Pursuit Predators And Missing Airplanes

I stumbled as I ran blindly in the dark. The night seemed eerily quiet all around me except for the noise I made as I ran. When I stopped for breath, the pounding in my chest and my rapid deep breaths of panic were all I could hear. I couldn’t perceive anything around me. As I ran ahead, all I could think of was to survive. And I needed to get back to my ship. I had to escape this hell.

I seemed to be in some kind of an overgrown jungle. Wet leaves, branches and fronds slapped me all over as I ran through them. I was thankful for my body suit but I was worried about my air filters. Through the foggy visor of my helmet, I peered down at my chest and saw that the air filter was choked with dirt. I brushed it awkwardly with my gloved finger and immediately felt the the cool rush of breathable air circulate inside my suit. I took a deep, satisfying breath and looked back at the dark jungle through which I had just run.

I could only see the dark silhouettes of the forest and the looming shadows of enormous trees, standing tall as a black shadow of ancient giants against the dark night sky. A few smattering of stars here and there twinkled down at me, as if amused at my plight. I leaned against the trunk of a huge tree and took a few more deep breaths, calming my nerves. My legs trembled less and less with each passing second and I could feel my heart rate slowing down. I didn’t hear the faint whizz of the metal spear but felt the dull thud as it embedded itself with a sickening impact into the tree trunk, barely an inch from my hand. I jumped back, and ran. The creature had been following me and hunting me for over three hours now and it was showing no signs of defeat. Each time I thought I had put sufficient distance between us I was proved wrong. It was always near, lurking around the corners, hiding in the shadows and shooting its high velocity metal spears with a makeshift bow.

I cursed this planet as I ran. We should never have stopped here to explore. It was all Kai’s fault. If only she had half a brain. Well, she was dead now, killed by one of those deadly metal spears that had flown out of nowhere and had lodged itself firmly in her throat. I shook my head and forced myself to stop thinking about Kai. I was alone on an alien planet that was intent on killing me. I had to make my way back to the ship. That was my only hope. I dodged the forest left and right, high and low, retraced my steps to throw the creature off my track, and finally found a tree trunk that I could climb. It  was high enough to hide me from being clearly visible. I thanked the darkness and climbed as high as I dared, hugged the branch and lay still, watching the forest floor beneath me. Every rustle of a leaf and every chirp of an insect seemed to reverberate in my ear. My senses were on hyper alert.

On the horizon, I could see faint snatches of light from various points, glowing over the tops of the trees. Far away in the distance, I thought I heard the whine and growl of machinery, but I couldn’t be sure. We were told this was a primitive planet. We were told that life was almost impossible here due to the heavy, toxic atmosphere and the crushing gravitational pull of the nearest star. We were told to explore without fear and that it would be routine. I’d love to see the faces of those Command Center fucks now.

We were scientists. I was a specialist in alternative energy studies and my sole purpose on this trip was to collect geothermal readings from various planets, analyze them and rate them according to the ease of harvesting. In other words, I was a lab rat. Not a fucking soldier. I didn’t know how to survive in these situations. These creatures were terrifying to say the least.

We first encountered the aliens four hours into our exploration. The landing was routine, without any incidents. Kai and I had strayed far from our ship, collecting samples and making small talk when the clearing in which we stood was doused in bright, harsh light that blinded us. The light seemed to emanate from the forest itself. I could see Kai panicking, screaming and I ran to her to calm her down. We heard the guttural sounds that almost seemed to be a type of vocal communication. We looked up to see three figures walking towards us, gesturing and speaking. All I could make out was the unnaturally long limbs and the row of white, jagged teeth on their heads. I felt Kai shuddering suddenly in my arms and when I looked down, I saw the metal spear sticking out of her. I felt her body go limp. The creatures had killed her without warning. Without provocation. I ran.

I felt an insurmountable anger boil inside me as I lay on the tree branch. Anger at myself, at those short-sighted Command Center nuts and anger at these vile, merciless aliens and their makeshift weapons. I wanted to destroy it all.

I stiffened as I heard the rustle of the leaves somewhere to my left. It was different from the usual rustle of the wind. This was unnatural. I lay very still and saw the leaves part and the creature step forward slowly. It seemed to be looking at the floor, trying to discern my footprints. This type of pursuit predators were the scariest – they never tired, they never gave up and they hunted you down from your footprints and the twigs your feet snapped while you ran. The creature held the makeshift weapon in one hand as it slowly moved on two feet looking this way and that, and passed beneath my tree. I could see the top of it’s head as it passed under me. I was tempted to jump down and fight it, but held myself. I didn’t know how many more of them were out there.

I looked around in the general direction of my intended escape. The ship was somewhere off to the right and from my vantage point here, I could faintly see the outline of the ship’s tail. It was close. Closer than I thought! I felt a renewed surge of hope in me. I made sure that the creature had gone before I descended as quietly as I could and started jogging towards the ship. My heart skipped a beat when I heard the loud guttural shout from behind me. I didn’t look back. I ran as fast as I could. I could hear two, three, four, countless creatures behind me, all shouting and crashing after me. Where did so many of them come from?

I felt a searing pain shoot through my arm and when I looked down, I almost fainted in fright. I saw a thin metallic spear stuck in my arm. It had pierced the palm of my hand clean through! I didn’t dare pull it out. The pain was excruciating. I felt loud bangs from behind and I felt the forest explode all around me. One moment there was a lean tree trunk and the next, a loud bang from behind and the tree trunk exploded in splinters that rained over me as I ran headlong into the forest. I prayed and prayed that I was going in the right direction.The noise behind me was deafening.

I ran through the pain in my hand. I could feel the numbness creeping up my arm from the point where the spear had pierced through. I felt faint but forced myself to keep running. Escape! That was the only thing on my mind.

After what seemed like an eternity and almost when I thought of giving up and surrendering to the aliens, I broke through the tree line and almost collided with my ship. I screamed out in ecstasy and agony and clambered around the hulking machine and into the open bay door at the back. I saw the aliens break through the tree line and stop as they saw the ship. Through the closing bay door, I saw them hesitate. They seemed to be awestruck at the sight of the ship. One of the aliens saw the bay door that was closing and caught sight of my face through the rapidly closing slit. The metal spear it fired  pinged harmlessly off the ship and I heard the satisfying bangs and the thuds of the door closing and the bolts driving home. 

I stumbled my way to the cockpit and hit the big red button on the dashboard. Everything would be automated now. The ship would take me home.

I slumped down on to the floor and looked at my hand. I could see the metal spear sticking out from both sides of my palm, firmly lodged. The ship trembled slightly as the fuel heated up and the ignition kicked in. I almost felt sorry for the alien creatures standing outside the ship. They would all be fried to nothingness in about ten seconds. It was a pity. I could have observed them and studied them, had it been under different circumstances. I thought I heard them scream as the ship fired on all cylinders and cooked them to a crisp and lifted off. I breathed a sigh of relief as it picked up speed. In about fifteen seconds, it would automatically open up the wormhole into our world and shoot into it. I could hardly wait to get home and get someone to pull this fucking spear out of my hand.

I stood up gingerly and saw out of the cockpit window at the fascinating landscape of the vast blue planet beneath me. An entire planet that had evolved to breathe the most corrosive gas in the universe – oxygen. I shuddered at the thought.

I saw the brilliant golden glow of the wormhole opening up in front of me. Just as the ship neared it, out of the corner of my eye, I saw some movement out on the horizon. The last thing I saw before being sucked into the wormhole was a huge metal cylinder hurtling through the air at a ferocious speed – almost like an aircraft – crashing into the ship at what seemed like a million miles per hour and the entirety of the fire and the debris being sucked into the wormhole. Drifting in the void of the wormhole, I saw the remains of the object that had collided with my ship. Hundreds and hundreds of those alien creatures floated away in the zero gravity of the wormhole, all dead. It couldn’t have been an aircraft, I thought to myself. This was supposed to be a primitive planet. Someone is going to have a lovely time trying to find this plane, I thought, smiling to myself as I blacked out, and hoped at the back of my mind that my arm and all my thirty-one fingers would be intact.

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The Airport Taxi From Hell

airport-taxiThere is mystery in the air. Stop whatever you’re doing and sniff the air around you. If you can ignore the fish and the next guy’s sweat, I think you can smell the mystery in the air. I know I can. I think I am being followed by an airport taxi. Everywhere I go and everywhere I turn, there’s an airport taxi lurking near by. I think there is a conspiracy afoot and yesterday, I thought about it long and hard and I have a feeling that I’ve hit upon the truth.

Once upon a time, I was in love with a strange girl from Hawaii. Her name was Yu Suk, and she was perhaps the third most beautiful woman in the world. We loved each other very mush much and though we were separated by more than 5000 miles of ocean, we believed that one fine day we would be together and live happily every after. The long distance relationship proved to be arduous and drained the both of us completely, and I decided to end it. That’s when she decided to fly down to Bangalore and meet me and show me just how much she loved me. I was over the moon!

I dressed up in my favorite yellow T-shirt and blue jeans and drove all the way to the airport on the day. I reached an hour early and paced up and down, waiting for Yu Suk to arrive. I could hardly stand still in my excitement. I was nervous and feeling a bit horny at the same time! I guess it’s natural.

Finally, the flight monitor indicated that the flight from Hawaii had landed and that passengers were at the customs line. I was waiting right in front of the exit gate, standing behind the ubiquitous group of white-uniformed taxi drivers who were holding up cardboard placards with names of their guests written. Slowly, one by one, the passengers from Hawaii walked out into the bright Bangalore sun, shielded their eyes from the glare and searched for their respective receptions.

The taxi driver in front of me was chatting with his colleague next to him about his wife. He was saying, “What can I do, brother? She just cannot be satisfied every night. I feel she’s draining me out!”

To this, his colleague replied, “You want some help, brother?” and winked and they both burst out laughing. I cringed at the crassness of their conversation, but couldn’t help overhearing it. The first driver continued, “If anyone, ANYONE, mentions the S-word again, I’ll kill them personally!” and they both started guffawing heartily. I just figured that the guy was totally and completely asexual and pitied his wife.

Just then, in the throng of the crowd, I saw her! There she was! Graceful and beautiful and as sexy as ever – wearing her favorite yellow tank top over a flowery knee-length skirt that flowed all around her. Her face was the embodiment of all the love and lust in the world – the high cheekbones, the sexy blue-green eyes, the straight black hair that fell in small fluffy curls just below her shoulder, those petite hips, those firm breasts, those long beautiful eyelashes, oh, I was so much in love!

She looked around her, scanning my waiting crowd from her moving crowd, looking for me, searching for the face of her lover. I waved my hand frantically and called her name out, “Yuuuuuuuuu Suuuuuuuuuuuuk!”

I started running towards her in slow motion. The crowd around me dissolved into fields of poppies, with butterflies fluttering around, the sun shining down with it’s golden rays dripping with love, drenching the two of us in that moment of ecstasy. Her face broke into a beautiful smile as she saw me and she ran towards me in slow motion, through our very own field of poppies. I held out my arms to embrace her, and she held out her arms to run into mine. At that moment, I felt something hard hit me on the back of my head and I tripped over myself and fell face-down on the hard concrete floor of the airport. The field of poppies and the butterflies disappeared and I could just see dazed stars all around me for a few moments.

I was aware of distinct voices – one angry and one concerned – around me. I looked up and saw Yu suk arguing with a taxi driver. It was the guy who was standing in front of me, discussing his wife. I sat up and rubbed the back of my head and saw an old but heavy boot lying next to me. He had thrown a boot at me! That bastard!

“Hey!” I cried standing up. “What the fuck were you thinking throwing shoes at people?” I geared up for a fight.

“You bastard!” he cried. “You abused me verbally!”

I was confused. “Eh, what? When did I do that? Stop talking nonsense!”

“Shut up, you punk! You said, ‘You Suck!’ so loudly that the whole bloody airport heard it!”

So, thus began a hatred, rooted in mis-communication, that spanned the better half of the next decade – a decade that involved a lot of stalking, prank calls, threatening calls and three trips to the police station and one to the hospital. It got so bad that the cops finally had to request me to stop beating him up every time I saw him. I reluctantly agreed and made a deal with the bastard – I’d leave him alone if he accepted that it wasn’t my fault to begin with. He was lying with three broken bones in the hospital bed, covered in bandages from head to toe, when he agreed. I could see hatred in his eyes.

It’s been four years since I’ve heard from him or seen him, and recently, I think I scratched his car by mistake while I was parking my bike near my office. I did not notice the number of the car, but I am damn sure it was him, because when I came back after work, my bike wouldn’t start – there were sugar lumps in the petrol tank and both my tires were flat.

I began noticing his car everywhere I went – the bastard is stalking me! I think it’s time I remind him who the better man is. I think it’s time for him to visit the hospital again. 😀

Moral of the story: Do not believe everything you read on MirrorCracked.

Open Question: If a love bite is called  ‘hickey,’ what’s a love scratch called?

Virginia Tobacco :)

Note: The following post is protected under strict copyright laws, owned by Nam and her Nandu Mama. Copying this material or using it in any context without the explicit written and/or verbal permission of both the owners is punishable by the just laws of the glorious country of Sheikla Abbu. The following is not a true story, however, any resemblance to any person or animal, living or dead, has been included deliberately after a great deal of procrastination. Thanks to Nam for keeping me awake last night with this fascinating tale of deception, treachery and greed. I would have dozed off if it weren’t for her. 🙂

Once upon a time, in an imagination far, far colorful, lived a Sheik who ruled over the glorious country of Sheikla Abbu. He had a thousand camels and a thousand horses and a thousand elephants and a thousand ten wives. He had an enormous palace, where he used to spend time with his wives and eat the best food in all of Abbu, drink the finest wine, listen to the best music and dance to the best tunes. He was also a bit greedy.

The Sheik was an accomplished warrior, who had conquered his enemies far and wide and wanted to expand his kingdom even more. So, against the wishes of his wives and wise men, he set out, leading his huge army south, to the kingdom of Virginia. This name is not to be confused with its namesake in the USA. He led the army through blistering deserts and freezing nights, and finally reached the doors of the castle in Virginia. They had been traveling for a thousand days and all were tired, including the Sheik.

He knew that if he declared war in his state of fatigue, he would lose terribly. So, he extended a hand of friendship to the ruler of Virginia, who gave the Sheik a pack of Virginia Tobacco, as a gesture of good faith. This is where our story kicks off into a bizarre world of madness. For two years he completely forgot about this packet of cigarettes in his possession, and went about his daily routines. Once, while cleaning out his writing desk, he found the unopened pack of Virginia Tobacco lying there, under a heap of death warrants.

Curious to try it out, the Sheik took out a cigarette from the pack and took a drag from the sweet tobacco, he could hear someone counting – “One, Two, Three, Four, Five…” in his ear, loudly. He looked around him, astonished at seeing no one, and yet, the voice was very clear in his mind. Someone had counted loudly and he had heard them! So, in his confused rage, he ordered the heads of all his guards to be chopped off.

The next day, when he was sitting on the banks of the river, he took out another cigarette and started smoking it. As soon as he took the first drag, he could bear someone counting again – “Five, Six, Seven, Eight…” and this time, the voice seemed to be very near to him. He looked around, and finding no one, ordered all his animals to be beheaded. No one dared to question his madness when he was in one of his rages. He sat back down and took another drag of the cigarette. Again, as before, he heard counting in his head – “Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen…” and he got really really freaked!

He started stripping down his robes, thinking that there could have been some sort of black magic going on. As he removed his shirt, something fell down to the ground. It was the pack of Virginia Tobacco. He picked it up and for the first time, read what was written on the pack.

“Virginia Tobacco: The Tobacco That Counts!” 😀