Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cliffhanger

Bill hung on for dear life as the rope swayed in the wind, sending him spinning in mid-air. He glanced down and quickly looked back up; the dizzying height made him nauseous. His hands ached from holding on to the nylon cable, but he couldn't let go to stretch them. He shuddered to think of the result. On second thought, he didn't shudder -- shuddering might cause him to lose his grip.

"Bill, get moving, I don't want to be here all day!"

Instinctively, Bill looked down at the source of the voice. It was Helen, the woman from the tour group. And beyond her the busy Toronto streets, a thousand feet down, crawling with ant-sized people. Bill shut his eyes tight and tried to imagine he was in gym class, climbing that rope they'd hung from the gym ceiling. Actually, that didn't really help either. Gym class had terrified him, too.

"If you don't climb the rope, we're both going to fall!"

Bill kept his eyes closed and shouted a reply.

"Hey, I'm lucky I'm still holding on! I was never good at rope climbing!"

"Oh, this is just great! Dangling off the CN Tower on a rope, below the one guy who can't climb ropes!"

"Hey!" Bill shouted back. "I'll have you know I was an accomplished track-and-field athlete in my high school days! I just happen to have a little bit of a fear of heights!"

"Fear of heights? Then what were you doing in the CN Tower?"

"Well I certainly wasn't expecting to get wrapped up in a gun battle with men in black masks, and then thrown off the roof during a fist-fight with their leader, I can tell you that!"

"Hey, don't blame that on me! I wasn't the one who called him a 'cowardly sissy'!"

"He was pointing the gun at you! What was I supposed to do, let him shoot you?"

"Better than falling to our death because you can't climb a rope!"

Their arguing was cut short when, all of a sudden, the rope dropped about a foot. Bill looked up, horrified to find that the rope was beginning to fray.

"This isn't fair!" he yelled. "This is like some cheesy movie! Ropes don't actually do that in real life!"

"What? What is it?" Helen called.

"The rope, it's fraying! It's going to give way!"

"Then climb, you idiot!"

"If I climb, I'll make it fray more!"

"If you don't climb, it'll fray anyway, and we'll both die!"

"I can't move! I can't let of the rope!"

"You have to, or we'll wind up splattered all over the city!"

"No, I mean, I literally can't let go! My hand is paralyzed with fear!"

"All right, that's it, I'm coming up!"

"What?" Bill looked down, to see Helen climbing up the rope toward him. "What are you doing? Don't do that! We can't both hold on to the same part of the rope!"

"I'm not stopping! If you don't climb, I'm going to climb right over you!"

***

What should happen next, dear readers?
--Should the rope snap and send the duo plummeting to their inevitable deaths?
--Should Bill let Helen try to climb up over him?
--Should Bill somehow work up the courage to climb up?
--Should they be rescued by some sort of deus ex machina?
--Should something completely else happen?

Write your answer in the comments below!

4 comments:

Benjamin said...

Nice.
I vote for climb up over him or something completly different.

Sputnik said...

They should both be rescued.
Like... by a Nazi...

Anonymous said...

The last one.
I don't know what a "two-timing machine" is, so I can't choose that one. Oh, did I translate the term wrong?

Love,
YM

Chris said...

I vouce that a swat team member from a chopper belays down with a rescue basket.