March 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm #637
Close to where I once lived there was a cliff. A glacial erratic, to be precise.
I grew up in a small town on the Swedish west coast. It was situated on the banks of a fairly large river, and had been a decently sized trading community throughout the middle ages. In the mid 17th century the town became overshadowed by the recently founded harbour city of Gothenburg, which had rendered the river obsolete for merchants, and since then nothing of particular note had happened in the area. The only thing that the town was known for during the early years of the 21st century was drunken teenagers. The town was a haven for underage drinking, with a steady influx of smuggled booze and a great lack of adults during the weekends, since they understandably chose to drink legally in Gothenburg instead.
Me and my friends were underaged at this point, and therefore we drank. There was really nothing better for us to do.
Our favourite drinking spot was atop the aforementioned cliff. It sat on the outskirts of town, far away enough to stay out of the immediate line of sight of the law enforcement, and close enough to home that we could all comfortably get there and back again by foot, wobbly as they may be. This is what I imagine it would have looked like during the highpoint of its rocky career:
This also illustrates why I tend to rely on the HeroMachine for drawings.
With its smooth slanted sides it wasn’t hard to ascend, the top was covered in soft grass and it was high enough to provide a beautiful view of the town below. It really was the perfect spot, as long as you didn’t do anything immensely stupid.
Unfortunately, I was at this point a very stupid teenager.
We had gathered on the hill one summer night, me and a half dozen of my friends to look at the stars, converse and drink ourselves senseless. Hours passed, bottles were emptied, laughs were had. It had, at this point, by all accounts been a great evening. I was drinking a mixture of bourbon and lemon juice (because I was an idiot) when one of my friends, who I shall refer to as Shoulder Devil, leaned over to me and whispered this in my ear, “I have an idea.”
I was immediately skeptic. Shoulder Devil was known for having drunken ideas that seemed hilarious when they were presented, but turned out to be objectively horrible once the inebriation waned. Still, I gave her the benefit of a doubt. I really wish I hadn’t.
“How about we take off all our clothes and roll around in the grass? The others will be all like ‘Whaaaat?'” she suggested.
“No. No, I will not do that, and nor will I do anything that you ever propose in the future, for you are obviously completely out of your mind,” is what I should have answered. Instead I said exactly this:
“That is the best idea that anyone has ever had.”
We nodded to each other, stood up and started unrobing, quickly silencing our friends who had been entranced in a deep discussion on whether Majora’s Mask was superior to Ocarina of Time or not. (Just as well, it was a dumb conversation any way, everyone knows Majora’s Mask is clearly the better game.)
“What are you doing?” asked one of them. Me and Shoulder Devil stayed silent. We just smiled at each other, knowing we were and about to blow their minds. And did we ever…
Having gotten rid of our clothes we took a few steps forward, lay down, and started rolling. It was great. Soft grass, warm dew, the starry sky, all twirling around me as I rolled forth to the enthusiastic encouraging shouts of my friends. I kicked against the soft ground to speed up even more, feeling like I was at the top of the world.
Then I started to run out of grass.
This was disastrous enough, but a few years earlier the particular slope that I was tumbling towards had been dynamited away to give room for a dirt path and a few more houses, changing the smooth face of the cliff into a jagged precipice of sharp pointy rocks.
This fact had completely slipped my mind, but it soon dawned upon me when I realized I was about to run out of cliff as well. My friends’ laughter changed into alarmed screams, advising me to “Stop rolling, you crazy idiot!”
I did my best to slow down, but I had picked up an impressive speed, and inertia is a cruel mistress. I tried to grab a hold of the rocky ground, but only managed to scrape off bits of fingers.
For a moment I saw the terrified faces of my screaming friends, then the sky, then the dip, the rock, my friends again,
And then the ground abandoned me.
What followed were the longest four seconds of my life. I tumbled down the dip like a fleshy log, bouncing against the crag and its sharp rocky edges, screaming profanities, leaving pieces of myself behind on the jagged crusts. “This is it,” thought I, “this is how I die.”
Finally I crashed down on the gravelly path, squealing and gasping for air. I could hear the distant yells of my friends. They were indeed all like ‘Whaaaat?’
To be concluded.March 16, 2013 at 6:20 am #21178
Ouch. Sixteen feet in that first second, right? Normally we say a roll in the hay gets a teen ‘in trouble.’March 16, 2013 at 10:40 am #21199
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