… it’s 5:48 in the morning on October first. You woke up at an ungodly hour and could barely wipe the sleep from your eyes, trudged to the car with the gear you set aside the night before, drive 45 minutes only stopping for gas and coffee then walk another 20 minutes down into the swamp. You’ve had a good 15 minutes to wait because you got out there way too early and now your good and rested. The mist is just becoming visible curling out of the tangles in the swamp brush before you as the eastern skyline is just starting to glow with the coming of day.
Then you hear it! That first ‘snap’ of a twig! Your muscles involuntarily want to twitch but you don’t want to move a muscle. All you move is your eyes to look down at your bow and tighten your fingers on the string. You know you are about to get the best cardio workout you have had all year without moving a millimeter!
… you have just spent 3 weeks including brainstorming, the initial scribbles on a napkin at lunch and a whole slew of cross referencing online and in books. You’ve put in at least 8 hours a day including weekends. Manipulating graphics, building style sheets, populating databases but mostly hacking away at code. The last line is done and you execute the code – and there is nothing but a smattering of small errors left to fix!
… you turn off the highway and downshift with your foot, pulling off onto an unpopulated road running down through the trees bursting with fall colors, winding this way and that along a crystal smooth lake. You flair the throttle with your right hand and a small group of cranes lights off the water and starts to fly along side you matching your speed, their wingtips just touching the water as they struggle to gain altitude. Somewhere off on the opposite shore you see a fish rise. You throw your head back and just feel the wind blowing across your face under the edge of your helmet visor.
… you’re dozing off to sleep after killing the last mosquito in the tent. The fire, down to just embers outside let’s out an occasional crackle and ever behind it is the sound of the river, just feet away from your head, trickling by. You hear a trout rise upstream as an owl hoots somewhere off in the distance. No sounds of cars can be heard as you’re half tempted to get out of the sleeping bag and grab the flyrod to see if the rise marks the start of a bug hatch. You spy the a million flickering dots of light through the netting at the top of the tent dome as a falling star shoots by.
… it’s drawing near the end of the fourth set and the crowd has had enough of adult beverages to start to let their hair down. The shouts for “Lenyrd Skynard” by the career drunk in the back corner have finally faded away as you stop to let the crowd fall to a dull hush before letting out a long and loud:
You wait a few more seconds to let the anticipation build. You notice a cute girl that has been giving you the eye on and off all night long is now standing in the middle of the dance floor in front of you with wanting eyes. You try to imagine just how dangerous that short little skirt is going to be for her when you see how ‘low’ she can go in the middle of the song.
You draw in a deep breath already feeling the adrenaline rushing to your head with the rhythm that is about to ensue. You give the girl a coy smile that bears with it the hint of a wink and let out the words: “….you know you make me want to SHOUT!!” and the band picks up right on queue.
… you’re turning the big diesel tri-plex for the second to last turn on a 300 yard stretch of fairway. You again start to notice your escort squadron of sleek swallows doing dive bombs around the mower decks and follow one with your eyes. He draws your attention upward again to the deep blue sky with just a few puffy clouds. You feel the warmth of the sun on your face and try to fight back a sneeze as the wind puffs up a cloud of clipping dust from the spinning blades below you.
As you complete the turn you see your past hours work stretching out before you – 900 feet of long, straight lines of freshly hewn grass alternating between light and dark as the sun reflects off the fronts and backs of the blades of grass laid down by the rollers.
… it’s another mundane Alterac Valley as you press the button to summon your Dreadsteed and hit auto-run, turning down below the bridge that leads out the back way from Dun Baldar. As you ride over the small rise through the valley under the bridge, you see not one, not two but three Tauren Shamans trying to sneak into Alliance territory with a Blood Elf Paladin healer pulling up the rear.
The first shaman is ahead of the group so you hit him square in the face with a Death Coil before throwing a stack of DoTs on him and running straight into the other two. A quick Howl of Terror and now they are screaming in fear as well – DoT, DoT, DoT, DoT and a regular ‘Fear‘ cast on the Paladin to keep him from refreshing their waning health as the DoTs tick it away.
At that point it’s a race, you learn two Shamans are Enhancement – can’t let them get close! Throwing a Netherweave Net on one to keep him at bay, you re-Fear the other – I’ll deal with him later. DAMN, the Pali is coming back spamming (casting over and over) Flash Heals. The third shaman turns out to be Elemental – a caster. A Curse of Tongues on him will slow him down and a Sacrifice of the Voidwalker will help suck up some damage. Back and forth, round and round, DoT DoT DoT, Fear, Curse, DoT, fire all of your Cooldowns one-by-one as needed, use the Healthstone or a Healing Potion, DoT, Fear, DoT.
They manage to get you down once, but not before you get two of them. The other two mend their wounds while waiting for the others to Resurrect and come back from the Graveyard to re-Buff. But not before you’ve come back over the ridge and resume the whole affair. Round and round. You manage to get three this time, but the Pali manages to flash a heal on the last one before the BELF bastard too succombs to your wrath of curses, DoTs and fears.
Repeat one more time. One Enhancement Shaman down bing-bang-boom – he was still eating when you returned and went down like a squishy! The next one is already coming up the hill and will soon be upon you! The Net is off CD, root him and run to confront the third. The Pali is still running back from the graveyard somewhere – NO HEALS FOR YOU! Soon there is two down. The net wares off so time to confront the third. ” He’s mine! He has no hope!”
He ultimately falls to the snow just as the Paladin finally arrives over the hill. You turn around to face him but he bubbles and runs away like only a pussy Paladin can do. Time to type the emote for ‘/bye’ as your little pink haired smurf like Gnome Warlock says in her girlish little voice:
“So Long! It’s been quite an experience!”
PWNED!!!! I didn’t name her “Little Miss Dangerous” (lilmissd) for nothing!
… when your team is behind with 139 left to score and the last guy up on the opposition manages to set up a 16 ‘out’. It’s your turn up and you check the chart but you don’t like the recommendation. You probably won’t be able to nail a triple on your first dart anyway. You throw for 19 figuring if you nail the fat at least you drop it to an even number with the second highest odd zone on the board. Triple 19!!! no way!
You stop to do the math quick in your head. You want to end up on 32 if you can help it. Best double-outs in the game, descending powers of 2. But … oh crap 82 sans 32 is 50. Double bullseye? Bunghole?? You’ve been choking the bull all night long! The easy fix would be to throw a 20 and hope for a triple then try – ugh, double 11??? Members of your team are throwing out various combination suggestions, but then Terry walks up behind you and whispers “go bull, you can do it!” You reset your foot on the line, and go through one, two, three wind-ups. Stop again to look down, one, two – look down again. You stiffen your frame. The noise and smoke and clanking bottles in the bar seems to fade away to a dull hiss as you can hear the blood pumping in your ears. You throw – BUNGHOLE. Wooo hoo, but Crap!!!! Now the pressure is on. But I’ve been nailing the 16 zone all night. I don’t even hesitate – before the cheering has even begun to rise, I wind up and toss while I’m still in the zone – I feel it – I’m hot. I don’t even look. I know it’s home! Game over man!
(to be continued)