Saturday, April 2, 2011
B Is For...
Basil and Bears, how appropriate for this post. I once had an encounter with a black bear. Yes, it was nearly B is for Bradley, assaulted by Bears.
I had gone camping with my best friend Brenda, in Michigan, near the shores of Lake Superior. A place that had black bears, which she assured me did not bother people. "Ive been coming here for years, Mel, and I haven't had a problem." To be honest, I had not thought much about the creatures, but had really been more concerned with escaped mental patients wanting to wear my skin for a dress. I'm a horror film addict, after all. So I took her at her word and relaxed enough to enjoy being surrounded by trees.
One night, after dinner she said to me, "The Northern Lights are sometimes visible this far south, you should hike out to the beach and see if you can catch the show. I saw them here last year." Now, I had always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis, so I was all excited to go.
I shrugged into my jacket and casually asked if she was coming. She said no, citing exhaustion. I parked my butt right back on the bed. "Come on Mel," she chided. "It's just down the path. You'll regret it if you don't go." Regret is one word I hate and she knew it. So in spite of the visions of gruesome death dancing in my head, I ventured forth. Alone into the dark.
You know, it's amazing how a flashlight that had seemed so powerful in my shadowed bedroom when I tested the batteries, offered no more illumination than candle light out there among the trees. Jason Voorhees and his big machete were going to get me for sure. Then like a vision from above, there was the beach. And miracle of miracles...Other people. Pause for the hallelujah effect.
I sat down on a big rock to enjoy the show. It was spectacular and I forgot all about trees, scary killers and other horrors. It was like Nature's fireworks display just for me.
After the dazzling lights, I went back down the path, convinced my earlier fears were ridiculous. I had made it here, hadn't I? I could handle these woods, why I was now Trixie Trailblazer, camper extraordinaire. The feeling lasted, oh, about five minutes into my walk. Then a warm coppery, meaty smell hit me. I flashed my light around and saw bits of blood and fur on the ground to my left. A grunting and crashing came from the trees.
In two seconds flat, I went from girl power camper to terrified chubby chick to Olympic sprinter. I ran so fast I don't recall that my feet ever hit the ground. I hurdled a fallen tree like it was a Lego block. Red Bull may give you wings, but raw terror will for sure. When I got to our cabin, I wasn't even out of breath. And I got winded running down the block for the bus. Brenda lurched off the bed. "My God, what happened? You're transparent." "B-Bear," I choked out and sat down on the bed. I did not move for hours, frozen in horror. The next morning, I discovered bruises in rather odd places and I was sore as hell for two days.
I have never ventured into the woods again. I'd rather face a gang banger right here on my ghetto streets. I know how to handle them.
Thank you so very much for visiting. On my sidebar at the top is the A to Z button to continue the challenge. Otherwise, for a complete list of all 800 plus participants go here.