Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

Chapter 13

Carl points to behind Sid, and Sid turns around. He sees a rather pale man standing there, with rather long, sharp, pointy teeth.

“Who are you?” asks Sid.

“I am Harold, mortal,” responds the creature.

“Nice to meet you, Harold mortal,” Carl replies.

The creature narrows his eyes, and flicks a cloak around himself, and vanishes.

“Odd person, that Harold,” comments Sid.

“Indeed,” adds Carl.

They begin walking through a green forest, completely unaware that they are being followed by an invisible vampire whose name is Harold. The walk for a relatively short period, and see many things in their short journey through the forest. One of the more memorable things they see is a giant mechanical fire-breathing dinosaur. They decide to approach it, and they also speak to it.

“Greetings Sid and Carl, I have awaited you for quite some time, and I grow old and tired of you taking your time to arrive to speak with me. Quiet, do not speak, for I have a task I must ask of you before I shall let you pass. I require a blade of water, and a shard of grass. You shall find these things where they are . . .” and the giant mechanical fire-breathing dinosaur vanishes, and is replaced by a large cave entrance to a glacial cavern.

They decide to enter this dangerous place to find a blade of water and a shard of grass. Slipping on the ice, and crunching the snow, they travel for a long distance. A cold snow begins falling, taking all heat away from everything living. They come to a small hut made of aluminum foil and rubber bands. The lift back the wooden canvas that covers the door, and enter the bright and warm abode of a hermit. They ask the hermit where they can find a blade of water and shard of grass. The hermit replies:

“If a blade of water and shard of grass be what ye seek, then ye needs be go down to the fields outside of ‘ere. Then ye find what ye be after. But before ye picks up the items, ye must dance a river dance. Only then will ye find what ye need.”

And the hermit disappears laughing maniacally. They are left alone in the hut, except for the invisible vampire, who has grown bored of following the humans around at this point. Sid and Carl walk outside of the hut, and go down to the fields. There they see the items. Before picking them up, Sid and Carl dance a river dance. They then pick up the blade of water and shard of ice, and return to the mechanical fire-breathing dinosaur.