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Sunday, January 2, 2011


Out of all the things that could have happened, we had gotten ourselves lost in the middle of an asparagus field. Our plan was to arrive in the next town by the afternoon, so we had started walking early in the morning. By the time we had realized that we were in the dead center of a gigantic asparagus field, the sun was almost setting in the West. The wind blowing around us carried with it a distinct chill, and the ominous smell of asparagus began to fill the air. 

I took out a map and compass from my rucksack and tried to figure out our current location, but ultimately I had no idea what had gone wrong. There wasn't an asparagus field listed anywhere near here. 

"At any rate, let's figure out which way the town is. If we know the right direction, we can make it through this field no matter what happens," I said.

The lightest of us, my younger brother, swiftly climbed up one of the towering asparagus trees. Clinging onto its trunk one-handedly like a monkey, he surveyed the surrounding area. 

"I don't know. I can't see a thing. I can't even see a single light," said my brother, shaking his head. 

"What ever will we do, big brother?" asked my little sister, her voice sounding as if she could cry at any moment.

"It'll be alright, don't worry," I said, patting her on the shoulder. "We'll gather plenty of firewood. Enough to make a fire lasting overnight . I'll dig a trench near here." 

Following my words, and covering their mouths and noses with towels to prevent paralysis, my brother and sister gathered dead asparagus branches with as much strength as they could. I dug a ditch around 1 meter deep with a shovel. The dry 1 meter ditch was nothing more than a consolation, but it was better than nothing. At least it would help keep my frightened brother and sister feeling safe.  

The full moon stood out clearly in the sky, and its light threw a blue cast upon the cloudy fumes that were spraying from the asparagus roots.  A number of small birds that had escaped too late had fallen to the ground, and were thrashing their wings about in agony. Very soon, the moon would be overhead, and they would probably be ensnared by the asparagus tendrils. Out of all the things that could happen, it just had to be a full moon tonight.

"Put your bodies lower; even though the gas is above your head, it won't get in. Whatever you do, don't fall asleep. If you sleep, the tendrils will come," I said. 

The long night was only just beginning.

- m

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