Author: Lucy Everett
CJ clambered into the Rustler plane, sand dropping off the soles of his black hi-tops. The cool afternoon breeze blew through his black hair as he settled himself into the cockpit; then he reached up and closed the clear hatch, making sure it was locked and secure.
Then he started the engine and slowly veered out of the hangar until the nose of the plane faced the cliffs ahead. He started off down the runway, and then expertly lifted into the air.
The World War II plane cut through the air, way up high above the Las Venturas desert. CJ expertly handled the plane, retracting the landing gear and zooming through the rock formations.
With nothing to do on a sunny Saturday, CJ had decided to head out to his aircraft graveyard in Verdant Meadows, to practice flying his collection of planes. Like he needed any practice!
The spires and bridges of San Fierro started to rise out of the distant mist. It was always grey and gloomy over the small island, no matter how hot and sunny it was out in the desert.
CJ swooped the plane over the massive grey form of Garver Bridge, being extra careful not to fly too low over the naval base. He wasn’t in the mood for a SWAT chase through the skies.
The Rustler flew over San Fierro airport, and up then swiftly up over a bridge. CJ whooped, grinning from ear to ear. He loved to dip and dive and barrel roll, he got such a rush from it!
CJ decided to be a little daring and started to pull the plane into a loop-the-loop. He was fast approaching the humongous form of Mount Chiliad. Mount Chiliad was the largest mountain in the whole of San Andreas; it held many secrets, with dark caves and twisting, rocky paths leading up to the peak where tourists liked to camp out in their battered caravans.
The Rustler plane started to climb higher, and then CJ pulled back the joystick to loop the plane.
But as the plane started to turn, CJ saw the edge of the mountain coming towards him fast! No, wait, the rock wasn’t moving towards him; his plane was flying straight into it--!!
Fire burst from the ruined plane, a massive yellow and orange cloud of red hot death, reaching out to trees and stripping them off their leaves. Tattered ruins of the plane fell from the impact point, splashing into their watery grave below.
CJ struggled to keep control of the parachute as the force of the explosion knocked him to and fro. Sweat poured down his forehead as he clung tightly to the handles of his parachute. Why wasn’t it flying so smoothly?
CJ snapped his head up to see a huge hole in the red material of the ‘chute – it had been ripped open by the fireball that had billowed from the plane – and now he was heading straight for a clump of trees.
Branches snapped as CJ floated through the trees, leaves and twigs falling over him, sharp wood ripping the parachute even more, until only a few tatters remained. He was falling fast now, falling to meet his possible death on the rocky, grassy ground.
The impact wasn’t so bad; all that training in the gym had paid off. CJ suspected a few bruises and scrapes, but nothing was broken.
He dumped the ragged parachute and brushed the dust and debris from himself. He looked around – he had landed in a big clump of trees. He couldn’t see the edge of the cliff, and he couldn’t see much blue sky, either. The treetops did not let much let down to the ground, but the sunrays they did allow to enter their dark domain lay dappled on the earth.
“Damn,” CJ cursed as he eyed the rip in his Base 5 hoodie. There was blood leaking from a gash in his arm, caused by either flying shrapnel or a sharp tree branch.
Wiping away some of the blood, CJ started to walk through the foliage. It was very creepy; with little sunlight to warm CJ, he felt like he was trapped in a cage of wood and leaves. It’s getting late, he thought as he looked at his fancy watch, which read 5:30pm. The sun would soon be setting, so CJ decided to make tracks to get out of this deep forest, and off Mount Chiliad, in time for some supper.
The dark leaves brushed past CJ’s black trackpants, tickling his skin through the various slashes in the material. A cool breeze occasionally swooped through the trees and greenery, dancing tauntingly around CJ. He could see only shadows up ahead, but above him he could see a few patches of orange sky through the treetops.
Almost sunset. Damn.
Coughing weakly, CJ sat down on the soft earthy floor. He was lost, he was hungry, and dare he say it, he was getting creeped out.
Darkness had fallen. The whole forest was silent except for an owl hooting somewhere. Shadows darted over the trees, turning their innocent trunks into evil, leering faces; their branches reached out towards CJ, to grab him and drag him down into the dark depths.
“So much for supper,” CJ muttered darkly, glancing above him to where a few rays of moonlight breached the canopy of leaves. It was getting cold now as well, and CJ’s injuries weren’t getting any better.
He groaned and stood up again. His groan echoed through the cold forest. CJ listened to it until it faded, and then started to walk again.
But suddenly, another groan sounded.
CJ span around. What the Hell was that? He listened.
A melancholy, growling hoot sounded from somewhere. It bounced off the trees, ricocheting all around CJ.
“Whose there?” CJ shouted. “You come out here now or I’ll put a cap in yo’ ass!” He felt for his Desert Eagle.
He had lost all his weapons in the crash. Everything except his stupid camera. What use was a camera against some enraged hillbilly up on the mountain?
The growling sound faded. Now the only sounds was CJ’s heavy breathing and the thud of his heart banging against his ribcage.
CJ span around; no on there.
CJ whirled himself about to face the source of the noise.
The moonlight suddenly faded behind a massive grey cloud. Droplets of water started to fall down through the trees. Rain.
The rain increased; a downpour of water soaked CJ to his skin. He shivered. Suddenly, a rumble of thunder boomed across the sky, and lightning flashed. Great, now not only was he lost in the woods at night, he had a thunderstorm to accompany him. Just great.
“sh*t!” CJ whimpered. He raised his useless camera and turned around again, water flying from him. “What the Hell are you playin’ at?!”
“Come on out right now or you’re gonna get yo’ ass seriously kicked!” CJ shouted, fear breaking into every syllable of his words.
Lightning shot across the grey abyss above, lighting up the trees for a split second. This second was enough for CJ to see a massive shadowy figure creep behind a tree.
“Oh sh*t...Oh man...WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!!” he screamed.
Suddenly, everything was silent, all except for the heavy downpour of rain. CJ’s teeth chattered, his whole body shaking, water falling off him only to be replaced by more droplets. His hands were slippery with rain, frozen to his photographic weapon.
A slow rumble of thunder sounded in the distance. The storm was passing, but the rain still fell.
CJ’s eyes frantically searched the place where he had seen the shadow. He heard another cracking sound of someone stepping onto a twig. He span once more just as lightning lit up the sky again—
--and he came face to face with his worst nightmare.
It was massive, at least 8 foot tall, and covered in shaggy brown fur. It had two deep black eyes which glared out from deep sockets in its leathery face. Its mouth was twisted into an evil grimace, sharp teeth showing from within. It looked strong enough to kill 30 men with its own huge, bare hands.
And CJ was standing right before it.
“sh*t, man...Look...I-I-I’m sorry ‘bout w-what I said, I-I-I won’t...put a cap in y-your ass...” CJ backed away, his voice now no more than a stuttering rasp.
The creature growled as another flash of lightning lit up its terrible face. It made a step towards CJ, a long arm reaching out to grab him...
He ran faster than he ever had before, faster than he had done when being chased by cops, faster than he had done when trying to catch a carjacker, faster than he had ever—
CJ hit the ground with a thud, sliding along in the mud on his front, his ankle aching from where that tree root had caught it.
Everything was silent again. The thunder had stopped, but the rain continued. Had that thing followed him? Where was it?
“Roaaaaaaaaaar!!” The beast gave a huge roar as it leapt towards CJ, saliva dripping from its fangs.
CJ scrambled to his feet, but didn’t get far enough away. The thing picked him up by his tatty hoodie and raised him up to its ugly face.
It sneered, its eyes glinting, every crease of its monkey-like face dripping with rainwater.
CJ could barely breathe for fear. His hand was still glued to his camera.
CJ raised it into the air; the beast looked at it angrily. CJ lowered it again – what use was a stupid camera against this...thing?!
Wait a second...
CJ raised the camera and instantly snapped a photo.
The beast moaned in pain as the flash went off, dropping CJ and staggering backwards. It fell over the same tree root that had tripped CJ, landing in the mud with a massive squelch.
CJ was already running, but not onwards the way he had been. He was running towards the edge of the mountain. He wound through the trees, leaping over roots and charging straight through any leaves that dare try to stop him
He could hear growling and heavy pounding footsteps behind him. Don’t stop, don’t stop, cried his brain, but his muscles said otherwise. He was tiring, he was sliding in the mud, was he going to make it?
Open sky burst through the trees. The edge of the cliff! But CJ suddenly wasn’t so happy to see it; he was on a mountain. High up in the air. And his feet were sliding out from under him.
His head hit the muddy floor and he briefly saw the view behind him – an 8 foot beast charging towards him – before he slid right over the edge of the cliff!
Wind ripped past him as he flew downwards, mud and rain still falling on and off him. He heard the beast howl in anger just as—
CJ had reached the bottom of his fall.
It was a lake!
And the impact hurt like Hell, but let’s face it, landing in water is better than landing on a pile of rocks.
CJ kicked frantically, lungs bursting, muscles aching, until he broke the surface of the water.
Gasping for breath, he trod water, struggling to keep his sodden-clothed body above the surface. The water was freezing. He slowly paddled to the muddy shore and climbed out.
CJ laughed to himself, a rather insane laugh. He was still hanging on to this camera. Who would have thought?
As CJ crouched in the wooden rack of a small truck heading to San Fierro, he examined the camera. He had unwittingly taken a picture of a Yeti, a Bigfoot, the North American legend that nobody knew really existed. He had actual proof it was alive...and not to mention, hostile.
Would the film have survived the crash into the water?
“sh*t...” As the black panel popped out, a small waterfall cascaded out of it. The film was ruined.
“All that and not even a buck out of it.” CJ muttered, clicking the panel back into position.
He watched as the sun started to rise behind the massive form of Mount Chiliad. He lay back against the milk churns in the rack with him. The person driving didn’t seem to notice they had an extra person on board. It was best that way.
So as the sun rose above the mountain, CJ closed his eyes, knowing the secret of the Yeti was safe with him.
Just note, I am not going to get into the whole debate whether or not there is a Bigfoot, nor am I intending to add to the speculation. I just thought it was an interesting topic to write about. And thanks for reading!