Fools in Paradise
Copyright© 2019 by UtIdArWa
As with all good things we came to the last day of our little adventure. We had spent most of the morning packing the gear and cleaning up the camp. While I’m not one of those zero impact folks, I do try to keep everything to a minimum. So that includes a good police call for the camp and surrounding area. For some reason this irritated Edgar. He said that he wanted to get something called B shots and footage at a meadow not far away. And then tried to feed me a line about morning sun and angles and lighting.
I was a little upset over this. I felt it was an attempt to get out of work. “Look, we’ve been up here a week. You’ve had plenty of time for all this. We are on a time schedule here and unless you want to spend the night on the trail, hungry. We need to be on our way by 13:00. So, the sooner we get the campsite cleaned up, the sooner you can get those shots you want.”
Edgar reluctantly resumed his cleanup chores.
Eventually we finished up and a final inspection by myself and Shadow determined that a good job had been done and we could continue on. We decided that while Edgar did his thing at the meadow, the rest of us would have an early lunch and as soon as he was finished, we would start heading down the mountain.
Myself and my protege, Vincent, were together and I was continuing my lessons. Mostly pointing out plants and having him name them. Suzy was to my right about 5 feet doing the same thing with Chuck. she had spotted some wild herbs and was describing their uses. Meanwhile the Professor was about 10 feet on the other side eating his lunch and day dreaming.
“What in the hell is that?” Suzy exclaimed.
I looked over at her, and then the direction she was pointing. About 30 feet away, just inside of the tree line was a large, brown haired, Something. It wasn’t a bear. I have seen many a bear standing on two feet, It’s not the same as a human. A bear will hold its front paws differently. This thing was holding its arms like a human, not like a 4-legged animal standing on its rear legs. I also noticed the face, it wasn’t a bear face. There wasn’t a snout or protruding ears like a bear. It also didn’t look like any monkey or gorilla I had ever seen. The skin was dark, hairless and the features, while different, they weren’t that different from a human.
Then shots rang out from my left, When I looked over, the Professor was standing with a pistol pointed at whatever it was. At the same time a VERY human, high pitched scream came from the creature. “I’ve been shot!” Next was a scream from the other side of Suzy, “PHILLIP!” This was from Edgar on my other side, who had dropped his pride and joy camera and was running towards the wounded creature.
I looked back over to the Professor. He was standing there holding his gun with both hands and shaking like a leaf. I started talking to him and slowly edged in front, into his field of vision. I was familiar with where his mind was at that point. He was in shock and experiencing tunnel vison. He probably couldn’t hear what I was saying, or at least understand it. I just kept talking in a low, non-threatening voice and ssslllooowwwlllyyy approaching him.
There were several reasons why I did it this way. First, I didn’t know if that gun was still loaded. If I startled the Professor, he might fire a round on pure reflex. Second It was obvious that he was on the ragged edge of shock. With someone his age, it wouldn’t be good if that happened. There was also the question of his mental stability. I wasn’t sure that he wouldn’t go over the edge if I rushed him or pushed too hard.
As I got closer, I was able to gently push the gun barrel away from me. It wasn’t much of a piece. It looked, and I later confirmed that it was an old Colt .22 6 shot revolver. When I was able to take the gun away, the Professor collapsed. By this time Suzy had joined me. I told her my worries about shock and left her to it. She had as much experience in combat medicine as I had, and a lot more recent. so, I wasn’t worried and left her to it.
BUT Now I had to concentrate on the furry creature the Professor had shot. I drew my 1911 and made sure I had a round in the chamber and the weapon safed. I then started towards where I had last seen my quarry. As I approached, I found Edgar holding onto a figure laying on the ground, both of them moaning. Edgar was crying, tears running down his face. “Oh Phillip, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
As I got closer, I could tell that the furry creature was some guy dressed in a monkey suit and standing on stilts. If he had been upright, he probably would have topped out at 10 or 12 feet. And the monkey suit was well made. I call it a monkey suit, but it wasn’t really. It was much more than that.
The “hair” was long. about 5 inches long. It almost looked like a hairy snipers ghillie suit. All of the closures were Velcro, folded over and impossible to see unless you were up close. The “Face” was actually made from tanned leather. It looked like one of those expensive Halloween masks. Given that this “creature” wasn’t supposed to be seen too close, any of the facial imperfections, and there were few, wouldn’t be noticed. As far as costumes went this was well made and obviously expensive.
I could see that there wasn’t really any danger. Edgar was bawling and sobbing and Phillip Bigfoot was moaning and clutching his shoulder. I started looking Bigfoot over. It originally looked like he had taken one in his left shoulder. But I couldn’t see any blood. I took my buck knife out and cut the costume open, Still no blood. In fact, I couldn’t see an entrance wound. There was a bruise, blue and about the size of a silver dollar. But no entrance wound.
Fortunately, Suzy arrived at that time. “Don’t worry hun, Chuck and Vincent are watching the Professor. I gave him a double shot of my medicinal brandy. He’s out like a light. What’s the story here?”
Chuckling, I replied “Well, I’m not quite sure, YET. It appears that Edgar and this guy in the furry suit are friends. Furry suit has taken an impact bruise on his left shoulder and it looks like its hurt’s like the dickin’s. But No entrance or exit holes, no blood at all. What I suggest our plan of action is, while you take care of Mr. gorilla suit, I drag Edgar off and waterboard the dork until he spills the beans. I suggest the you strip the imitation Bigfoot down to his skivvy’s and treat whatever wounds he has.”
Grinning Suzy agreed, “That sounds like a plan to me. I’ll also add that the Bigfoot suit needs to be preserved. Just in case this gets into a courtroom.”
“I agree, and once we get it off of him, I’ll see what we have to bag it. I think I’ve got a couple of extra garbage bags left. See what you can do. Meanwhile Edgar and I are going to have a conversation.”
I reached down and grabbed the back of Edgars collar. “ Come on space cadet. It’s question and answer time.” Once I got Edgar to his feet, we started heading into the trees.
Once we got about 20 or so yards away from Suzy, I spun Edgar and pushed him, Hard, against a tree. “Alright spudnut, Start explaining yourself. And before you think about lying to me, I KNOW what you were up to, and I’ll KNOW when you start lying to me.”
“Don’t hurt me Mr. Reynold’s. I’ll tell you everything. Just, please help Phillip. This isn’t his fault. He got involved in this because of me.”
“No sweat, Edgar. But you’ve got to tell me everything, and no fibbing. If I can’t trust you, nobody else will either.”
What followed was a pathetic tale of a wanna be film legend, who thought that the only path left to him was the unusual, the weird, the supernatural. Edgar had absolutely no confidence in his own talents or abilities. He had watched thousands of others try and fail at his chosen art. People who had tried to imitate others. Other people who had strived for originality. People who spent their entire lives trying to succeed in filmography and failing. Ending their lives filming weddings and high school graduations.
He also realized that he was carrying a double handicap. ISU was not an institution that produced Spielberg’s or Copolla’s
But he thought that he had found a way, The Patterson / Gimlin film.