Silence suggests stealth. And stealth suggests malevolence. A man who enters your house belting a show tune is less likely to be a thief or killer than one who silently finds an open window.
I had heard that Percy Fawcett was fond of singing and that he often sang with the natives. There are many anecdotes from this hundred-year-old tale and I’m not sure which are true. I do know however that it is advisable to make your presence known. So perhaps the Colonel’s singing was less indicative of a cheery disposition and more of a practical necessity.
Us Americans had the luxury of only the briefest questioning before we were returned to the hotel. Cook, Lobo, and Frog were probably going to spend the entire night deliberating with the police chief and Indian Rights organizations.
Honestly, this whole thing was beginning to feel more and more insane by the minute. Even despite the fact that madness had become the norm for us. We were as out of sorts here as if we were on the moon. Probably more so since the moon is uninhabited.
Lobo had looked happy. Maybe he had purposefully forgotten to inform Cook of the unknown tribe. Maybe he was trying to delay or sabotage an expedition that he found daft.
We were going to be well equipped. We were going to have native guides, fighting men, medics, and enough supplies to sate a small army for a full years quarter. GPS phones, air-conditioned tents, antivenoms, MRE’s, despite all this…it felt crazy…it felt wrong.
And tonight had deepened the feeling.
I lay in the hotel, appreciating the cool sensation of the fabric, the crystal glow of the football match, and even the shitty eighties wallpaper. I was nearly thirty, and military or not, conditioned or not, a very recent boozehound.
Was Thorton trying to get us killed now that he had extracted all usefulness from us at the Lodge? But then what was all that I had seen the lights, Jesses story, and that damned airport beneath the waves. Above top secret meant we knew things but in bits and slivers and how did I know that the bits and slivers weren’t being fed to me for the amusement of an old sadist or the founding of some cult.
My eyes and forehead hurt from the strain of trying to figure a way out of it. Out of trekking through a place where I had no business. Out of looking for a myth that had killed countless others.
But then I recalled my father. I recalled his final years. Listless as I was now, sitting before a screen, with his only outings being protestant worship or a buffet. He’d been active but a work injury had dampened his athletic resolve and his cinematic escapism led to diabetes which precipitated a premature death. I remember the hospital bed, I remember the bored look of bored pain….
And suddenly Valhalla made sense.
‘I fucking hope piranhas eat me.’
Part I – Kentucky Door
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
Part II – The Wizard’s Nod
Help a Hipster