was waiting.... what comes next.....what next...? The man poured the small cup near full and opened the door and stepped out. He leaned against the bed propping his elbows and setting the cup down avoiding the drill holes that had left an irregular surface on the top rail, he didn't want the cup off balance. He surveyed ahead of him The cranes had starteled and flown. Everything was quite, except the insects with chirps and clicking from all around. Now must be time to get out potato thought, the man had, and now he couldn't use the window to hold himself up with, he just hopped onto the grass. It was soft, but not very cool. He had noticed that, someplaces were nice to walk on and others were hot and not pleasant to walk or set on. What were these smells everywhere? he couldn't ever remember so many different smells, he recognised the smells of lizards and those brown things on the ground that were sour and wet and left those foul tasting lines, and their two funny wiskers with spots on the ends. The smells of those things he chased that bounced into the air like he had, but these things weren't coming back down, they just kept going, further and further. "POTATO' come on boy, that was all the coaxing he needed. In more of a leap than a bound, he was running to the mans side ready for people fun. He finished the small cup and set it in on the dash, he would screw it onto the thermos later. Reaching the gun rack against the rear window he pulled and the case slid over to where he could lift it off of the remaining hook. They were off. Potatos mind or 'nose' was on overload, and he had to keep up with the man who took fairly long strides walking down the path. Potato looked to the left, 'a smell' and to the right with another'smell' and ahead to see he was loosing ground with the man being distracted with these 'smells' 'I'll explore later, gotta catch the man', and he troted to his heels where he could then just have to walk fast.
4th August 2011, 01:33
'His 60th birthday' That hadn't been very long ago, and the leather case was no cheapie either. It had the Western Floral cactus blooms stamped into the leather, all in all, a piece of artwork really. He just hoped he'd not scratch it in the field somewhere.
The 'Corn-binder' was not too fast, but it was sure footed and well suited for the absence of roads, with only an occasional wheel spin through a unknown puddle. He knew his way through these trails because he also had scooter his brother had left him as an inheritance. It was a peculiar Scooter, more motorcycle than scooter and more tractor than motorcycle.
He oftentimes carried a plastic milk crate on a rack in the back and sometimes a few odds and ends in a basket on the front axle. It wasn't very fast, it only really was good for about thirty, though there was more throttle left, it was a bit of a squirrel at higher speeds and it also was two wheel drive which sort of compromised high speed. But chugging through mud holes and through brush and grass, it could not be beat.
He knew what mud hole was shallow and which ones were mushy and deceptive, thus he had stored this mental map and had little trouble driving this much bigger vehicle through the well known trails.
Potato was experiencing something he had only ever had once before. It was that peculiar feeling of weightlessness. It was odd, he felt like the floor was sucking him right into it and in a moment later he was weightless, all his feet off the funny acting floor. This went on for a few minutes, he didn't know what minutes were, but he knew what one or two 'sleep' rest times were. He had past two of them. The floor and funny noises the floor made were getting old, he looked behind him at the big black flat spot this human was setting on and bump.... that feeling again, down and up..... the up launched him this time to just about shoulder level with his human, and the seat was coming up to meet him fast.
Plop and sort of a roll , it was on this thing he hadn't payed much attention to before, all he remembered is that it was slippery and when he ran into the door, the konk on the head, he didn't like. This was great, it was better with the human caressing his back, and he didn't seem to be getting pushed around by this 'odd feeling', the same one that made him hit his head and then be thrown up and frightened.
It was time to pull over, driving through the trail he had come to the location of his first stop, all in all there were two other spots to stop at further down the trail.
The tea would be brewed good and strong by now as the seeping had all taken place inside his thermos, a cup would hit the spot. Potato was waiting.... what comes next.....what next...? The man poured the small cup near full and opened the door and stepped out.
He leaned against the bed propping his elbows and setting the cup down avoiding the drill holes that had left an irregular surface on the top rail, he didn't want the cup off balance..... He surveyed ahead of him the cranes had startled and flown.
Everything was quiet, except the insects with chirping and clicking from all around. Now must be time to get out potato thought, , he couldn't use the window to hold himself up , so just he hopped over the old man onto the grass.
It was soft, but not very cool. He had noticed that, some places were nice to walk on and others were hot and not pleasant to walk or set on. What were these smells everywhere? He couldn't ever remember so many different smells, he recognized the smells of lizards and those brown things on the ground that were sour and wet and left those foul tasting lines, and their two funny whiskers with spots on the ends.
"POTATO come on boy" , was all the coaxing he needed. In more of a leap than a bound, he was running to the mans side ready for people fun.
The old man finished the small cup and set it in on the dash, he would screw it onto the thermos later. Reaching for the gun rack, against the rear window he pulled slightly and the case slid over to where he could lift it off of the remaining hook.
They were off. Potato's mind or 'nose' was on overload, and he had to keep up with the man who took fairly long strides walking down the path.
Potato looked to the left, 'a smell, and to the right with another' smell. Ahead to see he was loosing ground, with the man being distracted with these smells potato thought "I'll explore later, gotta catch the man", as he trotted to his heels, where he could then walk happy.
It is getting better...
4th August 2011, 01:59
What do think DR snatchafalia? care to join.
6th August 2011, 16:45
Come on guys, the more the merrier, there is no wright or wrong, its all good.
7th August 2011, 09:00
Now the old man was using, his nose. No other sense brings back memories like the nose.
He had not been here in 5 years, but instantly felt at home, the trees had got bigger and the branches more spread, but non the less he became sedated. Potato bustled about and the old man viewed him and recorded audio of his presence, but surely was off in a distant time...his 20's maybe, hunting and trapping this land then.
Potato ran with a branch 4 times longer than his body between the old man legs. The dog went one way and the man came directly down. Down in such a manner he slumped to his left extending one arm to brace himself for the ground.
The 1932 Conibear trap snapped over the old mans hand like it was brand new, Partially severing the Ulna and breaking the Radius. Stars was all the old man saw as he crept into unconsciousness.
The old man now laid, anchored to an 100 year old aspen by an 70 year old bear trap, unconscious.
8th August 2011, 20:35
Waking, the old man almost past out from the pain, only the constant licking on his face from potato kept it from happening. " -I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!-, this is not good ", as his head cleared. He reached for the thermos of tea that was still in the pack. He drank some and poured a little over the open wound on the trapped hand. Bitter pain cleared away any doubt this was real.
He studied the trap. It was a common twin spring, but had saw teeth on the trap arms most usually used for wolf or bear. From his youth he recalled the spring pressure to be about 75 to 120 pounds. He also recalled barely, getting one set with two hands and both feet. As an exploratory guess he tried to open the jaws with his only free hand. It moved but just only. " think, think, think ", he grimaced.
Potato was confused on why the man had not got up yet. He lapped at his face and trapped arm and got a calm pat from the man. There were lots of other places to bound about and sleeping here would not be as good as the couch. He sat only a few inches away from the man and watched.
The old man gave potato a reassuring pat and said " Lassie go get help " and grinned. The dog thumbed it's tail on the wet leaves and yelped. He did not go get help, he just thumped his tail.
" well it was worth a try". The old man rolled to his knees in agony and attempted to stand up, but the short logging chain on the trap kept him about 3 foot from standing.
" aw shit " he bellowed and potato backed up. The dog could not reason why he was angry and stooped over. The man was moving up and down and back and forth screaming. The man finally stopped and fell to his knees. Potato jumped up and licked the mans face. It tasted funny now, more wet and it seemed to come from the eyes.
9th August 2011, 04:14
The old man knew brawn was not going to get himself out of this one. He slowed his breathing and thought, what do i have in the pack, and also eyed the mod 21.
Maybe i could shoot it off, was responded with, not a chance in hell, in his head.
Exacerbated by the pain he screamed, " Mother -I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!-er at the top of his lungs ".
Potato moved further back and sensed the blood now. It smelled good in a way, and he was getting hungry.
10th August 2011, 03:52
He had to think... the pain was like electricity, he had never felt this much pain. Potato could sense the man was in pain and it scared him a little, why wouldn't the man move? maybe he needed help, or maybe potato cold coax him by running back to the truck, the man would follow and stop making loud noises potato reasoned, the man would be happy and play with potato. Something wasn't right, potato didn't like it here anymore, he wanted to go back to the truck and go back, back to the garage. The old man was beginning to go into shock, colors were fading to black and white, his hearing was diminishing, he was loosing consciousness, in a minute he would be out. The old man opened his eyes, above him was nothing but blackness, and it felt damp, it was the fog that had rolled in and it was thick, he passed out again. A second time he would wake and still the night had enveloped him in a wet black creeping fog. There were no sounds except the sound of potatoes breathing. He had crawled up between the mans arm and chest, it was warm there, and this air all around him was cold and pushed down on him with a wet that he didn't like. again the passed out from the pain and it wouldn't be till sunrise before he would come to. With the first light of dawn the black was fading to gray, potato was shivering and the old man was very cold too. As it became more light he could once again see the predicament he was in, he could....die here if he couldn't get loose, and the likely hood of that wasn't looking too bright. Potato was awake now too, sleep had been very uncomfortable for him, it was colder than he had ever been. The old man could see the chain now, that part that was exposed above the dirt, as the last few inches were in the dirt and had been for many many years.
He reached across his body to try to get to his knife, it was in his front pocket, the one for his other hand. Damn it this trap hurt, and with every move it reeled his senses. He managed to get the knife out, it was an old US Navy stainless steel knife, it had two blades, an awl and a can opener. He opened the blade, it was difficult to do but he held it with his teeth and pinched and pulled the blade out half ways. he had it in his hand now and pushed the blade open with his thumb. What could he do with this? cut off his wrist? hardly, he could barely stand the pain as it was, though there was a certain numbness creeping in. He pulled up on the chain, pulling it up out of the dirt up to where it was anchored, and he knew well what they had used. It was an auger stake, a spiral wound bar, screwed into the ground about two or three foot, he had seen both sizes, people used them to tie a rope to so their cattle could graze but not wander off, It wasn't going to be unscrewed or pulled up. The chain though, had the last four or five links buried and were just an encrusted mess of dirt and blob of solid rust. Luckily it hadnt grown over with aspen trunk as he first thought it was attatched to. Actually, this aspen wasn't much over 50 years old.The old man needed the awl now, he used his thigh to push the blade around and back, he put the knife in his mouth and pulled at the awl with his fingernail to catch the edge of it. He had it half opened just like he had done with the blade. He had the knife in his hand and pushed it against the chain so as to fully open the awl and knife.He at first stabbed lightly at the rust blob and the point was chipping long decayed rust, some the consistency of hard dirt, none the less it was splitting off much like an ice pick and a block of ice. Bits were breaking free with each pierce of the awl, he would spend twenty minutes before he had chipped away all the rust, but it would be fruitful. One side of the link was only about 1 quarter inch of intact link, the other side slightly more. 70 years underground had almost rusted the chain completley away, but not quite. Now he had a chance to shoot his way to freedom.
10th August 2011, 04:46
The Model 21 was at his side and loaded with both chambers and he had fifteen rounds in the belt loop bandalerro in his backpack. He cocked it and aimed at the links thinest side and fired, It hit the thin side and deformed it, but it had also blasted dirt in his face, between the sweat in his eyes and dirt particles, he thought of another solution. No he wouldn't do that unless there was no hope. He cocked and fired again closing his eyes at the last second, the next round had severed the link on one side, now he had to break through the other side, He fired again and it deformed the other side almost enough to pass a link through, but not quite, it was hard to break the shotgun, but he managed and set it on the ground next to him. He thumbed the lever and it split, he set it down and now picked it up by the barrel and the two spent cartridges fell to the ground, potato sniffed at these, he didn't like the acrid odors and stepped back two steps, the old man pushed two more cartridges in the chambers and picked up the shotgun at the trigger and flipped the stock a quick jerk and it clicked shut, he fired again and the link broke in two, he was free of his chain but most certainly not free of the pain. He picked up the trap with his good hang trying not to jar it any which was almost impossible, but carefully he picked up his model 21 and started back for hit truck. He had to pinch the shotgun between his upper arm and ribs and it kept wanting to slip from such a haphazerd grip, but he would manage.
Potato was hot on his heels, he didn't like this cold fog, he liked the truck. When the old man reached the truck he stooped to set the weight of the trap on the ground and reached with his free hand and twisted the door handle and pulled the door open a few inches. He picked up the trap as carefully as he could and stood up straight, he used his knee to open the edge of the door and then stepped up on the running board and gingerly got in manovering his caught hand and trap onto the seat, then shut the door. Potato had been left outside and yelped, I'm here man, I'm here let me in. He opened the door and potato climbed the step and onto the floorboard and then to the seat, the man yelled to get down, and potato obeyed. He turned the key and after a few revolutions the motor started, it was cold blooded and would have to warm a couple minutes before it would drive him out. He let out the clutch it died, he started it again and pulled out the choke a bit more and let the clutch out again lurching forward, the pain was unbearable when it rocked the trap with his arm, but now he was in first and going slow to avoid bouncing around on the dirt path. He had made it about half way back to the blacktop when he spotted a game wardens truck ahead, and there was a warden in the truck. Continuing as fast as he could drive towards the ranger and honking the bull horn, he now was within help. He pulled up next to the ranger truck and half crazy in pain yelled he needed help. the rangers door opened with his hand on his gun and he aproached the old man and potato, he came closer and imediatly saw the injury. The Ranger helped old man out of the truck taking care to not jar the trap and his arm and got him out on the ground, and quickly positioning the trap, he carefully stood on the springs and the jaws released and fell back then he backed off the trap, but one side of the springs had collapsed and the trap had lost it's closing spring, it was a trap no more. The Ranger helped Old Man into his truck and potato hopped in too, he quickly made his way to the blacktop and on the radio he called his buddy Curtis the Sheriff, who he had seen earlier at the mini mart getting coffee same as him. He said over the radio to meet him at Jones Creek and drive lead with lights and siren into town to the hospital with Old Man and potato. They arrived at Middleton General Hospital and were met at the emergency entrance by a group of medical people, a doctor, 2 nurses and an orderly with a wheel chair, and quickly rushed inside.
Potato was with the ranger now, who was this man, he talked nice to potato, but he wasn't the right old man. But it would be seven days before potato would see old man again.
10th August 2011, 12:58
Danny had come down from his parents cabin he was spending the weekend in with his new girlfriend to visit Old Man for a while. They hadn't seen each other for about a year and a half. Danny had met Frankie (Francis) at a flea market at a table that displayed antique brass figurines where he had stepped accidentally on her toes when suddenly stepping back as the peddler knocked over a brass giraffe while reaching for a small brass elephant to show Danny. Danny had felt the klutz from having stepped on this girls foot, but he hadn't put his whole weight down and they collided, she leaning forward and him recoiling backward.He turned and looked and automaticly issued forth appologies to the unsuspecting victim of his blunder. Inches away from each other she used the old cliche to calm the incident, 'We got to stop meeting like this'....... She was stunning, clearly not the sort of girl that frequented flea markets, or at least not the ones he was accustomed to. Her hair was black and her eyes were vivid Blue, they held him entranced for a moment until he blinked and collected his thoughts and balance. She was wearing a white day dress with all the frills, something that 100 years ago would have been all the rage in the sun-belt states. She smiled, he smiled...... and apologized and offered to remedy the affront with buying her a sweet tea at the stall across and down two places in these rows of stalls. Stunning hardly described her, and the attraction was immediate. He was a handsome man too, Welsh and Brazilian by birth, with dark chiseled features and a dark brown hair that had seen much sun. It highlighted the ends of his hair which was shoulder length. He was uncommon in this area and out of place, and he rode a bike as was apparent by the half helmet he carried with him. She coyly accepted his offer, while discriminantly using her charm so as not to seem forward, but she failed and blurted out another cliche, "all the good ones aren't taken" looking at him eye to eye. Her eyes were intoxicating to him. He handed her the drink and gestured with his hand to the park benches in the area across from the canteen, he pulled off the grey sweathiirt he was wearing and quickly plased it on the bench seat to cover any errant stain she might set onto. he had a sleeveless muscle shirt underneath with a Texaco logo and wings emblazoned across it, She studied his build, she was likeing what she was seeing. He obviously took care of himself which wasn't the case in most of these rural areas. Much of the population was overweight, not ugly usually, just a bit over ample. It discouraged her from having a relationship with the locals since she'd arrived from the Seychelles islands where she had stayed with her mother as a caregiver in her declining years. She had aquired a bronze tan and was radiant as he clearly saw. He started with "you must think me a duffus, stepping on you like that, but I reacted to the falling curio......... He hoped that would be a valid reason for the mishap. She just smiled, leaving that as maybe future banter or amunition in her repitoire.
The crowd was a large one today, but the reason was the cool morning that was absent of the usual stifling oppressive heat that they had endured the past week.His eyes were soaking up her beauty, and she too was gaining glances as the moments passed. She said "I take it you have a motorcycle, by the helmet you carry, and I noticed the sticker you had on it, the Nikon sticker" He did indeed have a strategically placed camera sticker on his helmet. One of his hobbies was photography. "yes he responded, I ride...... you.... he posed the question, and she responded that she had no bike other than a beach cruiser bicycle she rode on the sidewalk on the beach where she lived. She was quite a way from home, but she had come to visit her sister here and needed to get some breathing room from her sisters unruly two children. She would be here until Tuesday before she would head home to the coast. Old Man was in and out of consciousness and had been hooked to a tangle of wires and IV's, His vital signs held steady, and they were working on getting the fever down and then they could reconstruct his arm and wrist .....maybe. There was a very real possibility he could loose his hand, only the next 24 hours would tell. Potato liked this Mans house, it was different than the garage, and it had less stuff against the walls, it actually had nothing against the walls except a water cooler and a cabinet, and the floors were slippery to him and smelled like soap of some kind, not the kind the old man used on his hands, this was different. There was also the absence of Chopper Vince. He didn't know if he liked this place yet. The man pressed his key into the barrel lock of the cabinet and opened it swinging open the door, he broke the shotgun and the two cartredges fell to the floor, he fliched the stock and it shut with a click and he placed it inside the cabinet along with all the other ranger weapons and shut the door and locked it. Potato was batting the spent cases with his paw, but the man picked them up and put them in the trash basket. Potato was becoming bored and except for an occasional playing or scratch, this man wasn't providing enough attention to potato.
15th August 2011, 19:36
The rangers name was Mr. Tulley, and it was nearing 11:30, about the time Curtis would usually come by and Mr. Tulley and Curtis would go down the street to the Buffalo Cafe and get a sandwich an Ice tea. It was the only place that had tea the way both of them liked it, not sweet tea, but just tea on ice with lemon. In these parts 'Sweet Tea' was a cultural thing, but both Curtis and Mr. Tulley were not from here. Mr. Tulley had been working as a ranger in Yellowstone for over fifteen years, but the cold was becoming just too hard for him to deal with, and his wife had been transfered to MT. Crogan as a dispatcher for Pilot Trucking. She had been waiting for a vacancy to come up so she and Mr. Tulley might get out of the cold climate which was catching up with his age. At 49, he had seen a lifetimes worth of work that would have wore the average guy out. Both Mr. Tulley and his wife were only about five years from being able to retire, so this little town suited them fine, Mt. Crogan was only seven miles away for her, and Mr. Tulley only had to walk a block and a half from home to work. Curtis was from Mississippi, and had come here it was going on 6 years ago. He loved the slow pace and the environment of the small town and the friendliness of everybody that lived here. Other than CT Tucker, the town drunk and all around jerk, everybody pretty much behaved themselves, making Curtis's job cake. Tulley and Curtis both decided on the club sandwich and the usual lemon tea, and would spend their fourty five minute lunch there relaxing and having a bite. Potato was alone in the Ranger office, there was nothing to keep him occupied, no Vince, no Old Man, nothing. The only thing breaking the monotony for potato was a certain noise that he kept hearing every few minutes, and had twice heard since Mr. Tulley had left and locked the door. This noise was always followed by the sound of Mr. Tulley, but when potato would look for Mr. Tulley, he was nowhere to be found. Potato was bored to death, he might just as well take a nap..... he was out...! Curtis had decided to stop by the land office to see who's property it was that Old Man had been hurt on, because usually these things turned out with a lawsuit attatched, and everything was fresh so he intended to investigate before things changed or went missing and evidence dissapeared. The marsh where Old Man had been was known to sometimes get anywhere from one or two inches, to last spring when they had a week of nonstop rains averaging an inch every couple hours. Those were the things that could make evidence just vanish or just go away, lost forever. From outward appearances it would look like just another abandoned or lost trap, but there had also been stories of a pit covered with oak planks and a cashe of confederate gold coins and boullion. It could have been put there to disuade people from looking too closely in that area, and an individual or individuals wanted to keep other people out of an area they thought might conain the pit. And........ it could have been any number of places, it would have been a good hiding place if moisture was not a problem, and with gold...... no problem. Curtis had these historic legends and old timer stories to contend with as the ultimate reason for the accident. And accident it was, people only told storries of the cashe, no one ever actually looked for it, at least for any length of time. a couple hours, another case of beer cans and hundreds of 22 casings was all that ever remained of the .....explorations. And truth be known, there was the real treasure, the brass and alluminum. Mr. Tulley had steped up to the landing outside the front door of the Ranger office, and fumbled with the key and lock and potato's ears perked, his new friend was back, oh boy, oh boy..... Tuled oppened the door and came inside. He set down at his desk and pulled out a napkin out of his jacket pocket, it was about a third of a club sandwich of which potato devoured probably without even chewing.. galoooomp and it was inhaled, even for a not so large pup, he made it dissapear near instantly.
Danny and Frankie had went to the hospital to see old man, they had heard from Dannys friend Mr. Steele the cook at the Buffalo cafe, overhearing Tulley and Curtis telling about the accident. Danny and Francis went into Old Man's room, it was a double room, and the other bed was empty, he had the room to himself. His hand, wrist and forearm almost looked like a cast, but they were bandages. The doctors had worked on his wrist and re-attached some nerves and a tendon along with reconstructing a vein which had been severly damaged in the trap. Old Man was fairly responsive, but then too he was feeling no pain, which was fortunate for him. Francis just set next to Old Man and held his good hand. He was liking this, she was so beautiful and charming, who wouldn't want to be made a fuss over by such a lovely as this. Danny only made small talk and talked about whatever Old Man wanted, and he wasn't making a lot of sense just now. Chopper Vince had never had so many days that he couldn't get out of the garage, but the 'man' wasn't anywhere to be seen, and Vince couldn't sneak out while the door was up, instead he was a prisoner these last three days, and he was hungry, and there was no beer cans to empty like there had been, and no Potato to see or smell. The ballence of the world was gone........
20th August 2011, 13:47
Keeter was an old Basque sheep hearder, he had been a second generation sheep man since the 30's when his Father had decided because of age that his oldest two sons should now receive their inheritance's early. Keeter's father had come from the old country, he had remembered Ellis Island and a friend who had come with him from the old country, Ferdinand, a Romanian stone carver by trade. Ferdinand had dreams of settling in Colorado. He had heard of beautiful Alpine meadows and mountains much like his home in the mountainous region of Romania, and he would ply his trade as a monument carver and gravestone maker long enough to build some amount of money and go into what he was really interested in, the new fangled motor carriages that had come around as a way of travel. Ferdinand would eventually settle in Greeley Colorado and start a family. Keeter would settle in Missouri, and later in California in the 40's. Curtis was friends with the librarian Mrs. Emery. He had known Mrs. Emery since he was a kid, and she seemed to be as old as the town, or at least knew all the builders. She also was a wealth of information and the County records would be there. That was what he would want to go through, and find the title and owner of the tract of land where Old Man had been injured. It was likely no suit or charges would be brought, since the trap had come from a time that trapping would have been a means of survival with some of the much older Trappers and mountain men, though this area had few mountains. Curtis and Mrs. Emery had located the tract which belonged to a Man that was listed as living in Illinois. The tract had been bought in 1948 and been vacant since, with the owner paying the taxes but that was about all he had done with the place. Prior to that it had been thought of as wide open spaces, along with any of a hand full of adjoining tracts in the county. It would have fair game to use it as a source of trapping, one of many, but this was a matter of neglect it appeared that had left the trap in an armed position all these years, just waiting for a victim. Though it would be it's last time, it still was a formidable danger, just waiting, deteriorating and waiting. Curtis could find no direct link other than a story that Mrs. Emery knew of, and that was that just there were a pair of brothers who had lived in the area since the 1900's Both were known to trap beaver and muskrat and fox. One had got the cholera in the 10's and died. The other lived until 1971 and passed away at the age of 88. Curtis was beginning to think that these were the responsible parties who had set these traps in the area, and that the one brothers death had left this uncounted trap. When the brother had died, there were stories of lost traps and stories for the benefit of the kids to keep them from trespassing too much that surfaced warning of the lost traps. This must have been the last of that story, in the flesh, come out of antiquity to claim it's last victim. Were there any more? The only person who knew was long gone from this world. Curtis would later tell Old Man that yes he had a claim, but he was on weak ground if he pursued it as it really was no one's fault, just really bad luck on Old Man's part.It would be two more days and he would be released from the hospital to go home and recover for some time. He was lucky that he still had his hand to be truthful, and he wasn't out of the woods as it were just yet either. The doctors had their doubts of how useful his hand would be from now on, but at least he had it. Potato liked riding with Curtis, but he couldn't understand why he had this collar on, and why he couldn't get into the front seat and had to be here with the mans other legs in the back seat. These other legs were funny to Potato, they smelled different and were springy, they weren't like when the man was setting down and Potato would stand with his front paws in the mans lap, no these legs didn't feel the same, there were no insides? Curtis knew he had to bring Potato with him or Potato would surely get into enough mischeif to ruin his office or leave some catastrophe, so he just brought Potato with him on the calls he had to do that day. Danny put the key into the tumbler and turned, the door opened. Angus's door swung open. Angus was Old Mans God given name, but few knew that bit of information except Curtis and Mrs. Emery. Inside it was stuffy and stale and had a foul odor of spoiling dog food in Potatos dish. Francis picked it up and tossed it into the bushes on the side of Old Mans cabin while Danny opened the windows to let in some fresh air. Francis located the laundry room and went ahead and gathered up any laundry she could find along with Old Mans bedding and began the wash. Danny checked the fridge to make sure there was no spoilage there and found it all in order, he also found a fan to set in the window, but the cord was too short to plug in. Danny went out the back door and stepped on the stepping stones Old Man had laid between the house and the garage, they were perfectly placed Danny thought, no matter which foot you started off with, it 'fit', there was no miss-step. He opened the side door and entered the dark garage feeling around near the door jam for the light switch. He would not find one, instead he would light his lighter and spot the string hanging from the rafters in the light socket and pull it. Now there was light, he spotted the extention cord on the wall and grabbed it and walked back to the cabin, he would come back and get a wrench to turn the propane on on the BBQ Old Man had. Him and Francis had brought Hamburger and fixings to make burgers for a couple days. Vince saw his chance and shot across the room, he had just about made it when the man re-appeared in the doorway, U turn..... Vince shot back to under Old Mans motorcycle, the man walked over to the tool box roll-away and opened the top drawer, looked and closed it and opened the next and so on until he got to the fourth drawer where he found the cresent wrench. Vince shot across the short distance to the open door without Danny even seeing him,
Ok...... he was outside, The goldfish pond was just around the side of the garage between the Cabin and where he was, no one around and Vince hurried over to it and drank long finally getting his fill. He would hide under the woodpile for a few minutes until these people left, and then he would find something to eat. He could smell something, something framiliar. It was Potato's food dish. It was just on the other side of the bushes next to the wood pile, and he could go behind everything and not be seem. Vince found the dish, but it was smelling not so good, although there were hard little brown pieces that didn't smell bad. He would eat these, there were a few of them, and he would leave the other, it wasn't fit to eat, even for Vince. Francis had loaded the washer and was putting the bleach into the agitating washer, then shutting the lid she would make some boiling water for coffee.
7th September 2011, 10:47
Anyone going to join in and write? come on, no special skills needed, just an imagination. I beleive I'v set a fairly good story into motion with enough charictors to take you anywhere you could want to go. I admit, it was hard to come out of a BEAR TRAP catastrophe gracefully, or ........at all.
30th December 2011, 17:13
Old man gave me a call later that day out of the clear blue, He told me of his harowing adventures as of late, all I could do was gasp. We talked a while and he asked about Lance and Mark, a couple of buddies he had met through me. I told him of our latest adventure, and he was quite amazed. Old Man I said, this is what has taken place since I saw you last, and you wouldn't believe it, here goes......
As we descended through the darkness one point seemed to be coming to the forefront of our thoughts..... who had built these tunnels and why were they evidently so large? I would imagine that if people of ancient times had carved and made these passages, they likely would have made them proportionate to their statures. Why would some race of underground dwellers make these passages any bigger than needed? It surely would have been a Herculean enough of a task in the first pace just making minimum passages. We were to find out later the reason for the sheer sizes we encountered. From the outside, these tunnels typically were covered or obscured by the natural terrain, often with the presence of large boulders, and in such a way that unless you were to walk behind a seemingly plain bolder, you would likely walk right past the entrances. There was a clever method to their hiding, and it seemed wherever you found one, there was some feature close by that would ultimately dazzle you and attract your attention, thus dismissing the real location as nothing of interest. In that way, you were likely to favor the feature and ignore the area of the openings. Clever indeed, or human nature? What had started as just conversation and tales around a campfire one summer evening, evolved into the discovery of a story known only locally, more an ancient history or legend. As with most legends, this one was enticing and mysterious, a sure recipe for adventure. It was ultimately forgotten though and only by accident was it found. There was a reference in the newspaper archives in the local library of two brothers, miners, who had claimed to have found a tunnel while prospecting, and had explored the opening, but had to return later with lanterns to explore much past what light was available from the opening. The opening afforded about two hundred feet of light in the late afternoon during the summer months just before sunset, so it was decided rather to try exploring with lanterns during the daylight hours so as to still have light upon their return to the surface, thus allowing them easier access and a bit of time to prepare for their return to town when they had finished their explorations. It was at first guessed to be only three or four hundred feet in length because the light seemed to die out about the same time the outside light became too distant to illuminate the passage with any appreciable light or reflection from the opening. But in fact what they were seeing in their somewhat dim lantern light was now known to be a wall of almost entirely crystalline composition which had the effect of absorbing the light somehow. This is where the prospectors were to believe the tunnel ended, but later exploration by myself and two friends Mark and Lance would find this to be essentially a dead end mirrored wall. However, unless we were to actually go to the absolute end of the passage, we would have easily overlooked the sharp left turn this passage made.... it was disguised that well. Having LED lighting and the latest in illumination devices, we were afforded much much better and brighter illumination, thus our discovery overlooked by the prospectors that were fooled with the false end. We had come fairly well prepared, with lighting, climbing gear, repelling gear and enough rations, snacks and water to actually last in the tunnel for two to three days. Of course these rations were not five star resterant quality, but on the other hand we had gourmet jerky and trail mixes that were top notch high end stuff. There was much speculation and outright guessing as to how or who had constructed this particular tunnel. It was apparent that it was absolutely not formed by nature. Along the way and along the high sides were what appeared to be holes that were about ten inched in diameter and most were about eighteen to twenty inches deep into the walls, with some appearing to have crush marks or spaulding of the edges on the sides facing inward. We would later learn their purpose. The tunnel seemed to go the initial first section where the left hand junction was, and then to descend in a fairly gradual decline. I'd say that in fifty foots distance one would drop in elevation by aproximately five to eight feet, so it didn't take to far to start descending some appreciable depth in relationship to the entrance. We had traveled what we had estimated to be about a bit over a quarter of a mile when we encountered the end. At least it appeared that way, but once again it was due to the peculier crystalline surface ahead of us. We did in fact come to an end of sorts, but not as we had expected. One thing that was curious was that from the opening all the way to where this vertical tunnel was, the entire length was the same heigth and width. It didn't vary much more than mere inches at most. Again at this vertical area was the holes on the sides of the walls near the roof, and they were also eighteen to twenty inches deep, and nearly perfectly round. We had guessed that they had been used as anchors, and round wooden poles were being used with some apparatus like a block and tackle to pull sleds or some such devices, as the floor which was relatively flat, had evidence of heavy objects being dragged, and scored lines were to also be seen on the floor of the tunnel, along with the first turn where the walls also had evidence of these dragging scuff marks.We lowered a flashlight down into this pit with some construction line we had brought for use if we needed a line to guide our exit of the cave, but hadn't needed it as the tunnel was fairly straight forward with no offshoot tunnels to become confused in, just the main passage.We had let out about seventy or eighty feet by our estimation when the light touched down on another floor. Would this floor be the end? we guessed not, but the only way to know would be to repel down to the bottom. Fortunately the air seemed to be of a fairly good oxygen content and seemed to have a faint flow to it. It seemed to come up from the depths. Our problem now was in securing our repelling ropes to something that would support them. There was nothing however to tie to, and it looked like the petons would have a difficult time if we chose to pound them into the floor. There were no fissures in the rock, nowhere to even attempt to pound one in let alone a reserve one for safety. We would ultimately be forced to leave this tunnel and have to regroup and return on the next day. With some careful measuring, we determined that the holes in the walls would in fact support a round wooden pole of about ten inches diameter, slightly larger than we had initally thought them to be. Later that afternoon after we left we would go to Lowes and find nothing that worked as we wished, instead Lance had some remnants of very heavy thick-wall high pressure plastic pipe that was used by the utilities there with the road department. It was ten inches in diameter and had a wall thickness of a half inch. This would be perfect to push into the holes as support, moreover it was a slip joint piece that he had so the end was a diameter of around twelve inches which afforded us an end that the rope would not slide off of or work its way off. We cut this pipe to twenty four inches in length so that nearly all but about five inches could be inserted into the rock holes. With these pipes in place, we had made two, one for this pit and one to lower and have at our disposal if we encountered more pits. After securing our ropes to a harness we had made to tie to the pipe with caribiners, Mark was the first to descend. He had decided to go first being the lightest, and our untested pipe would be tested with Lance and I as safety anchors in case the pipe pulled out somehow. It seemed prudent to accomplish the decent that way. There was no wobble or pulling of the pipe and it stayed in place perfectly, although w had wrapped the pipe with duct tape to act as a cushion between he pipe and the rock and diminish the chances of it pulling out, but that was to prove to be overkill in the end, but for peace of mind only. Mark made it to the bottom of he pit and it was in fact about seventy feet deep, and there was as we expected, another passage veering towards the same direction as the upper passage. we were now on. It took another couple minutes for Lance and I to descend down to where Mark was. Once there, it appeared much the same as the upper passage in nearly every was. There were the holes in the walls every thirty or so feet and the consistent scrap score lines on the floor, evidently from dragging some type of sled. Something curious occurred to me as we were making our way deeper into the tunnel, and that was.... why were there no tire or wheel marks instead, surely whoever carved out these tunnels had access to some wheeled type of sled ? or were the loads carried too heavy for even metal wheels? This would puzzle me for some time, and eventually I would find the answer much deeper inside. We had traveled now for about the better part of an hour and a half and made excellent time. Of course it was an easy walk in and an equally easy descent repelling down. Resting for a few minutes, we determined that all our equipment was intact, we had plenty of time left on our lighting and nothing amiss, it was time to continue our decent. Now however the decent was proving to be somewhat steeper that the first stretch. It was about half again more of a grade than the upper grade, but not difficult. It was however a bit more tiring with the increased steepness as walking down hill always proves to be. This passage would turn out to be much more lengthy than the first however, and we estimated that in two and a half hours time that we had traveled somewhere in the neighborhood of a mile. The air still seemed good enough with no undue staleness to it. We had now approached the noon hour in our exploration, having started just a bit after nine o clock this morning, and had to decide what our plans would unfold into. As I said, we had brought provisions for around two whole days time if we need that much. More if we found a source of drinkable water. At that point, we could easily enough stretch out our rations to possibly four days. We would never guess what would change that estimate as we descended deeper and deeper. As we proceeded further and further, there was beginning to be a distinctive sound, a sound as yet unrecognisable, but perceivable just the same. We would travel for another two entire hours steadily descending, deeper and deeper. Though at one point the floor was a bit more difficult for walking as it seemed to be covered with a fine sand and proved to be somewhat slippery in places causing all of us at one time or another to slip and fall on our butts at least once or twice. But this stretch only lasted for about four or five hundred feet or so. The composition of the rock had changed somewhat to a more sedimentary type of rock, thus he loose sands. It would now be coming up on six hours underground and our thoughts were on finding a place to arrange our gear and sleeping equipment. As luck would have it, as well as a little mystery, we had descended to a chamber that opened up into what I can only describe as a large domed room. The ceiling was at least thirty feet if it was an inch. and to our direct front, the passage split into two different tunnels and in every way, the same as what we had traveled all the day earlier, however these tunnels had the difference of being very close to level. We were becoming weary from the hike now and it was unanimous that we set up our arrangements and sleeping supplies here in this spot. The sound I mentioned earlier was now distinctly louder, yet still not to be recognised. But it was enough along with weary muscles to lull you to a sound deep comfortable sleep. My watch read 10:15 when the last of the conversation turned to snores. Luckily and planned, our lighting or night light was LED with just enough light to illuminate the immediate area and power miserly to last upwards of 50 hours continuously. However it would only see about five or six hours use each time we stopped to sleep. Once back awake, after six hours of sleep, we had to decide how we were going to proceed.... if we went further in, it would take us to the point of no return as it depended now entirely on our provisions and how much water we had left. All provided nothing unexpected occurred. I think wisely we decided to only explore further for a couple hours, but leave out supplies and nap-sacks there at our sleeping area. Nearing the end of our agreed two more hours, fortune would have it that we would discover running water, and while it tasted of iron somewhat, it was palatable. This would play greatly in our next decent as we now knew we could carry only half as much water and more foodstuffs instead, rather than needing that amount for he return. The return was uneventful, the ascent up the pit was non-eventful though a bit timely, though the pipe held perfectly with no movement. It took us until around noon to emerge from the tunnel into the brightness which seemed overwhelming after twenty four or so hours of darkness. Fortunately the last stretch of the exit prepared us with ever brightening sunlight until we emerged. We would return as soon as we had restocked our supplies and a couple additional things we had not thought to bring originally. We had thought that tomorrow would see us back here again. As fate would have it interruption would have us away from this location for quite some time. In fact it would be nearly four months before we could return. Illness had affected Mark in the form of a hernia. He would have a surgery one month after our last outing to the cave, and during recovery we would spend hours and hours on our impending game plan. Recovery was slow for Mark, at 44 years old, he wasn't a kid anymore, and it took the better part of the four months until we had a solid group again. This time we had devised a sort of folding cart with wheels and a lanyard to pull it with. This would allow us a bit more speed in our descent on the longer down hill stretches. and allow just a bit more supplies.
By now Old Man was on the edge of his seat. I had all his attention, and the story was told in a naritive way. Old Man I said, "there's more".
It was decided that this next Saturday would be the day of our next adventure, and we were anxious. Saturday came, and it was early, this would have been the season the original explorers had entered. It was mid April, and the sun shone long in the sky as it headed to the equinox. Though we scarcely need the suns illumination, it somehow had heightened our spirits as spring always does. This time it took us about an hour and a half to get to our deepest mark to date. The cart was a mixed blessing, but all in all it functioned as well as could be expected, and the descent speed was well within the acceptable. We would now leave it along with most of our gear here at this room, or what I would call, more of a landing. To our front the tunnel continued but within a hundred yards it would amazingly split into two passages. By our reckoning, the right passage would lead to the north, north east. but we couldn't be sure as the compass gave irregular readings that we accounted for by the fact of the iron in the rock. It was evident in the water we had found back some ways. As we deliberated which direction to follow, we again heard the distant sound of water. It was most recognizable in the left tunnel. These were not caves, they were deliberate at this point, and had been for some while, there was no mistaking that they were fashioned with tools of some sort, and though the surfaces were rough, it was apparent they were man made. With our gear stored just a hundred yards behind us, we decided that travel would include only the minimum of supplies. This in turn helped us to decide if the sound of water would play an important role in our choice of direction. We decided on the right tunnel. Mark had spoken little, and I had wondered if his recent operation was bothering him, but, I figured if it was he would have said something by now. This tunnel continued for about what seemed like a quarter mile and then leveled off. The walking was easy, as a constant down hill always seems to wear a bit more than uphill or level. Stopping to listen, we heard nothing, no water, no wind, nor did we feel any movement of air, all was still and silent. Continuing on, and with an abundant light supply, we could see the stratification in the rock and though we were traveling level, the stratification was at an uphill plane in relation to the floor, and it had changed composition slightly. It seemed composed more of sandstone or a limestone like strata. It had a certain opaqueness, yet a sort of iridescence to it. Continuing on, we seemed to second guess ourselves as to whether or not we might have been better off to have taken the left tunnel instead. But that was not to change our path. We had been in the tunnel now for around two and a half hours, and now it seemed that we had made as much distance in an hour as we had in two hours of our original descent. Well traveling level ground made for a fairly rapid consumption of the distances. Lance was now taking the lead, and increasing the speed of our walk, and really it was still a comfortable rate. We soon found ourselves entering a room of considerable size. It was more like a hall, and a great hall at that. I'd of guessed it was about 700 feet long, and about 900 feet wide, and the ceilings at least four hundred feet high. This was a Grand Hall and along the walls were carved columns, columns that spread all around the borders of this hall. The columns were simple, yet each one had a pedestal carved into the top and bottom and the column itself slightly larger girth in it's mid height. The columns were separated by around ten feet all around except for the middle of each wall where three columns combined on each side of a passageway leading out. The ceiling was domed, and there appeared no ornamentation, just a smooth appearance. The floor seemed smooth and had no pits or downward leading entrances, it just went from us into the distant walls uninterrupted. Our lights spread eerie shadows along the walls as we moved towards the center of this hall. Who could have possibly made this, and where were they, Were they still somewhere not too far away, did someone or something know of our presence? We all without thinking quickly made our way to the far side and took up places behind the columns and stopped. What were we to think of this. Lance had supposed that it was very ancient, but Mark expressed just the opposite, while I really hadn't formed a concrete opinion. There was no debris as one would think, but then if it was cleaned after it's last use and abandoned, there would be none. There were no clues. only questions. Slowly and quietly we made our way to the passage across from the tunnel we had exited. We had come within about twenty foot of the opening and stopped. Again we listened, and again there was nothing...... our breathing the only sound above our hearts. Lance decided to take this tunnel out of the hall where we had stopped, and took only his light, we stayed with the rest.He was gone for about a half hour before he returned, and upon his arrival his excitement had fully taken him over. I tried to quiet him some but he paid little regard, nor was he concerned of the necessity of our being quiet. He had exclaimed that he had found an opening, an opening into another ....world, yes he had traveled some quarter mile to find the tunnel opened into an underground world with it's own lighting, a somehow illuminated valley, one with trees, green shrubs and a sky, a sky the color of sunset, hues of pinks, reds and oranges. and that there seemed no horizon to be seen, but that he had rushed back to tell us. We grabbed our things and followed down this tunnel almost at a trot until at last we exited the tunnel into a vast underground world, complete with sky. Looking around we were amazed at what we were seeing, a lush forest, an almost tropical forest with many kind of what appeared to be ferns and an eiray of every conceivable color of flowering plant. The atmosphere was thick with humidity and in the distance a fog hung over the entire horizon. We were only a few feet from the lushness of some primeval jungle. In the distance we could hear the sound of what appeared to be birds or something that occupied this forest, though were we were it was somehow arrestingly quiet. There seemed only an occasional rustling nearby, and certainly it was a small creature, but nothing easily seen. We decided the first thing to do was to set up a base camp, bit not in the open, but rather inside the lushness of all the dense undergrowth, in the event we needed to keep ourselves unseen. After all this was a foreign world to us, and if there were occupants, how would they take to us if we stumbled upon them or them upon us? There appeared no paths in our immediate vicinity, so we began making a small clearing, carefull not to disturb our cover. The soil here was a deep blackish brown, no doubt it was the most fertile we had seem in ages anywhere. There seemed to be the usual type of creatures such as worms and curiously what we had always called 'Sal-Bugs' a little armadillo like bug that would roll up into a ball if disturbed. There were grasshopper like bugs, only in minature and the soil was teeming with microscopic life no doubt. Lance and Mark and I began planning what we would do now that we had found this world, and it was decided that they would go back and get our gear while I stayed here and reconnoitered the area. They quickly were off. Something curious, the light never seemed to diminish any inside this world we had found, nor did it get any brighter. It's source must have been something constant. I'll have to admit that while they were gone I was slightly on edge, the silence was unnerving a bit, and I felt as though I was being observed, not so much watched as observed. and in fact I was. As I sat waiting, having made a small clearing, I had discovered a small boulder to set on and as I faced the vastness of the forest, I spied a lizard. It was a normal lizard as lizards go, gray and green and it was curious about it's new neighbor. I wondered if it had eve seen another human as it seemed to find no fear at the sight of me, nor when I moved toward it, it neither moved or expressed any concern. About a little over an hour had passed and I heard Mark and Lance coming back through the tunnel, quietly but audible. They had brought everything that they thought we might use or have need of, but since we had found this habitat, some of what we brought would not be needed and was left behind. As they returned and saw the clearing I had worked on, we began to set up our ropes and tarps so as to make a shelter. We would later find ourselves wondering why we had bothered. The light neither increased nor decreased, it was a constant, and nothing but the thickest of rain forest lay ahead of us. This reminded me of pictures I'd seen of the Olympic Rain Forest in Washington, a place of seemingly perpetual rain. We decided to rest up for a while and have something to eat and also brew up some coffee. We were set for a while...................
Neither Mark nor Lance nor I had the slightest idea where we were other than at the end of a long tunnel, and an artificial one at that. Somewhere above some six hours away, the world blundered along placidly, oblivious to the world we had discovered. Had it been discovered before, or had the outside world been discovered from here?
I had brought a bowie knife, but none of us had brought a machete, which would have come in real handy where we were heading. The quest was on, we decided to take only the necessities in case we somehow became lost from our camp here, and were unable to find our way back for some reason. The first thing we did is locate some sturdy small trees and cutting off a couple straight branches, fashion them into spears. We had no idea what we might encounter and were wary of our new environment and this afforded us some feeling of safety. I led the way through the dense undergrowth, but our progress was slow. We forged ahead for about an hour until the undergrowth seemed to split into a path. It didn't appear traveled, but then we didn't know what might travel upon it if at all. The sky seemed to change color, more into the yellows, brighter somewhat, and in the distance we thought we heard the sound of a waterfall or some brook perhaps. We had crossed several small creeks along the way, the water crystal clear and excellent for drinking, so there was no fear of thirst where we were heading. As we went, occasionally a lizard or two would appear, and again they were oblivious to our presence. Further ahead I saw the first bird of many I would later encounter. It looked odd, sort of like a parrot except it had a bit more reptilian look to it, a bit more steeped in antiquity than the birds known on the surface. Deeper we explored into this lush paradise, and at last we came into an opening. It was a lake if you'd call it that, though smaller, it was probably a good half mile across to the far side and surrounded by this dense forest. Off to our left was a waterfall that spilled over a cliff, a steep foothills behind it. the Hills seemed to rise several thousand feet, yet the shy seemed even that much hugher, and the sky actually seemed to not have a roof as you'd imagine, instead it obscured into fog and clouds. It was hard to determine the height. In the distance for the first time we heard a trumpeting, something like what an elephant would make, but too distant to be sure how far. In the lake along the edges fish were to be seen, they appeared like trout and were arrayed with the most exquisite of colors. This was noted, as a probable source of foodstuffs in the future if need be,as well we kept our eyes open for fruits or berries along the way. There was no night here, only perpetual day, yet in some way the growth of plants seemed static, neither getting larger or dying back. If we were to find our bearings, surely it would come by finding the highest point in this new world, so we decided it best if we skirted the lake and sought to ascend the hills behind the waterfalls. It took some time to reach the falls, but once the ascent started, it wasn't long until we were at a tree line. I would guess we had ascended 2,000 feet above the lake and had come to the point where only grasses grew, a velvety green landscape all around. To our left further along the hilly range, it seemed a continuation of that which we had just climbed, while across the lake it appeared that the lushness ended abruptly and began what seemed like sand dunes, short, but definitely sand, and from the way we came, was only low forest with no hills, going back into the fog that bordered everything. we decided that we would take the route that skirted the lake and try to reach the sandy plain dotted with dunes. This would give some idea of the extremes we might find in this underground world. We stopped to rest, and again snack and to ponder what we had discovered. Had any human been here before? That question seemed madness...... who had built the Great Hall, or the tunnels? It had to be humans, who else could have, or what else? Inside his world there was a certain stillness and silence that was only broken by small flocks of birds in the distance. That is all we had seen, what else besides lizards lived here? Were there people? As of yet, there was nothing to indicate the presence of anyone else man nor beast..... except the far distant trumpeting of some beast, or was it just a bird? We would not travel far before we were stopped in our tracks. Straight ahead of us was a stone well, circular about 8 foot in diameter and about two foot high. This was no natural formation, it was built by human hands. It had moss growing along the bottom and by the looks of it had rested undisturbed for ages uncounted, yet it had not deteriorated. Inside it almost appeared empty except for the reflection of light that appeared 50 or 60 foot from the surface. Along the inned wall were absent stones which formed foot and hand holds down to the edge of the water, what an odd construction this was. We were off, ahead we traveled on fairly rolling hills, with nothing but an occasional bird flying by. We reached the border of the sand plain after about two hours, rested and ate some. We had started almost 30 hours ago, and it had not seemed more than just a few hours. How long did we expect to stay? Nobody could say. We would stay until we were too low on food to continue, or until............ well we really didn't know when. After all, who had ever discovered such a magnificent land or world, and what awaited us on the outside compared to this paradise? A worn out dingy used world. Lance had a watch and we were coming up on 48 hours since we had left the surface, we had been in this world two days, and it scarcely seemed more than a single day, we would have to keep better track of our time and designate times for sleep or we would find ourselves loosing our sense of time. As we made our way along the border of the sand and the lush grass, we decided to pull off and head towards the more dense area with tree cover, if for nothing more than a sense of security from the cover it provided. We quickly made a small clearing to sleep and a small place above to guard from. What were we guarding from? We didn't know, but somehow we thought it prudent to keep an eye and sleep two at a time while one watched. As we took turns sleeping the fog seemed to roll in and in just a few minutes we were fully enveloped in it. It seemed darker, but the temperature seemed steady and not uncomfortable. In fact the climate here in this world seemed to be a perfect temperature, I'd guess about 80 degrees. Neither hot or cold. Sleep came quickly, and lasted a long time. The hours had caught up with us and all of us slept. I was the first t awake, the fog had dissipated and it was again a yellow hued sky. Mark woke next and we talked quietly while Lance still slept. We heard a trumpeting again, this time it was closer, how close we knew not. But I would have thought likely less than a quarter mile at most. Lance stirred and awoke. We decided to have what could be called breakfast, and brewed some coffee and hydrated some eggs and ham to heat. I was he first real meal we had prepared, and it hit the spot. We wondered what we would find, or which direction we would go? Across the sands, or skirt the grass. For the time being we would skirt he grass. As we went, the grass became denser and much taller, and in places reached well above our heads. Bing was tough, snaking through the grass. Finally we came out into a forested area, ferns replaced the grass and it seemed to extend like a meadow. Along our left were cliffs, the bases of the rolling hills we had come across. Still the sky seemed yellow, ant we looked anxiously to see a roof, we had envisioned being inside a huge cavern or on the interior of the earth, something of the idea of Agartha, spoken of in legends, believed to exist inside the hollow earth. Yet we could see no such ceiling. Trekking forward, we would discover something that would amaze us. We hadn't gone too far before we came upon a pool of water, and all around it prints, roundish foot prints, something like an elephant would make. Was this the trumpeting we had heard in the distance before? There was only one way to find out, after all where were we going? We had no destination really, only thing was, not to get lost, and we felt we could easily backtrack our path so far as we had come. I led, followed by Mark, followed by Lance. The prints were fairly easy to follow, and we made good time. After about a half hour, we were back into the tall grass again, but the prints and path had left us a much easier trail to navigate through. A trumpeting, this time very close, it was only yards away. We froze, silently I pointed back the way we came and Mark and Lance knew exactly what the plan was........ retreat. We backtracked probably 50 yards and decided to circle around to the right and see if we might run into shorter grass or forest that might give us a better view while affording some safety if this was what we thought it was, an Elephant. We took some time but we did find that the grass died out into a tree covered canopy of forest and that the thickness of the trees could provide a certain amount of invisibility. As we skirted along through the tree trunks silently, we came upon the creature responsible for the sounds of trumpeting , and it was no elephant, this was Mammoth. That explained the size of the prints, they were I figured about 18 or 20 inches in diameter. This thing was huge. It stood 20 foot tall if it was an inch, it seemed as big as a cement truck. But the thing that stopped all three of us, was it's stare. It saw us, it was quite aware we had followed it there and it knew. The look in the eyes, the look was like nothing I'd ever seen, it could see into me, it could read my intentions, I believe it knew what I was thinking, it had a control of the situation It raised it's huge tusks, tusks that curled into magnificent arches, it's head high in the air and then stood on only its hind legs, front feet bent, and it reached nearly 3 stories into the air. I couldn't move, nor could Mark and Lance. We were transfixed. The Mammoth dropped one leg and raised the other, it's mouth moved, and I heard a sound. A deep voice, a powerful voice, it uttered "COME" ............ I could not imagine it was speaking and I understood. The voice was deep and it uttered it again.... "COME".... I stepped out from behind the tree I was using as cover and took a few steps toward it, Mark and Lance stayed behind, semi hidden behind the trees. The Mammoth dropped to all fours and faced me, I looked into his eyes and walked forward. I knew, I don't know how I knew, but I did, that there was no need for fear, that I was meeting a great mind, an intelligence even superior to mine. I asked, who are you..... he just stared into my eyes, then he said, "I am MAW" .....come. And there was no fear in me. I walked up to him, I stood five foot from his eyes, I can not tell or describe the feeling or look other than it was to look into a persons eyes, the same as if you looked into your own in a mirror, the way time stops, the way you see inside. I stood there looking, and said who are you audibly, he blinked and dropped his head slightly and spoke, and I understood. His voice was deep, the deepest I'd ever heard, but he said" I am MAW, I live in this valley, why do you come here? Who are you and where do you come from. He spoke English, and his mouth matched his words, I wasn't imagining this, nor was it mental or something, it was real. He pushed me with his tusks to the left and said come this way, and bring those two with you, so I allowed him to lead and I followed. I signaled for Mark and Lance to follow, and they quickly did, catching up quickly. I followed Maw through a stand of trees and between two tall cliffs into a hidden hollow. The cliffs opened up into a giant arena the size of football field. there were pillars around a central pond and along the outer sides next to the cliffs were fruit trees abounding with fruit. There were hundreds an hundreds of trees and in the center it was sand. This was obviously where he stood at rest or slept and it was littered as you would expect. when we reached the insides, a asked him ..... how can you speak, and he said, he could read my mind and form those sounds, and that his language was not too unlike mine in sound, then I asked him if there more of his kind, and he said there were many many of his kind, and that there were once a kind like me and my friends who lived here, but that he had not seen any in the time he was alive, but in the time of his Father they were. I imagined their lifespan probably 75 or 80 of our years, but I didn't know, I didn't know squat really about these creatures. But I suspected they could reasonably outlive a human, so that had to mean there had been no humans for probable 50 or 100 years?
Where was I and what was I doing here? Above my Daughter and Son were working, living, doing whatever, polititions getting ready for elections, the world almost out of control, wars, oil, all the crap on the surface. What would now drag me out of here?
Old Man just shook his head, "What the hell would have persueded you guys to do that, it's been a long tome since we went caving...........What happened next?..................
30th December 2011, 17:15
I said.... Old Man, they were tunnels. And were going back, do you wan'a come?
30th December 2011, 17:36
It would have been tough to try to describe this place, it was otherworldly, because it was one.
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