Saturday, 8 December 2012

Dash for Cash 2

It might help to understand my predicament if you read my previous post. It tells the story of that day before, and how I found myself playing this dreaded game again.

But to summarise my day that far; I had gotten four hours sleep, worked eight hours as a labourer, ate my body weight in marshmallows, and found out that I was going to be playing a surprise game of Dash for Cash with just a few hours notice.

Our story starts off with an envelope strapped to my chest with duct tape that may or may not have contained a cash prize. Kids were about to run after me, tackle me to the ground and rip the envelope off my chest while I fought them off, because whoever is holding the envelope when the game finishes; wins the amount of money written inside.

The kids were all sitting inside the church watching a video clip while the leaders were secretly getting strapped up and running away to hide. They didn't know that we were going to play Dash for Cash. They were all focused on the video and didn't see us all leave the auditorium.

The video was going to finish with the words "Dash for Cash starts outside. Go!" And that's how they would find out.

The end of year party we were having at youth that night was a superhero and villain themed dress-up, and I was dressed as Marvel's Hawkeye. I grabbed my bow and ran off towards the trees on the far side of the property.

The clip the kids were watching was a highlight of all the events in the youth ministry this year, and it ended with a little Dash for Cash montage, made up of footage from The Hunger Games, inspired by my blog.

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis will remember me comparing Dash for Cash with The Hunger Games, in that the victims run through the forest being chased by people trying to kill them.

So there I am, running through the forest with a bow in my hand, as the kids are watching footage of Katniss Everdeen running through the forest with a bow in her hand.

The irony was lost on me as I frantically searched for a hiding place. It was much different being outside the church than it was being in a forest as I was last time.

For one thing; there was nowhere to hide. Everywhere I went I felt exposed, not like last time. And I couldn't crawl around in the brush and hide under logs this time because I was just wearing a singlet and pants.

I certainly didn't feel well hidden as I ran around the property, looking for somewhere to hide, constantly disappointed at the lack of hiding spots.

Eventually I settled on climbing up a small tree. If Katniss got away with it; then certainly I could too.

I scrambled up the tree and sat in the fork, barely hidden by the leaves, and only about five metres off the ground.

I patiently sat there getting my breath back, waiting for the onslaught to begin.

It was totally silent. The ten-minute clip the kids were watching seemed to go on forever. All of a sudden I heard screaming and shouting, coming from all around the church. I knew that the kids had just broken loose and were out to get us.

I tensed up, expecting the worst, listening to the cries of kids hunting down leaders barely metres away from my tree. I didn't dare move. Kids sprinted past my tree by the dozen, neglecting to look up, but so close to me I could hear them panting as they ran past.

The madness continued around me for some time, when all of a sudden I glanced down and a kid was staring up at me. There was a moment of hesitation where we stared at each other. Waiting for the other to make a move.

He was a fairly small boy, and innocent-looking enough. We stayed like that for a few seconds before his face completely changed. I've never seen a psychopath, but I think he must have resembled one. As he started climbing up the tree I could see a glint of madness in his eye, and a sliver of drool on his lips.

He climbed up the tree like a monkey, much faster than I did. I resisted the urge to panic, or kick him in the face or hit him with my bow. I waited for him to get higher and higher. Knowing that I could get the head start in the inevitable footrace that was to come.

He climbed until he was within arm's reach. I didn't know how he intended to rip the duct tape and the envelope off my chest with us both at the top of the tree, but as he reached out to grab me, I jumped.

I fell out of the tree and landed on the grass nearby. I did a commando roll to avoid injuring myself, and started running.

I didn't even look back. I don't know if he climbed down or jumped but all of a sudden I was no longer hidden.

Kids came at me from every angle, from who-knows-where. I just kept running and running until I reached the fence, and the end of the church property. With nowhere else to run, I started following the fence, running through the scrub with a wolf pack of vicious children chasing me.

At one point a kid saw me and began chasing me, making all kids of horrific noises. They were screaming and shouting like a madman. And I was thinking to myself, "They're going to murder me!"

I followed the fence until I arrived at the corner of the property where there's a small house. I hid behind the house to catch my breath. I shrank down behind the house near a garden. I was so sick of running and I was just so tired; I decided it was time to fight them off until the game ended. Either that or die. There was no more running.

The kids ran out from the other side of the house and paused for a moment, looking for me.

I held my breath and lay down behind the flower garden.

All of a sudden our Youth Pastor burst out of nowhere screaming and carrying on like a crazy person, and ran right past the kids who were chasing me. I let out a sigh of relief as they all ran after him. I lay there for what felt like forever before I heard the announcement that the game was over.

I don't know what happened to our fearless leader who accidentally distracted the kids from me, but he no doubt saved my life.

I ripped open my envelope to find a piece of paper inside with the words "Try Again Next Time" written on it. A reward probably not worth putting my life on the line for.

I had survived the Dash for Cash again, but only just barely. I'm not sure that next time I will be so lucky.

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