A Walking Nightmare Essay, Research Paper
`Walking up the mountain, a
cloudless sky overhead, it was the perfect day. As my climbing party and I
reached the bottom of Mount Cheguva, the highest mountain in the world, I gazed
up above and stared in amazement at the snow-capped peaks, raging waterfalls
and steep rocky paths. It seemed that one man alone could not conquer this
mammoth creation of Mother Nature. I realized by the end of the day I could be
in heaven, among many unknown species and uncharted valleys. At 10 miles high,
from this close, my reason for living seemed almost too big. Almost. ????????? It was pointed out to me, however, that the pitch-black
clouds only known in this part of the world were on the horizon and a strong
wind was beginning to howl in our ears.?
Oblivious to the many forceful warnings shouted in my direction, I began
my long climb. Tiny snowflakes began to create a light powder, making the floor
slippery and sticky with mud. ????????? After traversing the moderately steep slopes near the
bottom, I realized I hadn?t looked at my watch in hours. The now heavy falling
of snow began to lash my face and howling wind driving against me. I glanced at
my watch and realized that I had been climbing for hours. It was late and in
conditions like these night could mean death. I found a small overhang with
cover from the howling wind and decided to lay my camp for the night as there
was no way to turn back now, not in this weather. ????????? Having sat down to rest, I suddenly
realized how hungry I was. To my astonishment and horror, I discovered three
gaping slash marks in the back of my bag, seemingly those from some sort of
animal that lived in this place. I could feel the color draining from my
cheeks. I got out my food, although there was no hope of lighting a fire in
this terrible weather. While I was gnawing at some of my now soggy turkey, I
tried to remember whether I had seen any animals. Not a single thing all the
time, which was very unusual considering I was on one of the best habitats for
bears, foxes and other mountain creatures. ????????? To say the least, the holes in my bag had me very worried.
There was not a trace of life on the entire mountain, another thing that
troubled me. My clothes were saturated, and in this weather, that meant death.
I couldn?t light a fire so I curled up and concentrated on keeping myself warm.
The snow had turned into hail, and drove down with uncontrollable force, lit
dimly by the cracks of lightning and the whistle of the wind. ????????? A movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention. A
mass of black, it must of been around 10 feet tall. A crack of lightning, and
it was, against the snow-covered background, gone. I was scared out of my wits
and began to pack my bag, giving up any hope of rest for the night. An ear
splitting roar nearly knocked me over, the sheer force of it was so
devastating. My ears ringing, adrenaline flowing through my veins, I ran
through the trees and ducked behind a boulder, hoping it would cover me from
the creatures view.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????? The next thing I noticed as I tried to
gather my thoughts was that my surroundings were ominously quiet, like a ghost
town. No driving hail, no lashing rain, no cracks of lightning. As I glanced to
my right, I saw a jet black shape darting through the trees. A second, and it
was gone. I turned round and my jaw dropped and my heart leapt into my mouth.
This thing stood in front of me, two-inch teeth bared, blood shot eyes staring
into mine. I recovered from the shock quickly enough to dodge the paw crashing
down into the boulder, smashing it to pieces. I whipped round and fired my
hunting rifle into the beast, before crashing into the snow. I may as well have
been throwing stones for the effect it had on the creature. I couldn?t even see
if the bullet had hit it. ????????? I crawled to my feet and stumbled into a run. The beast was
nowhere to be seen but the only thing on my mind was getting to the bottom of
the mountain. I began to climb up a slight overhang. Just as my feet cleared
the bottom, the creature?s claws raked against the rock. I leveled my rifle to
its face and let my rifle fire directly into its jaw. This did have the desired
effect, as the creature wheeled back and smashed to the floor. ????????? Turning my back, I began climbing up the sheer rock face to
escape, loose stones falling all around me. The sun was beginning to rise,
casting a great shadow over the entire side of the mountain. I heard another
scuttling of rocks down the mountainside and glanced down. To my horror, the
creature was climbing straight after me. As I pulled myself over the edge, I
crouched to the floor and began firing rounds in the direction of the beast.
The majority of shots missed but those that hit their target were enough to
make it slip on the loose stones and crash to the ground. ????????? I decided to finish it now. Staring
through my telescopic sight, I aimed right at its temple. I pulled the trigger.
Click, nothing happened. I did it again and, again nothing happened. With no
ammo in it, I threw my now useless rifle to the floor and saw a large boulder.
Putting all my strength behind it, it rolled down the cliff, crashing directly
in to the creature and sending it into the ice filled chasm below. Then, there
was silence. I checked my body for wounds and, bleeding from every limb, pondered
how to reach the bottom and safety.