Tonight four friends took a hike through the woods in the spirit of Adventure.
What ensued was an hour of the most grueling terror. Unimaginable horror that the movies can’t even recreate. This is the story of Vincent Hannam, Roger Thacher, Luis Penedo, and Brian- Luis’ roommate.
Before we trekked out, we came together in this pavilion where Luis spotted something on a picnic table. It was a sleeveless sports jersey with what number on the back? 13. I can’t make this stuff up. Only a mere 10 minutes later Luis gets a reminder text message on his phone concerning a BLOOD drive on October TWENTY-THIRD.
Therefore, we were sufficiently freaked out even before starting our journey into the moonlit abyss of the Florida scrub. As we walked we of course threw sticks and pinecones into the brush to scare each other. It worked. Eventually we came upon a compound structure. The kind of floodlighted, gated fortress you see in Zombie stories. Naturally we strolled towards it and discovered it was the UCF softball field. A bird whistled- the Threshold Guardian- that officially instigated the adventure. The first challenge was to jump the chain linked fence about, oh say, 10-12 feet high? First Brian hopped over and then Luis followed by myself. Roger had some issues unfortunately. We were in the dugout just taking pictures when Luis spotted a light, like a flashlight, and we got the hell out of Dodge, so to speak. After that ordeal we got back on the path and continued to follow the “Red Arrow.”
Treading through a stretch of isolated field we heard a noise- a rustling in the bushes. We froze and heard it breathing as it slowly lurched away. Now I eat my carrots so my eyesight isn’t the worst and I could just make out a black mass about knee tall lumbering along. We took the still unidentified beast in and ventured on towards darker depths of the jungle.
This was our Heart of Darkness.
Like Marlowe on the Congo, I traveled through the unknown wilderness that is the human condition. Nearing the end of our odyssey we heard another rustling to our right and paused. As we listened we realized that this fiend was not backing away. In fact it was almost as if it were walking towards us. For five minutes the four of us stared at the bush we were certain was concealing the creature as it stared right back. It knew of our presence from Luis yelling, “Hello! We want to talk to you!” Despite the flashing of our cameras we could not see the animal and decided it would be best to leave the monster in peace.
In the aftermath of our beastly encounters we made our way back to the lights of the UCF campus and civilization. As we sit here now playing Guitar Hero: World Tour we reflect on our adventure and how next time Armando is coming with us.
October 7, 2009