Prompt #3

A long time ago, I was on a hike in a swamp exploring the terrain, and more accurately, myself. It was a mysterious place filled with a diverse array of fauna and flora, many of which I had never seen before. I was traveling with my short speech-impaired colleague for what seemed like days; always walking, running, and swinging from vines for what seemed like no reason at all.

After traveling for quite some time, I suddenly felt cold. I felt… death all around me, but originating from a very specific spot. This was quite disturbing to me, so I began to investigate the area. From this search, I found a small cave set into the ground before me, leading off into who knows what. It was dark, quiet, and unseen as to what lay ahead. Snakes could be seen slithering on branches around me, and a cold breeze was moving out from the opening. I turned to my companion and asked “What’s in there?”. He stopped, considered the question for a few moments, and replied “Only what you take with you”. Instinctively, I knew this to be a stupid response. I could clearly see that creepy animals and plants were down in the cave, so there must be other life down there. My companion obviously didn’t understand what I was asking, as I clearly didn’t care about anything philosophical or deep-thinking. Preparing myself for the worst, I grabbed my utility belt and began to secure my weapons in case things got bad down there. My height-challenged friend looked at me and calmly stated “Your weapons, you will not need them”. I wanted to reply with “You’re an idiot”, but, trying to remain calm and mature, I simply finished strapping everything in place and made my way to the cave opening.

As I descended into the cave, the air around me grew cold and quiet. My danger-sense began to rise and an intense feeling of paranoia rose inside of me. I couldn’t see anything in front of me to actually cause concern… but I could feel it. I walked and walked for what seemed like hours. The ground was damp and slick with water, the rock slippery and dangerous to traverse. A light fog rose up around me and obscured my vision to the point where I could only see several feet out in front of me. Up ahead of me, the cave began to curve off to the left and it was hard to see what exactly was around the corner.

As I approached the corner, a tall, dark figure emerged from the fog and moved straight for me at a steady, terrifying pace. The figure was clad in what appeared to be dark black armor, his head protected in a helmet with a breathing apparatus installed within. It sounded like he kept saying “Cooper”, which was odd as my name is Tim. I was about to ask him why he kept calling me Cooper when a long, approximately 3 foot red beam emerged from his hand. A lightsaber! How was this man in this cave in the first place, and more importantly, how was he also wielding the same weapon as I? Thankfully, I didn’t listen to my friend and reached for my similar, yet blue in color, lightsaber. I instantly depressed the activation stud on the handle and deployed the blade of pure energy. Not waiting for him to attack me, I went instantly on the offensive and moved in to take him down.

The opponent was obviously well trained with a lightsaber, as he quickly and easily parried my first assault and turned his action around into an attack of his own. Being only a novice myself, I was rapidly growing concerned about how this battle may fare for me. I was obviously outmatched against this man and my life expectancy was decreasing as the seconds continued. My swings became more defensive and more desperate with each passing moment. I felt cornered and pressured to keep fighting as he calmly and effortlessly continued to berate me with his swordplay. In a moment of combined skill, timing, and perhaps, pure luck, an opening appeared in his offensive strategy and I saw a window of opportunity to strike in between my defensive motions. Starting low with my blade pointed by my ankles, I quickly brought the blade upward in a quick motion aimed at my opponent’s face. Against all odds, my attack passed by his defensive parrying and found home on his mask. As the blade penetrated the plastic/metal composite helmet armor, his head popped off cleanly, and almost, too easily for what I expected. As I’ve never decapitated somebody before, this was bringing about a sense of terror, joy, and victory in me all at once. The helmeted head fell to the ground and landed at my feet.

As I looked down at the head rolling several revolutions towards my feet, the head stopped face-up. Immediately, a small explosion obliterated the front of the mask and sent a shower of sparks at my feet. As the smoke from the explosion began to waft off and disperse in the foggy, cool air of the cave, I could see what lay inside the mask of the helmet. Unsure of what I was actually looking at, I reach down towards the ground for the helmet, picked it up, reached inside, and pulled out… a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies!

What luck! There were no Girl Scouts anywhere to be seen in this swamp, let alone this dark cave, so how they made it here, I have no clue. But seriously, Thin Mints? This was awesome. I took the box opened them carefully, and opened up the first of the plastic sleeves. Savoring the first bite of those delicious mint and chocolatey goodness, I happily worked my way back out of the cave to find my friend staring sadly at me. I approached him, looked down at him, and swiftly kicked him out of the way. You think that I was going to share my new-found cookies with him? He didn’t want me to take my weapons in the first place because he wanted the cookies all to himself. The nerve!

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