Dinner-time came and went, and on us four hardy men trekked.
I hadn't been feeling too well for the past couple of days, so I hadn't been eating
all that much.
The reason I was probably feeling so down and out was no doubt due to the lack of food that I'd consumed, so it was bit of a Catch-22 situation all round.
Never mind, because what I really craved was drink.
Not just a dirty glass of water but a beer... an ice-cold bottle of Tuborg all
Even if I really fancied water, the rigmarole that you have to go through to ensure that it's going to be safe enough to drink by boiling the stuff is a time-wasting turn-off when you need liquid refreshment now - like there's no tomorrow.
Sweat broke on my chiselled forehead, and my ears detected the raging river down at the foot of the sheer-drop ravine to our right while my shaded eyes subconsciously confided in my best interests that events were about to take a turn not necessarily for the better, but for the bizarre at the very least.
Before I even knew what I was doing, my feet were on a break and I was hunched over, hands-on-hips, squinting at an energetic twenty-something guy scrambling down the scree-scraped slope in front of us, making tracks in our direction with a deadly vengeance.
From a mile away you could tell that he was a Westerner, full of tall travel tales about
how he'd indulged in a Russian Roulette-esque threesome with a couple of alluring
cross-dressing blokes back in Kathmandu, had cordially ingested enough hash there to kill an elephant, AND how he was now both dazed and confused up in these innocently menacing mountains with barely a penny to his common-as-muck name.
Hey - I'm Dave! How you doing? Wow - I've been chilling out round these parts for, what, four days now... and you're the first English person I've seen in all that time. Hey, you are English, right? You sure look English, what with your chic T-shirt and shorts set-up and that ready right hand of yours that I guess you'd like me to shake in order to fully make my acquaintance. Hell! Put me out of my misery, man.
If only I could have, I would have. You got me; I'm English through and through, born and
bred. And, as you can probably tell by my infuriatingly broad accent, I'm from Yorkshire. True to form, the well-mannered Englishman within perpetually prevents me from being anything other than polite upon meeting somebody for the first time: wherever they might be from, whoever they are - and whatever they might have done.
As predicted, Dave proceeded to spew forth a whole bunch of eyebrow-arching anecdotes
and silly stories concerning his travelling experiences so far out East.
He'd headed into Nepal for a little light trekking after having toured much of the Indian subcontinent.
He'd lost his head in Goa, lost his will to live in Delhi, and here in
the rugged heart of the Himalayas he had evidently lost his patience with the poor Nepalese man who had the trying job of guiding Dave through the Langtang valley. Dave confessed that he'd considered going-it-alone without a guide. The trekking routes are, for the most part, extremely clear; only in extreme circumstances do people really get lost in the mountains.
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 14 By Rich Mills
Remember, remember the fifth of November. Alan smiled to himself, he felt she'd smile back. As with all days leading up to any Bonfire Night he could ever remember, the gods were restless. A storm in a D-cup had met her PR-effect match, and the media for mindless meat-eaters was polishing off the shit-dish, like the ginger tom who'd
Fiction - Two Extracts from The Shintae - a Novel by Brian R Hill
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 15 (1886: Hull, Yorkshire) By Frank Beill
An echoing boom was coming from down deep in the bowels of the ship.
Something somewhere was being repaired. The cabin was too warm and I couldn't get to sleep.
I took a look through what had become my personal window on the world: the porthole above my bunk.
The lights of a town twinkled like pale stars on the shimmering mirror of the narrow waters
Fiction - Zero and the Neighbours Part 1 - Demo version 0.1 By Joe Hakim
Frank was one of the regulars. From the first day I started dealing poker on the tables, Frank was there. To look at, he was your typical moody old man - old in the Father Christmas sense - white hair, a huge white beard and a round gut that hung out of his shirt and over his belt. You could imagine him sat in a grotto in the bottom of Princes Quay with some mewling
Fiction - Just like Eddie by Bob Spence
I don't know exactly when I got into it but there you are.
Like most lads, I suppose it was the thought of being Bristol's answer to
Elvis that was some kind of inspiration.
Yes that was always there in the back of my mind, but the accent never sounded
quite right to be fair.
Anyway. The South Deans Village Youth Club was a right place back then and we used
Fiction - The Wall by Darren Sant
Sometimes your best is just not enough.
Panic stricken and panting I arrive.
There it is, a fucking huge wall. An obstacle blocking my progress.
A visible representation of all that I can't achieve.
Nervously I look behind me. I lash out at it, kicking and punching but to no avail.
It is rock solid. I jump but find it too high. I take a running jump
Fiction - Divine by Blair Ashworth
"Mein Führer? Mein Führer?" The old man in the long grey coat was bent over the body slumped in the chair.
"Give it a few more seconds, Henry," said the doctor. "Do you speak any German? It might lessen the shock." No, Henry didn't speak any German and he didn't much care about any shocks he might deliver.
Behind the heavy oak chair,
Fiction - Scissors, Paper, Stone! By Bob Spence
The Lord Nelson was your typical run-down seventies pub. The decor was in disarray, with half a mind to venerate the Royal Navy's biggest hero or to catch the eye of the potential clientele with the latest fashion. In this manner it achieved neither.
Mickey was the prototype glass collector for every
Fiction - Drowning, Swimming By Joe Hakim
Keith sat and stared at his wife, who was holding his daughter and staring at the
28" Philips Widescreen TV situated in the corner of his house, on his laminate floor,
flanked at either side by his Sony sound system and his X-Box.
He was sweating and his head was throbbing - the general effects of the weekend
Fiction - Any Instructions? By Denis Price
It wasn't the first time he'd missed the bus. From the Mess to the monitoring hangar was only a quarter of a mile walk, something he relished during the central European summer as the airbase had been carved out of heavily wooded countryside teeming with wildlife.
Fiction - Scrawls Of The Unexpected By Mark Pollard
Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle II programme, was calm but well pissed off
inside. He had been clinging to the idea that his £35 million Mars Probe was stuck in a crater,
waiting for some narrow rays of sunlight to banish the shade for a few precious hours each day
in order that
Fiction - A Short Story - The Beaver Stalker By The J.E.M. Cult
I stepped out into the cold frosty air.
I pulled my muffler tighter round my hands and crunched across the frozen grass. Today was the first day of the beaver season- and by golly, I was sure gonna get me one.
I love beavers. I can't help it. There's just something about stroking that damp fur that sends me
Fiction - The Art Of Being Alone In A Crowded Bar By Rich Mills
What music are you into, man? The American exchange student who had earlier introduced himself, without any regard for Jean-Paul's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball of a question in his direction.
Well I listen to... What followed was a definitive list of bands from Jean-Paul's wide ranging rare vinyl
Fiction - Old Tired & Completely Rucked By Martin Dale
Of course, I used to be big league me. Right up there with the bigwigs I was. Every game I'd be out there, working my socks off for the club.
I'd be at the bottom of every ruck, in the thick of every maul, I'd cover more of the pitch than anyone else on the team.
Pretty good really, now that I come to think about it,
Fiction - Second Chances by Nick Quantrill
Available now, Second Chances is a crime fiction novella set in Hull that is
already attracting praise from readers.
Influenced by crime fiction heavyweights Ian Rankin and Hull's Robert Edric,
Second Chances is set to be a great success.
For a taster, see the extract reproduced below, only available
Fiction - Invasion By Bob Spence
Moody just couldn't stop scratching. His shirt was far too stiff at the edge of the collar
and the coarse material was driving him to distraction.
You could also say that Moody was distracted anyway. He was waiting for a letter from his fiancee
and there was none.
Fiction - Feller's in Cut By Maurice Fairfield
Well that's her gone. You don't remember me do you?
I'll have a pint while you're thinking about it.
It's me Jack, Harry Fergus's son. Here for the funeral.
Thought I'd see her get put under. Not sure why.
It's always a laugh though, watching a parson doing a