Our first line this week: When Sahi returned to The Ridge there was nothing left but charred wood jutting from the snow.
“This isn’t right.” He was heard to say. As he looked around, there was nothing but bewilderment spread across his face.
The Ridge was a place where tropical plants grew in abundance. The trees were resplendent with the riotous colour of birds. All was silent save for the patter of falling snow.
Snow wasn’t something you’d expect to see at The Ridge. The more immediate issue was the snow and the change in the weather.
Beside Sahi was his right-hand man, Hollings, a small and bald man, dressed as it turned out in the most inappropriate way possible in shorts and singlet.
Both men had been in the resort gym doing their usual Friday workout and hadn’t noticed the weather take a turn for the worst.
“How far Hollings, is K-Mart?” asked Sahi beginning to shiver.
“A good hour from here Sir,” replied Hollings whose teeth were by now beginning to chatter uncontrollably.
“We need to get there sooner rather than later.”
“We need to buy ourselves a warm coat or two.”
“Ah, good thinking Sir, I’ll go get the car.”
Once in the car, Sahi began to postulate about the situation.
“Its climate change Hollings. You can see it happening around you.”
“You can Sir?”
“Of course, you can, and I’ve seen it all before.”
“Yes. 30,000 years ago. Same thing happened. One day there were beaches with rolling surf and palm trees, the next we were knee deep in it, and there was no K-Mart then I can assure you.”
Hollings not being the sharpest tack in the box stopped at this point to digest what Sahi had just said. Had he heard it right?
“Are you saying you were alive 30,000 years ago Sir?”
“Yes, I am, and a bloody tough time we had of it. Snow and ice everywhere, no food, no water, cold enough to freeze your balls off and no hope of survival. Everywhere you turned it was white, the oceans turned to ice, the ice then hardened, people starved and the animals froze. Mess everywhere.”
“Then how did you survive?”
“Same way I intend to survive now Hollings. I have a plan, you have to have a plan and as I’ve seen all this before I know just the ticket to get us out of this mess.”
“And what might that be Sir?”
“When we get back Hollings, when we have our warm winter woollies, I want you to get from the charred wood jutting out of the snow any piece of wood that still has a spark within it. Do you hear me, Hollings?”
“Yes Sir, find a spark in the charred wood jutting out of the snow. What if there isn’t a spark there then?”
“Then Hollings you will feel the cold creep up your legs, they and your feet will go numb, and your torso and other bits will then lose feeling. You will find death a disappointment as it will arrive long before you desire it to. I won’t bother burying you as there is no way I can dig a hole for you nor cremate your remains so in a thousand years or so when the ice once again melts some explorer will find your body and make a name for himself claiming he has found the missing link.”
“And what of you Sir?”
“Oh, I’ll be fine Hollings, just behind you where the charred wood juts from the snow there is a portal to take me into another dimension where the grass grows on trees and the leaves from the ground. A fascinating place, I know you’d like it Hollings, but there is only room for one body through the portal. Now get over there find a spark for me or its curtains for you.”
“Yes Sir, immediately sir,” replied Hollings hoping against all hope that a spark might just remain.