By Alexandra Riera
© 2005 Alexandra Riera
As Allan lay almost unconscious on the iced floor gasping for breath he made the effort to remember what had brought him there as that would probably be the key to feeling better and perhaps surviving.
As a child, Allan had always excelled in driving his mother up the wall. He hadn’t crawled like the rest of children, he had galloped on all fours until one day he found an apparently abandoned walker in a park and sped away with it before the little owner could even scream or cry. His mother had had to run after him in order to stop him from falling into the pond. Allan wouldn’t have drowned; he would have probably climbed onto one of the ducks and ridden it to the other side of the lake.
Allan went from the early walker on to a rocking horse that had wheels at the bottom. At first he rocked the horse so hard that after a few falls and consequent visits to the emergency ward at the hospital his mother bought him a biker’s helmet which proved to be a very bad idea as instead of rocking the horse he started using the wheels that had been attached on the horse. Allan pushed the horse with such a force that one day he literally went through the front door which was right in front of the staircase. Allan went riding down the stairs on his horse with a huge grin on his face whilst his mum was shouting at him to stop as she followed him down the stairs in a panic. Luckily for him the entrance to the building was wide open at the time so he didn’t crash against the iron bars of the door and only bumped into the postman’s bike as he parked his bike.
The next thing Allan had wanted was a bike, a real motorbike, not a toy bike like the rest of the children in the neighbourhood had; so is parents bought the desired bike on his tenth birthday not without first enrolling him into a weekend and holidays adventurer’s camp. They were sure that their dear son would be in no danger and that above all other people wouldn’t be at risk by being near him.
As Allan grew older he excelled at all sports: hockey, basketball, rock-climbing, expedition, trekking, bungee jumping, skiing, ice-skating, dog pulled sleigh races, cart driving, motorbike racing and even horse riding. He had even tried his hand at powerful kites, speed boats and hand gliding.
In the same way that his body has been very fit from an early age, his mind has been in constant search of the maximum exhilaration that could be achieved. He had always wanted more, go a little bit further, test the limits to the top of his own capacities and today, after accepting the ultimate challenge he was still in search of the answer for his troubled soul.
Allan lay still on the floor and as he began to loose feeling in one of his toes he tried to open his eyes against the glittering light. He only managed a little squint which enabled him to see his sun goggles laying on the white surface out of his immediate reach. With great difficulty he dragged himself until he was able to reach the goggles and very slowly he put them on.
He could see better now although the sun was still making things difficult for him. He wondered if he was dreaming as he couldn’t remember what he was doing in the middle of a glacier. Then he saw some footprints in the distance and followed them with his eyes until he realised that they were his own. He tried to get up but couldn’t, he had lost all feeling on his lower legs now so he resolved to make himself as comfortable as he could and try to build a fire so that he could warm himself up and call for help at the same time. Surely there’d be somebody looking for him.
Night came and with it a bitter cold that chilled him to the bone. The little fire he had managed to make by burning the rucksack’s contents was doing nothing for him at all except keeping him awake. He knew that if he slept he would certainly die frozen. He sat in front of the fire and watched the little flames dance and imagined they were exotic dancers from eastern countries where the weather was warm.
The following morning Allan entered a new state of mind. He wasn’t worried about the cold, or about the lack of food, he wasn’t even racking his brain trying to figure out what he was doing there in the first place; he sat quietly in front of the died out fire and admired the view. What a peaceful place this was, so quiet, so still, so exhilarating. He wanted to stay here for ever an ever and sleep with the sun warming his face. He rested his head on the snow and closed his eyes. No, he would not eat himself in order to survive, that would not do. He’ll just enjoy his death as nobody else has ever done it before; fully conscious.
The sound of a helicopter reverberated in the air and Allan made no effort to draw attention to himself. No need to run. Peace at last.
© 2005 Alexandra Riera