Shriek of HungerJun 28, 2003 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line The hike that grows worse from a sister's crazed antics.
At age nine or so two older sisters took their younger siblings and I out on an unforgettable hiking/camping trip. Rachel and Danielle were supposed to be in charge, though major disputes were fought over who ended up the leader. Rachel drove while Danielle was to direct her where the good trail we were to adventure. Early in our travel, tension mounted, Danielle scold at the driver for choosing to ignore the place were we suppose to go.
Down the Avenue of the Giants, memory returned, thats why she discarded the passengers preference. Courtney, Brad, and me sat uncomfortably in the backseat, frightened by the sudden burst of churned rage.
She had a better idea, the Four-fire Places. The 1978 Dodge belonged to Rachel, which she used to protest that we were to go where she wants to go when in her car, she howled when pulled over in the pedestrian walkway to tell us that. No one proclaimed we had all-equally shared in paying for gasoline. The fixed crimson look of anger boiling across her face won her title as our leader, at least for the time being, anyway.
To enter, the tollbooth requires each person to pay five dollars, but Rachel grinned and passed with no effort to slow to a stop. She knew we could not afford what little money we had left to shell out, even if it went towards protecting the National State Parks. If it wasnt for three philosophers in 1922 that bought the tiny portion of forestland that remained uncharted by money hogging loggers, we wouldnt be able to have the luxury, that many take for granted, to touch and smell and glance at the innocent ancient beauty.
The tollbooth is always left unsupervised or else we would have stopped? Quick bypassing swivels were speedily en routed without concern of our lives, and each one of us were too scared to say anything. On the crest of one corner where a tree stood, we almost rammed straight into its thick trunk. Near peed my pants, and I couldnt restrain myself by screeching, Rachel, freakin slow down will ya? She snarled at the question. Were almost there, Lance, she replied with a deviant burst of laughter, while holding the steering wheel tightly as veins seem to sprout forming river streams on both palms.
The final jerk and turn placed us in the close-to-empty parking lot. Two vans at the far north end nestled side-by-side, convinced me they tagged along together. Our car could have snug in nicely, Rachel instead parked at a vertical angle. Even I could have parked the crude better.
If someone were to ask me what color my sisters car is Id say it has no color. The Navy blue paint has faded over the twenty-year time span into light blue like a clear forecast until one day rust kept growing throughout the exterior of the now crappy car.
Our mission now is to hike further up the mountaintop. Danielle handed me what little I brought in the backpack. The less I carried, the less strain on the puny body. Two cold water bottles, two bologna and cheese sandwiches; slapped with blotted mustard, and some music collections to listen on my walkman were what I stowed inside the backpack. The sleeping bags stayed behind, in the car until nighttime where we would sleep near one of the four campfires that were built alongside one another, that formed a complete circle around a sturdy redwood tree.
Because Danielle knew little about the campground, Rachel ordered us to follow her down the sandy hill. Below was where one of many rivers that flow in the forest. Rachel said we needed to cross to the other side. I didnt like the thought of being drenched from foot to hips in murky riverweed water. Rachel must have noticed our blank expressions because she let out a smirk and told us to follow her some more.
We walked over rocks that pervaded the sandy area, which felt uncomfortable on the bottom of my feet, as sometimes Id tumble close to crashing onto the rocky surface when my knees almost buckled from underneath. Danielle realized why we were walking in such unfamiliar direction, which was shown in her eyes. An unstable wooden bridge came visible when Danielle pointed and told us about it. I let out a sigh of relief; I hate to walk around in wet pants, no matter if the paints I wore were baggy, since its wetness will still stick like magnets on anyones skin. Rachel daringly ran across the wobbling bridge. Had she jumped, the structure might have collapsed in the active water? Its a risk that made me glad she did not consider, but shed have had I asked hershe likes to impress the young ones, since being second from the youngest in the family, shell do just about anything. The rest of us creaked, and making it across, my negative thinking kept confidence low in reaching the other side. The fear of a bolt coming undone may have slowed my pace a little, but it did not overrule me this go around as I hopped off the end to the foundation of more rocks, the way back could be dealt with when the time comes.
The tiny, barely noticeable, sign read Founders Groove that shows its trailgoes up the forest. Before taking the climb, we doubled checked to see if there was anything important that got left behind. We were prepared and well equipped. Courtney carried a heavy-loaded backpack, made me wonder if she had the willpower to maul up this slanted hillside. At ease she passed by me as if she read my mind and wanted to show off her durability. I must admit I was impressed, but kept the opinion hidden.
Courtney just completed her freshman year of high school, which a tingle of anxiety crept in over the thought Ill have to go too, someday. By the time I get enrolled, Courtney will be in college somewhere far away from home. As I heaved what little strength in me up the hill, I fumbled in every few steps from when the feet sunken into the grainy sand, causing me to lose balance. Loose tree branches helped the climbhands grappled shrubs. Id eventually catch up but then lose the pack for a moment or two.
Everyone waited irritated for me to reach the top. I was only seconds behind, but their facial expressions scripted as though they waited too long where boredom settled in. Out of the backpack I drank a gulp of water to relent hydration that left me breathing heavily. They were already strolling down the hill while in the midst of sealing the lid on the bottle. I ran toward their directiona straight downward path.
Without recognition a small twig tripped me underneath my feet. I crashed hard on the gravel where my left shoulder popped by the impact. Apparently the group heard the earth quake-like commotion as they were soon huddled around me. Lance, are you hurt? Rachel asked, in an amicable tone, which did not convince me aggression was no longer her nature. We knew better.
I shuddered a little before Rachels hand outstretched to pulled me off the ground. She checked me over to see if I looked okay and when all seemed fine we went back to walking on the trail. Something did not feel right with my shoulder, with touch of the right hand brushed on the swollen spot, an awkward bulging lump could be felt and seen. Hey, I think my shoulder is broken. The bone is sticking out, I said close to breaking down to a puddle of tears. Let me take a peak . . . whoa, thats a major disjointed shoulder there, Danielle remarked. Rachel, come over here, Lances shoulder is dislocated. Courtney and Brad gazed, wishing this wasnt happening so we could continue to hike. I was seated on a log and was told that we have two choices: either we go to the hospital or have Rachel snap the joint back in.
It turned out I didnt have a choice to pick. Through persuasion Rachel somehow convinced me to let her snap the joint back in its original position. On the other side, Danielle held me tight to keep me from wavering as the intensive pressure jolted into the left shoulder by Rachels unprofessional medical skill effort. The weight of her hands seem to only make matters worstI almost passed out, but Danielle kept me alert by her encouraging voice of support. When I cried shed say something like: Youre doing great, its almost over, at the same time rubbing my backside. After I heard the bone rustle in place, the intermittent shot of pain practically disappeared.
Unsure if I could carry the backpack, I squalled that it wasnt a problem, but the two older sisters were concerned that it might be too much for me to handle. I admit it was quite a load for the sore shoulderI insisted to pretend I could withstand the weight on it. We walked through many twists and turnsgood thing there werent another hill to deal with, at least so far. At the edge of the cliff I saw beyond where we once walked along the riverside to the wooden bridge that now seemed quite the distance away now.
Why cant we stop and eat, I mean, its past 2 oclock all ready. At home I always have lunch. Mom never makes us go without and here you are telling me we need to keep on trekking. I am starving! Courtney growled at Rachels reluctance to stop for a lunch break. Then all the rest of us began to complain of hunger pains. We stopped at an area that had enough logs to seat on and ate fiercely, while Rachel had no choice but to accept.
On a small trunk stumble I pulled apart the Zip-Lock bag and snatched one sandwich and decided to save the other for later. My jaws expanded and sank into the bologna and cheese sandwich. Another bite loosened the bologna from its center and flapped while dangling by the clutch of my front teeth. Brad burst out with laughter. I couldnt help crease a smileI probably looked like a caveman. Thirst came quick after I finished only one of the sandwichesnow only one bottle water remained full. Now on when I become thirty I intend to drink in sips rather than mulching down streams. Is everyone done eating? You guys appear to be resting whenever we should be going if we want to make it on top of the mountainside before nightfall, Rachel yowled like a ruthless tyrant ruler, who can tell us what to do.
We did not hesitate to pack up and start walking againwe didnt want to trudge through the entire night just to make it back to our campsite. Tiredness already bolted in our bodies, though none of us admitted to the physical strain, so we kept following the path that seemed, to me, no end was in sight despite Rachels reassurance we were almost there. Soreness sprouted on the right face of my footsome kind of burning rash sensation, but we sprinted faster through the trail, so all I wanted to do was keep the progress going, not slow the pack down; we were already behind schedule as it was.
The rash burning sensations worsen more as the shoe rubbed against the foot as I walked. What I did not find out until much later is that the foot lacked circulationI tied the shoe too tightly that cut off blood flow. Some of the discomfort eased a little when I curled my toes in and out. I wondered if I were the only one who had complaints that were worthwhile to take a short break. Then again, maybe it was only I, the second youngest, with something to whine about. Up ahead I noticed another hill we have to encounternot as steep, but before we approached I saw an unforgettable movement that caused the bushes to rattle just enough to catch all our attention. If it were only me who noticed the rattled bushes, then Id have shrugged it off with no concern, but thats not the case as we froze with our eyes locked on the slightly moving object we were eager to identify.
The sheer size of the unknown-type animal was bigger than a wild boar. I knew that much when the things spine was seen for a moment before it hunched low again and was then hidden by the shrubs. Rachel whispered for us not to move, even if I wanted to scamper down the opposite direction I wouldnt be able toshock paralyzed all four limbs. Suddenly Rachels face widened, and she chose to backtrack her steps toward my direction (throughout the trail I stayed behind everyone else).
I found nothing wrong with tracking behind all the othersin fact, I like itit allows the person ahead of me to give me any kind of warning to be careful when coming across a path that deserves special attention while progressing. One time, Courtney who, in front of me, grabbed hold of a branch so I could pass through the branchy area scrapped free. Small teamwork like that makes me glad someone would care to direct me out of harms wayreduces the fear away from home, too.
It growled in clear view when it decided to quit the hide-and-seek game. Away from the hidden position, a spotted tiger roar more vigorously as its presence was shown. I just froze there, in the same position when we first heard the commotion, but down below a wide circle of wetness swelled on my Lee jeans. It made no difference, as I never noticed.
The three of them ran a few feet behind meDanielle, Courtney, and Brad. They left me there dumbfounded, knocked into a coma by Mohammad Alis float like a butterfly, sting like a bee jab to the cerebrum. Though they did holler for me to comeI fuzzed out, couldnt hear human voice (even the tigers howl lacked audibility). The only part of my body that stayed functional was the eyesight that fixed on the tigers angry facial expression.
We were so close to the top! Another thirty minutes or so we would have completed our mission. Nighttime was upon us, and before denied access to continue on, it was six-twenty in the evening, as the crest of the sun parted halfway already behind the distant mountains, it wouldnt become dark for at least another three hours. In the summer, we Californians are welcomed with the sun from wee morning hours to late nightfall. Anyone who does not appreciate such bright weather conditions really shouldnt live in this state, but I see many that do anyway. The only obvious clue I know of is when people who are outside with sunshades onthat is the sign they dont get out much. Its mostly the older folks I see with the shades on to protect their sensitive iris and/or pupils.
I have my parents to thank for raising me in warm climate. Always, I am outside either riding my bicycle or tagging along with friends in the family oriented community, and I usually have a nice painted tan to go with it, but during the winter it fades, skin turns pale again. Probably around November the chilly air starts to flow into Humboldt County; in LA therell still be late night barbecue rendezvous.
Puzzled on who to attack first, me nearby my sister, Rachel, the beast in the tiger swayed its head side-to-side in slow fashion, mouth open, its sparkly clean whitish teeth stretched as wide as it could muster, as if to show whose the real king of the jungle. But we werent in the jungle where wild animals roam the landthis was the redwoods where what little wild animals knew their ground, well, at least it was what I thought until this encounter. Help, I cannot defend myself and protect Lance at the same time, Rachel bellowed to any sibling willing to put their own life in jeopardy to get their brother away from harms way.
Courtney told Danielle to go fetch me, but cowardice stalled any attempts to save her only biological brotherBrad came from the fathers previous marriage, which he gained full custody at age three.
The mother went in and out of alcohol anonymous and took more than the twelve-step program to give up the toxic liquid. In the meantime she tried to develop a sturdy foundation so she can win her son back, but it never worked, years of messy court trials, the judge gave full custody ownership of Brad J. Boyer to his father.
Courtney, again, scolded at her older sisterinstead of waiting any longer, a tug on the arm somehow snapped me out of the coma-like state back into the reality of hell. She looked startling in my eyes, and noticed I have come to and relented the idea of pulling me to the others, which shed done had I never reacted.
I wanted to thank Courtney, but it had to wait as present danger remained far from being over; up the little way, Rachel somehow defended herself with a shard tree branch and it manage to prevent being swipe to shreds like pepperoni slices. Will my sister come out alive?
When the tigers mouth maws at the stick like it was a toothpick, to use once done mauling and devouring human flesh, Rachel haplessly knew her faith was just about finished.
A sharp bite tore the lower left leg then came an unforgettable shrill sound from my sister that echoed in the redwoods. All we could do is watch the nightmare unfold, until Danielle and Brad began aiming their water jugs at the beast. Danielle tossed mine for me. Courtneys bottle was empty, so itd be pointless to throw a weightless object just to get its attention. When one of their jugs, filled with warm water, hit the target, on the rib cage, the tiger stumbled off balance, for a moment, and then it starred sharply at us and let out a roar, as to say we were next in line. Made them think maybe they made an unwise decision. Running away to escape to save our lives would lead to wonderment if our sister could have been rescued, instead there was an attempt to save a family member. It was a failed attempt.
Quit stalling ... get outta here! Rachel bellowed and then underhandedly threw her set of keys as far as possible toward Danielles directionit landed four inches short above her feetshe managed to scrape them off the leafy ground. With the toothpick used to fight off the incoming mouth, it kept on lurching to try and nibble Rachels limping leg some more. We didnt have any other choice but run and hope to reach the campsite in time to find help. Itd be too late, though. No goodbyes were given, time was too short to spare, so we took off rounding twists and turns at the same speed. What we missed was the brutal way Rachel got mutilated.
Once we fled from the scene, hesitation of what should be dealt with first fumbled inside the tigers puny little mind. It grew angrier, though, noticing the rest of its dinner has left its plate. The head twitched side-to-side and decided to quit playing nice. It rammed into Rachels stomach like a bull. Her body plummeted flat on her backside, while her head caught her fall, and the worst of it is when she was still somewhat conscious. The massive weight of the tiger attacked on top of her, pawed deep through her blouse, blood squirted from the lined scratches. It wasnt until a violent strike of its mouth to the skull did more than silent the defenseless girls barely audible moansit killed immediately upon impact.
We pretty much knew Rachel was a goner, just didnt want to believe it. In my heart she saved our lives by risking her own for us to live on, well, at least to get a head start with our escape. Out of breath I tried my best to stay caught up. I knew Id only be putting myself in danger if I stopped for a breathier and with the others as well as theyd probably wait with fumbling dread.
Not satisfied on what lain in front of the grisly tiger. It demanded more food, more like it wanted more human flesh, as what it just devoured was only a sample piece for what really laid ahead. And before it arrowed down the trail to prey after its dinner, it stood on all fours, stretched, raised its head upward, then roared with rage and sprinted on its way with automatic velocity.
Dean Reinhold, for over ten years, has been recruited as a forest ranger. This is his second year as a resident and forest ranger in Humboldt County and prefers this location to Ukiahs forestland, the reason is because the heat there was too horrid to withstand during the summer months. Instead, of swiping sweat off his face just for being outside, in the Ukiah heat, he got the word of acceptance through the mail that Humboldt County will hire him to work in the Avenue of the Giants. He was glad to get transferred; he waited five years to receive this job.
At age thirty-two, with wife and two children, they found it hard to move as they already settled in and got accustomed to Ukiah being their hometown. The kids were upset too, as they didnt want to leave their school and friends and be forced to adapt in the new environment. All the resentment was soon forgotten when a short visit in the North Coast changed the familys opinions. The not so hot temperature and the incredible forest sites made them understand Deans exclamation when offered to transfer.
About an hour before, Dean finished touring civilians around Clover Creek. When they came across the tree with its missing middle trunk, where tourists can drive through, many camera snaps were flashed of the treasured scenery. Afterwards Deans work shift, he choose to take a short stroll at Founders Grove, but ended up sightseeing for awhile as the sunset amazed him and gave energy to continue walking. It has been quite some time since he last walked such distance in this locationwhen he noticed the bridge, memory of its trail that followed on the other side returned. To refresh his memory of visiting this lavish trail with his wife, he first had to overcome the hike it took to topple the steep hill section before reaching the true beauty of the rowed redwood trees.
The descending sun shined and glistened on the trees, giving off an incredible view worthy of being photographed, but Dean already had photo books stashed away of his family and the love for the redwoods. He walked farther.
I wanted to rest just for a momentmy stomach let out sharp pains like my insides were giving in on itself, though I did not stop, only reduced the speed, which the others noticed and Danielle groped my arm and yapped for me to hurry it along or be killed. I wondered if Rachel made it out alive, the thought of her dead did not seem believable (until I saw her listless and disfigured structure in the oak casket did I then come to the conclusion she is gone forever).
At intervals we yelled for help while pacing through the empty trails, it was worth the effort, who knows, someone peeing behind a tree might hear and help us. I kept thinking the tiger wasnt too far away as its hulking body raced nearer and nearer by the second.
Fear reduced when Danielle saw a glimpsed of a man at the over path, and I thought she was delusional, but I soon saw the human figure, too. The closer we got to him the focus became more clear. He wore some kind odd looking tailored police uniform. It wasnt until later my sister, Courtney, told me he was a state park ranger.
Help us! Danielle yelled as loud as she could sound while still at a distance away, once up close her voiced lower and quivered as she spoke. Our sister is being attacked by a tiger. Please help her there still might be time to save her. Please
At the sight of whatever Dean saw, his eyes expanded, asked Danielle if knew she the way back to campground. She said yes. Dean nodded, and told us run as fast as we could to home base. The short rest period rejuvenated strength in my stomachI ran inline with the siblings through the remainder of the course.
With the handkerchief pouched in his backside pocket, Dean rubbed it across his eyebrows to wipe sweat off before it burned his eyes. He then dropped the soggy material on the ground and slid his hand inside his hip holster, brought out the silvery pistol. He opened the cylinder, saw the slots were only half gauged; three bullets were inside, with his empty hand he wiped off his eyebrows again before closing the cage. His nerves caused him to sweat relentlessly. Time was running out. There he stood nervous, not accustomed to using a weapon.
Dean last killed an animal was when he and his father journeyed to a forest back east, during his childhood, to assassinate a deer for the love of the sport. When an opportunity to gun down the deer came, his father handed the rifle to Dean and told him to clank the trigger at the clueless mother tending on the two babies as they nibbled on juniper berries. He held the shaft back, I dont want to kill a deer, Dean had said while his teary eyes flourished even more when violent verbal abuse came in scolding him to shoot the thing. He did.
His father repositioned the weapon fixed on the deer then Dean griped it shakily with his bitty hands. If he did not do what he was told, hell be beaten, his fathers said to encouragement his son. He yanked back hard on the trigger with his index finger to the echoing sound of the gunpowder explosion, hitting its target. That day, Dean murmured to himself thatll never happen again. No more hunting with his father, it was no longer funny when the pieces were put to together that animals are also living life forms.
In talking about his position, the father eventually accepted the boys views, but not without lashing many harsh words. The comment that struck him to heart was: You will amount to nothing in life! That day he slammed the new installed door (has been smacked several times before) and remained in his room through the entire day. The day that followed, things were forgotten, and its how issues got resolved. Ever since then Dean stuck to his vow.
This is a life or death situation: either kill it or get yourself killed. Deans hands outstretched parallel to each other with the watery palms holding the handgun, at the same time pointing the muzzle at the eager tiger readily gaining closer to its dinner. The snap of the trigger only made a weak clicking sound, and Dean fumbled in his head on why the bullet didnt fire, then seconds later he kept snapping the trigger, bam-bam, because he remembered there were only three bullets inside its cylinder. The first bullet, after another squeeze, rammed straight in its right shoulder, shattering it, then the second bullet struck its furry-white strip upper chest area, near the neck and lost its balance, fell paralyzed sideway on the ground. One eye pleaded for its final meal, Dean inspected when he stepped closer, actually felt sad for what he had to doof course, he was not aware of human life it took awaybut later he became ecstatic for what he did when the full story was explained to him. Its face splattered to chunks with the final pistol shot.
Guns shots were heard in the midst of exiting out the zigzagging trail, and we did not letup, getting help was our new mission. Danielles fingers shook when fingering with the keys, trying to unlock the drivers side with each key on the ring. I told her to be calm. All I got in return was a small grin out the corner of her mouth that meant for me to shut my trap. Moments later the door opened, grinded against rust, we basically crammed in quickly as possible to haul on out of there.
At a much more careful speed, Danielle drove through the winding road Rachel hurried through, almost crashing us into a tree trunk. Courtney would have most likely been injured the most severe since she sat on that outer corner in the backseat. Farther up north, three miles or less, the small town of Weyott has many tourist shops and in one of them Danielle bustled inside and had the middle-aged clerk dial in the police.
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