A while back I wrote the first part of my friend Paradox’s treacherous journey into the “Torngat Mountains” in Labrador, Canada. On the second day of his trek the hefty explorer suffered a terrible fall while setting up his tent causing him to smash his head against a rock. Other than what I believe to be a concussion Paradox walked away unharmed.
The fall did slow him down. He settled down in camp early. Afraid to go to sleep – Paradox suspected a concussion himself – he decided to dig into his Elk Jerky and consult his logs, maps, and update his journal. How he managed all of this with a minor head injury and snow pants frozen solid with urine is beyond me. If you didn’t catch the first part, Paradox’s body did not react well to the fall, the poor man soiled himself.
Paradox suffers from what I would consider overly obsessive compulsions. Once he starts something he has to finish it. His journey had only begun and nothing was going to cut it short. A good example of his dedication would be the time he stalked a Big Foot expert for two months straight to expose the man as a fraud. He found the evidence he was looking for but something else as well. The hoaxer was a CIA agent who was already investigating Paradox. The watcher was watching the watched as the watched watched him. Paradox wiped the man’s hard-drive, his servers and left a sex tape on the man’s desktop of Paradox having an affair with the man’s wife. Paradox doesn’t like being watched… I suspect his alias is starting to make sense to you. A lot happened in those two months of stake-outs.
Back to the mountains. After a night of forced insomnia and drying his crotch with a flip-up lighter Paradox was good to set out again. Lucky for Paradox, the subzero temperature and the pounding headache was enough to keep him awake in spite of no sleep.
The early morning was looking bright… it was summer in the arctic so I suppose it’s always bright. Paradox was in good spirits. He spotted a lone polar bear in the distance and he also identified seven unique varieties of lichen. The man was in paradise. He fished in a creek and drank from it’s clear waters. He ran free in the grassy valleys. He felt a renewed connection to his inner spirit and a connection to the land. Despite the increasing intensity of the smell emanating from his pants, Paradox was sure that the worst was behind him.
That night Paradox set up camp in the glow of the low hanging sun. He climbed into his still salvable tent and wrapped himself tight in layers. The gentle hum of the creek – and his exhaustion – lulled him to sleep. The banshee wail of a sudden storm jerked him awake. His head pounded with renewed vigour. The fabric of his tent shook and rippled like a beluga’s stomach after being paddled by a fisherman’s ore. Paradox fought agains’t the blankets and furs tightened around his body from uneasy sleep.
A hole in his tent – from the previous accident – whistled a high pitch shrill in the wind like a lost soul desperate to be heard and found. Paradox has a rare inner ear condition and is sensitive to high pitch sounds… which only served to acerbate his migraine. The man groaned out loud as he struggled against his furry prison. The whistle was driving him mad.
After moments of agony that stretched on for eternity, as described to me by Paradox, he managed to free a single arm. He reached out with great speed and purpose, his finger on a collision course with the hole in the tent. With the aim of a master archer, Paradox’s finger entered the hole in the tent plugging it up… but for an instant. By reaching out with such force Paradox had propelled his large form into a roll. His finger shot through the hole, followed by his arm. In an attempt to regain his balance Paradox’s arm tore through the tent wall with a vengeance.
The man sighed at the site of the large hole in the side of his tent. At least the whistle was gone, but hell it was cold. Paradox began to pry the layers away from his body as a massive gust of wind forced its way into his tent. The tent inflated like a warm plastic bag full of dry ice. Paradox held his breath as the ground lost its solidity.
In frantic desperation Paradox thrust off his covers and dragged his weight over to the hole and stuck his head through. Whether it be evil spirits or the worst storm he had ever seen, Paradox’s tent was now airborne. He was five feet off the ground and climbing. The flight was short lived as Paradox’s body was slammed into the ground. Another gust and the tent was airborne only to once again slam into the cold ground. This repeated time and time again as he scrambled to find his knife.
With knife in hand Paradox slashed away at the fabric.
Freedom came as Paradox fell free from his tent. He lay flat on his back as he watched his tent rise up into the white sky and out of sight. It was at this moment that Paradox made a profound life decision, he was going to invest in an RV.
The man stood – head pounding, furs torn and pants reeking – in the howling haze of the storm and screamed at the top of his lungs. He would not turn back and he would not be defeated. There was a strange hum in the air, something beyond the snow and wind. Paradox heard, and he followed.
– Bear Hunter