BUMS IN THE MIDST: A Maryland Heights Non-Fiction Horror Novel
The friendly sound of whistles and “on-on’s” has been drowned by the darkness of the trail. I hear nothing but my own racing heart and heaving breath. Why don’t I feel alone though? As I stop and look around me the overgrown brush seems to be taunting me. It comes closer and closer to my body when I look away. The limbs are like human arms reaching out to choke me, hit me, or slice me. I turn in circles looking for light, desperate for a friendly face to save me from the blackness. I have no flashlight. In the excitement of the hash, I left it on my car seat. I failed to heed the multiple warnings of the hares. I knew I caused my own demise if I was to be swallowed by the night. I try to open my eyes as wide as possible, hoping that I will somehow allow me to see strands of toilet paper. I see nothing but shadows as my heart races even faster. Suddenly, up ahead I see an outline of man. I can’t tell if it is a shadow or a man, so I freeze. “I took Judo. . . I can do this.” Do I blow my whistle? Do I try to run? No. I freeze and tremble. The shadow doesn’t move and I inch closer, hoping and praying that it is not a man. Pure terror has set in, pressing its weight on my shoulders. Tears begin to well up in my eyes. “For heaven’s sake, why am I alone? Why am I so scared? It is only a shadow? Right? Do I have something to be scared about? Is it intuition or crazy unjustified fear? How did I get here? My mind races through the events of the night. . .
I remember that I had arrived at the Big-Hump happy-go-lucky, having talked Fisty into running. A hot group of hashers circled together… some new… some old hats… some arriving in 3 inch furry cheetah heels (Fisty), some in itsie bitsie teenie weenie bikini’s(So-So). We were so merry because FeFe came back to the mother-ship from the desert. He was regaled and thanked for service to his country. We also had the Navy represented as well; Hog Whisperer from Oahu blessed us with his presence. Surrounded by the finest military the country has to offer, Postage, as R.A. for the night, brought in (well technically she was already in) Jack Rabbit Slim for being last week’s hashshit winner/loser. She wore camouflage cranium gear, apparently trying to get in on the military action, but none of us noticed because she brought a hot virgin, Just Jen. JRS was so proud that she added a compass to the hashshit, as she was directionally challenged last week as a hare. She drank her down down and then we received a very specific and technically detailed pre-laid chalk talk, which went on for about 45 minutes. Postage blessed PMS and Stinky and the hares were away! Little did I know that they were to lay a trail of all trails, the Tunnel to Hell.
My recall of the night’s events suddenly stopped. . . I am brought back to the here and now. “What is this? Fog? Where did this come from? I can’t believe this! For G’s sake, is this a joke? Is this some secret hazing thing I didn’t know about? Locknut? Is that you?” It was as if the air got thicker and thicker the further I stammered down the trail. My arms where outreached feeling my way through the night, as if I were Frankenstein reaching for life and hope. “Did I curse myself by writing about vampires in the blog?” My heart beats faster than Fiddler can run. My eyes begin to well up with tears, again. I slap myself this time and tell myself to focus and just keep moving. . . quietly though, so as not to stir a sleeping bum or alert a killer of my approach. “Am I crazy, what bums? No homeless men live in these woods. This is Maryland Heights! That is silly, just keep moving,” I tell myself. But why is it that the trees and bushes continue to engulf me as they curve together over my head? I suddenly realize that the path is no path. . . it is a tunnel. . . I have been devoured by the black Tunnel to Hell. I try to run, but I trip on a stick and stammer into the bushes. I can’t go faster and I am afraid to go back.
As I descend into the darkness, I think about all the nice hashers that were going to run up behind me and save me with their flashlights. Who would it be? ICHY, Goatfucker, Pulls Out Early, Cum It Out? Maybe BA or Have Bob…. I recall when the pack first ran off tonight, running through Maryland Heights on a beautiful eve. Tricky checks and chick checks were all over trail. It was the usual. Just Rob always guessing the wrong way, industrial parking lots, asphalt burning the bottom of our shoes, and a friendly creek/sewer which “refreshed” our weary smelly feet. Nothing scary, nothing smelling of death… nothing to lead me to believe I would end up fearing for my life.
I also recall having been lucky enough to choose the right way at a chick check, I followed our visiting Navy man down the sidewalk. We came upon a turkey/eagle split. Eagle, I chose. From behind me I heard the friendly sound of pitter pattering FRB wannabe’s, Just Rob, Whiney, Locknut and, 2nd cummer Just Benj (who grew very muscular arms since last week). Little did I know they were the last faces I would see before the Tunnel To Hell. As other hashers frolicked together enjoying the night, I found myself alone and that is how I got here. My march of death has lingered on for 20 minutes or so as I walk fearful this is my last hash. Sudden movement in the bushes. . . I turn quickly ready to deflect a blow. No one came out. . . hmm. Must have been a squirrel or a raccoon. I struggle to find the words to describe the weight of the fear as it presses harder and harder on me. The tunnel went on and on and no one ever came behind me. Do I blow my whistle and alert the lurking beasts or do I maintain the course and hope for salvation? I will maintain the course and fight back the need to cry. I cannot see my own feet it is so dark, but the path seems flat and even, so I push myself.
Is that light creeping through the leaves? Yes! But what do I hear, an elephant call? Again, like the sound of a jungle race about to begin, the call of the wild continues. As I emerge from the darkness, low and behold, it is a man in an apartment parking lot blowing an old trumpet as if he were sounding his mating call. And it is light, wonderful brilliant light. I wait in the light, recovering from the fear which is lifting off my shoulders. I see a flashlight coming from behind me out of the Tunnel To Hell. It’s Jack Rabbit Slim and her virgin Just Jen! Friendly faces continue to arrive in turn meeting the elephant caller. I was saved and had nothing to fear all along. Together we enter the rabbit hole briar patch from hell. But it was not scary. Pulls Out Early is leading us as we follow long strings of toilet paper. Well laid trail and fun… now that I survived being alone in the night. We emerge from the patch to Postage and railroad tracks of course. “How did Postage get here, whuhh?” Short cut? Turkey Trail? I am too traumatized to ask. Too tired to think. All I want is a cold beer and to punch the 5 FRB’s with lights who abandoned me, just to fight out who would be the first FRB. After a gentlemanly lift by Herro and Pulls Out Early over the barb wire fence… a cold beer I down at the Beer Stop. And then another. And then we walk back, and then another beer. I don’t really pay attention to what is going on at the beer stop. I was just happy to be there.
On-Home we gallivant together, some blessing certain sewer drains and others racing to the end. Epic Booby Dewey was falling in “Booby Traps” and I was following the leader. The virgins, Just Mike and Just Jen and Visitor Hoggie tell their jokes and significant runs were recognized. I am once again happy! My unjustified fear has disappeared.
It’s now time for hashshit nominations. I am of course nominated for crying on trail and Postage and Locknut are nominated for blowing through a chick check (shameful). Little did I know that the basis for my fear would be revealed in hashshit nominations. . . Copped and Fingered has a trophy. No big deal. I thought she took it out of the trash. I was wrong. She took it from a homeless man’s fortress on trail. His home in the forest. . . in the darkness. . . by the Tunnel to Hell. I gasp to know that my fear was true. Was it him that I saw? Was there a psychopathic schizophrenic diabolical killer watching me in the Tunnel to Hell? His eyes peering down on me, he let me live and for that I am thankful. I am also thankful that C &F and the boys win hashshit and life is good. I can now relax and enjoy 12.5 more beers at Malone’s knowing that I survived a Stinky Peemers trail.