Withering in agony, I struggle to open my eyes as they adjust to the harsh brightness of the cabin. My pupils dart back and forth around the room to locate the source of the voice as well as the cushiony goodness.
'Behind you.' says the voice.
Staggering, I manage to pull myself up and straighten my damp clothes. I turn around and see the back of a grand chair facing a roaring fireplace. A faint trail of cigarette smoke emanating from the other side of the chair. Tired of being kept in the dark throughout my journey (both figuratively and literally), I storm towards the seat and its mysterious occupant. 'Look, I don't take too kindly to being bashed in the grapefruits.' I growl as I grab the back of the chair and swing it around.
My jaw fell open. Chuck Norris!
'Expecting someone else?' he asks as he flicks his cigarette into the fire.
Speechless, I glance down at his hands as he rises out of the chair and approaches me. He's holding a copy of the ancient text I was told to find. I stumble backwards, tripping over a night table and accidentally knock over a lantern which quickly ignites the carpet and begins to quickly spread throughout the cabin. 'Looking for this?' he says as he holds up the book. 'How about this, then?' he holds up a blue orchid.
'Listen to me.' I begin. 'I only came here to see an old woman-' 'You mean her?' he cuts me off and points to a nearby room closet. Blood pooling from under the door crack. 'You see Mr.Kingsbury, you've been going on for quite some time about being "awesome". Quite frankly, I cannot permit you to continue with this nonsense. This book and orchid holds the key to truly understand how to overpower me.' I watch in horror as he tosses both items into the fire.
'Oh, yes, I know all about your little trip here. The zamboni, the Dane, the squirrels, everything. Who do you think conveniently left a truck for you? A zamboni? The potato head. They all work for me. It was I who trained that squad of ninja hamsters to clear out this town 2 years ago in preparation for your arrival. It's amazing what animal Russian ex-cons will do for a simple Etch-a-sketch.' A slick, Texas Ranger grin grows along his face. Trembling, I bolt for the door knowing full well no man can take on a fully charged Chuck Norris.
'You can't escape, Mr.Kingsbury! I own this town! I own this fucking country! Nobody will believe you!' he bellows from beyond the flaming cabin. I run off the dock and dive into the bayou. The cool water brings me back to my senses. I swim for as long as I can. I surface a good 20 minutes later and see several boats beside the flaming cabin. I make out Norris and his renegade rangers pointing in my direction. It's then that I notice that I'm inadvertently leaving a trail of algea as I swim, leading them straight back to me. 'Shit!' I think.
In full panic mode, I go as fast as I can towards the darkened shore a mile away. I grow tired... muscles ache... can't breathe no more... fainting... I begin to slip deeper beneath the waves... I hear the voices of Norris' goons and their boats in the distance. I slip under the water for what seems to be the last time. Then a hand comes crushing through the surface, grabs my weak hand, and pulls me onto a seadoo.
'Stay quiet and do exactly as I say.' orders the stranger. He punches the engine and the craft roars to life. We floor it across the lake to the other side of the bayou, far from Norris. In the blue glow of the illuminated display, I make out a face.