Author Topic: South America  (Read 4599 times)

Offline bahgheera

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South America
« on: September 14, 2009, 11:57:43 PM »
I was in rowboat on a river somewhere south of Mexico. Possibly somewhere along the border of Peru and Bolivia. The end of the river was where I needed to be, but I wasn't sure if my Peruvian guide could get me there. We came to a narrow spot, when I realized my friend the oak tree, whom I'd known since an acorn, would not be able to continue along with us. I held on to the playing cards that grew at the end of his branches, and as we squeezed through the narrows, I lost my friend. But the playing cards remained in my hand; forty of them. An Italian deck. We picked up the boat to carry it over a stony, shallow area. I noticed that my guide was summoning small colorful birds and other animals that I couldn't quite recognize, and each of these was made of thin tissue paper. As each one descended, I laid a card by it's resting place in the leaves. As I was doing this, I noticed a small spider on my right hand. It bit me, quite like a mosquito, and as I tried to brush it off, another appeared further up my arm. And then another, and another, now three more, then ten, until there were thousands of them covering me, biting, filling me with horror, dread and venom. I screamed at my guide, but he was nowhere to be found. Now how I got out of that predicament, little ones, I'll have to leave to your imagination. For now it is time for me to return to my native land and discuss the strange noises that have been coming from the great stone giant...

« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 12:03:41 AM by bahgheera »

Offline bahgheera

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Re: South America 2.0
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 11:57:41 PM »
It was sometime in late autumn. I was in small rowboat on a river somewhere south of Colombia. Possibly somewhere along the border of Peru and Bolivia. I do remember that we started at Puerto Maldonado on Rio Madre de Dios, headed east, and took a turn to the south along a smaller course, the name of which escapes me at the moment. The end of this smaller, muddy river was where I needed to be, but I wasn't sure if my Peruvian guide could get me there and I couldn't remember why  I was going.

Our boat was barely more than a skiff, but it held the two of us and all our gear. The boat was old, perhaps older than me and my guide put together, had a peculiar odor emanating from it, and displayed the multicolored evidence of many coats of paint that had been hurriedly applied over the years. I would say it had an almost mystical quality about it, that kept it afloat more than air tightness did. It was packed fore and aft with all sorts of camping gear and supplies - our two tents, gas stoves, sleeping bags, trail supplies, several types of dried meat, and glass jars with all sorts of curiously seasoned vegetables in them that I had never seen before but provided excellent subsistence for the aboriginal inhabitants of the area. These latter supplies had been bestowed on us by local folks who had a dark and hidden look in their eye, as if they wished to accompany us on our journey despite their dread knowledge of what lay at the end of it.

Along the river were thousands of these tribal townsfolk. It was the time of a certain festival, a celebration of some local hero long since departed, and his heroic acts. There were a myriad of boats stashed in the mud on either side, and people, families, young ones and old ones alike, splashing and bathing in the moiling light brown water. Each group of family and friends had set up a brilliant display of colorful bits of cloth, strung along a line between two poles, like a clothesline with the most dazzling autumn leaves hung out to dry. Reds and golds, blues, yellows, greens adorned the banks of the river as far as the eye could see. The sky was clear, vibrant blue, with the yellow light of the sun casting a perfect light on the celebrators. Our modest craft silently drifted by all of this, drawing the gaze of the people and silencing them from their revelries as we passed. Each man, woman and child stopped what he or she was doing and looked in our direction with an expression of regret that an outsider would dare to drift down their rio, to disturb their everyday life with alien curiosity.

Hours later, we had traveled many miles and left the revelers long behind. We came to a narrow spot, where the water became shallower and much much faster. The mountains on either side closed in tight on this spot, looming up above us to the port and starboard with unscalable sheer rock faces that seemed to peer into our very being and warn of the danger that presented itself here. This was when I realized that my friend the oak tree, whom I'd known since an acorn, would not be able to continue along with us. The oak tree was a very different sort of timber from what I'm sure you are familiar with, as he had playing cards growing at the end of his branches rather than acorns. Long ago I had watched an old man plant the very acorn that this tree had grown from, and perform some sort of noisy and animated ritual over it that gave it a very divergent life from all it's arboreal cousins.

I held on to my friends branches, and as we squeezed through the narrows, I slowly began to lose my grip. The rapids grew and applied more and more pressure on our tiny vessel, and in the end I lost my friend. As the branches slid out of my grasp though, forty playing cards were plucked and left in my hand. We hurtled over the last bit of white water, which was more of a waterfall, a straight drop of almost thirty feet, during which we lost most of our gear and the boat sustained some slight damage to the bow, which didn't seem to make much difference in it's float-worthiness.

But the playing cards remained in my hand; forty of them. An Italian deck. I wrapped them up in a piece of paper that had miraculously remained dry through the recent ordeal, intent that there was a special purpose for them in the near future.

We picked up the boat to carry it over a stony, shallow area where the water was abnormally clear and slow moving, as though it had lost its energy and needed to rest before continuing. When we set the boat down for a bit to rest, I noticed that my guide had walked a few yards into the woods and was reciting some sort of lilting, repetitive poetry. I followed him over into a clearing and was immediately struck by the serene beauty of this particular location. Perhaps this was the spot that we had come to find? Maybe this was the end of our journey and I would finally accomplish my objective.

I came to realize that he was summoning small colorful birds and other animals that I couldn't quite recognize, and each of these was made of thin tissue paper. The tissue creatures descended slowly and quietly, in the manner of snowflakes; there was a strange light through the tops of the trees, rays of arcane luminosity that highlighted the dust particles that danced and capered in the air, as well as the vivid, almost over saturated autumn colors of the leaves on the ground and still on the trees. There was no sound whatsoever, and for a moment I wondered if I had actually suffered damage to the delicate inner workings of my ears during our trials on the waterfall. But soon I realized that it was a deathly silence that I was experiencing, one like I had experienced never before, and not since.

I remembered my pack of playing cards and removed them from the paper wrapper. As each amalgamate of plant and animal descended, I laid a card by it's resting place in the leaves. As I was doing this, I noticed a small white and black striped spider on my right hand. It was a singular specimen of arachnid, with noticeable tufts of dark hair or fur along the end of each of it's front legs. It was extremely fast, dodging my attempts to brush it off, and tenacious as well for neither could I shake it off. It bit me, very like a mosquito, and as I tried to brush it off, another appeared further up my arm. And then another, and another, now three more, then ten, until there were thousands of them covering me, biting, filling me with horror, dread and venom. I screamed at my guide, but he was nowhere to be found.

Now how I got out of that predicament, little ones, I'll have to leave to your imagination. For now it is time for me to return to my native land and discuss the strange noises that have been coming from the great stone giant...
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 12:05:34 AM by bahgheera »

Offline bahgheera

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Re: South America 2.1
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 04:42:53 PM »
I was in a small rowboat on a river somewhere south of Colombia, possibly somewhere along the border of Peru and Bolivia. We had started at Puerto Maldonado on Rio Madre de Dios, headed east, and took a turn to the south along a smaller course, the name of which escapes me at the moment. The end of this smaller, muddy river was where I needed to be, but I wasn't sure if my Peruvian guide could get me there and I couldn't remember why  I was going.

Our boat was barely more than a skiff, but it held the two of us and all our gear. The boat was old, perhaps older than me and my guide put together, had a peculiar odor emanating from it, as though it had accommodated one too many drunken fishermen, and it displayed the multicolored evidence of many coats of paint that had been hurriedly applied over the years. I would say it had an almost mystical quality about it, that kept it afloat more than air tightness did. It was packed fore and aft with all sorts of camping gear and supplies - our two tents, gas stoves, sleeping bags, trail supplies, several types of dried meat, and glass jars with various types of curiously seasoned vegetables in them that I had never seen before but provided excellent subsistence for the aboriginal inhabitants of the area. These latter supplies had been bestowed on us by local folks who had a dark and hidden look in their eye, as if they wished to accompany us on our journey despite their knowledge of what lay at the end of it.

Along the river were thousands of these tribal locals. It was the time of a certain festival, a celebration of some local hero long since departed, and his heroic acts. Many boats were stashed in the mud on either side, and people, families, young ones and old ones alike, splashing and bathing in the moiling light brown water. Each group of family and friends had set up a brilliant display of colorful bits of cloth, strung along a line between two poles, like a clothesline with the most dazzling autumn leaves hung out to dry. The sky was clear, vibrant blue, with the yellow light of the sun casting a perfect light on the celebrators. Our modest craft silently drifted by all of this, drawing the gaze of the people and silencing them from their merrymaking as we passed. Each man, woman and child stopped what he or she was doing and looked in our direction with an expression of regret that an outsider would dare to drift down their rio, to disturb their everyday life with alien curiosity.

Hours later, we had traveled many miles and left the revelers long behind. We came to a narrow spot, where the water became shallower and much much faster. The mountains on either side closed in tight on this spot, looming up above us to the port and starboard with unscalable sheer rock faces that seemed to peer into our very being and warn of the danger that presented itself here. This was when I realized that my friend the oak tree, whom I'd known since an acorn, would not be able to continue along with us. The oak tree was a very different sort of timber from what I'm sure most are familiar with, as he had playing cards growing at the end of his branches rather than acorns. Long ago I had watched an old man plant the very acorn that this tree had grown from, and perform some sort of noisy and animated ritual over it that gave it a very divergent life from all it's arboreal cousins.

I held on to my friend's branches, and as we squeezed through the narrows, I slowly began to lose my grip. The rapids grew and applied more and more pressure on our tiny vessel, and in the end I lost my friend. As the branches slid out of my grasp though, forty playing cards were plucked and left in my hand. We hurtled over the last bit of white water, which was more of a waterfall, a straight drop of almost thirty feet, during which we lost most of our gear and the boat sustained some slight damage to the bow, which didn't seem to make much difference in it's float-worthiness.

But the playing cards remained in my hand; forty of them. An Italian deck. I wrapped them up in a piece of paper that had miraculously remained dry through the recent ordeal, intent that there was a special purpose for them in the near future.

We picked up the boat to carry it over a stony, shallow area where the water was abnormally clear and slow moving, as though it had lost its energy and needed to rest before continuing. When we set the boat down for a bit to rest, I noticed that my guide had walked a few yards into the woods and was reciting some sort of lilting, repetitive poetry. I followed him over into a clearing and was immediately struck by the serene beauty of this particular location. Perhaps this was the spot that we had come to find? Maybe this was the end of our journey and I would finally accomplish my objective.

I came to realize that he was summoning small colorful birds and other animals that I couldn't quite recognize, and each of these was made of thin tissue paper. The tissue creatures descended slowly and quietly, in the manner of snowflakes; there was a strange light through the tops of the trees, rays of arcane luminosity that highlighted the dust particles that danced and capered in the air, as well as the vivid, almost over saturated autumn colors of the leaves on the ground and still on the trees. There was no sound whatsoever, and for a moment I wondered if I had actually suffered damage to the delicate inner workings of my ears during our trials on the waterfall. But soon I realized that it was a deathly silence that I was experiencing, one like I had experienced never before, and not since.

I remembered my pack of playing cards and removed them from the paper wrapper. As each amalgamate of plant and animal descended, I laid a card by it's resting place in the leaves. As I was doing this, I noticed a small white and black striped spider on my right hand. It was a singular specimen of arachnid, with noticeable tufts of dark hair or fur along the end of each of it's front legs. It was extremely fast, dodging my attempts to brush it off, and tenacious as well for neither could I shake it off. It bit me, very like a mosquito, and as I tried to brush it off, another appeared further up my arm. And then another, and another, now three more, then ten, until there were thousands of them covering me, biting, filling me with horror, dread and venom. I screamed at my guide, but he was nowhere to be found.

Now how I got out of that predicament, little ones, I'll have to leave to your imagination. For now it is time for me to return to my native land and discuss the strange noises that have been coming from the great stone giant...