Saturday August 6, 2017

I woke up on my back, looking at fog above me. The wind rustled my clothes slightly, and I swayed as though I was in a heavy hammock. I looked to my sides, seeing rope railings. I pushed myself up, by fingers passing through wooden planks that were worn from countless years of use. I looked around, but couldn’t see more than thirty feet in any direction with the fog obscuring my view. I carefully hoisted myself up and listened for anything to indicate where I was. The wind continued to rustle my clothing slightly, and the bridge below me creaked quietly from my weight.

I saw the walkway curving up slightly on each side, giving me nothing except the knowledge that I was somewhere in the middle. I patted my pockets, but they were empty. I didn’t think that it was likely I would find a cell signal here anyway, but I did feel a bit naked without so much as my wallet. I squinted in each direction for a long moment before picking one. I held the railing and stepped carefully. Not wanting to know how far the drop was.

I walked up the incline for about a minute before I noticed that the bridge wasn’t getting any steeper. That didn’t make sense… I turned around and saw that the bridge behind me also curved slightly upward. Unless I was on some kind of treadmill, this was impossible. I thought for a moment before reaching down and inspecting the wood below my feet. The planks were rounded on their sides from use, giving me nothing to pry up. I grunted in frustration as my fingers slipped along the edge and resorted to using my fingernails to gouge a line in the board. It took a minute, but when I stood up I could clearly see it.

Satisfied, I walked ahead twenty paces, until the board I had marked was well beyond my view. I then turned around and made my way back, my head scanning the planks ahead of me as I walked on. Once I had gone thirty paces, I knew that I had gone past the point that I had marked. I carefully retraced my steps, but still found nothing.

“Oh, come on!” I yelled into the fog. I shook the bridge, causing the entire structure to sway. “Is this suppose to be some kind of metaphor? Should I make a leap of faith?”

My voice was swallowed by the fog, and I received no answer. I cursed, wishing again that I had any kind of tool on me. I ran forward, heedless of my heavy steps causing the walkway to sway. This turned out to be a bad decision, as after a dozen steps I tripped on a support rope and fell prone. The bridge swayed to the side and I slipped off the edge. During the fall, my leg became entangled in the railing support rope and my fall was arrested by a wrenching to my calf. I gasped in pain, but grit my teeth and waited to stop swinging.

Once I had mostly stopped, I tried to cross my legs for support as I pulled myself upward. My abdomen burned as I reached for the rope, but it just out of my reach. I was hanging askew from one leg, and couldn’t straighten myself enough to pull up and grab the rope. I hung there for a minute, trying to figure out what to do, when off in the distance I heard the sound of metal boots on wood.

My heart and mind began racing. If I was caught like this, I would be helpless. I reached up again, ever closer but not quite able to reach the rope and pull myself up. I grabbed my pant leg and desperately tried to climb my own leg, feeling the strain in the back of my knee. I heard the steps coming closer, and my mind raced for something, anything that I was missing. My abs burned incredibly, but I reached the rope around my leg and got my fingers under it. I tried to twist and shake my leg loose, but it was stuck tight. Sweat ran down my forehead as I tried to release my leg, the tendons behind my knee feeling as though they were about to snap. I saw a silhouette emerging from the fog to my right and with a surge of adrenaline managed to flex my leg up and pull my body towards the bridge. I got my other hand into it and locked my fingers in the planks, and after a moment shook my leg free. This quickly led to me swinging down from the bridge, my locked fingers in the planks taking most of my weight and me grunting in pain.

I managed to pull myself up with my left hand to free my fingers and get my elbow onto the bridge, but it was then that I noticed the man in armor who had been approaching stepped in front of me and stopped. My fingers were throbbing in pain, and I flexed them to test their flexibility. I looked up at the armored figure, frowning into the faceplate. There was a giant golden griffon emblazoned on his chest. He towered over me as I clung helplessly to the ropes.

“Hello there. Could you give me a hand?” I stared up at him for a long moment before he let go of the railing with one hand and unsheathed his long sword. “I guess not” I grunted as I looked down and tried to get a better grip.

The man in armor placed one of his boots on my injured hand and pointed his sword down at my face. “Is there something that I can help you with?” I asked, hoping for a sudden response and confession. His answer was to grind his boot into my hand. I yelled through my teeth and did my best to act as though I was in control.

“Alright, you’ve obviously got me. What do you want?” His head tilted his head back and reached up to unlatch his face grate. A couple of clicks later, his piercing grey eyes shone down at me like the barrels of two guns pointed at my head. He had sharp, angular features, but it was difficult to see exactly what he looked like through the helm

I heard a voice in my head, though his lips did not move. It boomed one word in my mind. “WHERE”


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