< Back to Phoophie Talesback to phoophie talesTales from the Dark Side >>
Illustration by KKC Bauder

YETI OF THE SERENGETI
BY GAGE
Illustrations by KKC Bauder


You think you know all about the Yeti.

You think the ape only resides in a snow covered land.

Some think I'm a myth. Others think I'm real. You will never know if I'm animal... or just a figment of your imagination. Well everything you have recorded of me... is only half right. As I'm also known as "The Abominable Snowman" or yeh-teh (as was my original name), I will tell you my heritage, my past, my dreadful existence.

But first... you have to recognize... you might not believe everything I tell you.

Prologue

He woke with a jolt. The jeep was far too noisy, and his seat jumped up and down from the bumpy trail. The sweaty passengers jumbled around in their seats, and the boy did not like it. Mommy's hand was stroking his perspirated forehead. The boy leaned up from his mother's lap and looked around, brushing his messy black hair out of his eyes, annoyed.

He tiredly and miserably looked into his mother's startling blue eyes, his feasting hungrily in her beauty. He glanced at the tourists, their out-of-climate clothing, one elderly man's mole on his fat cheek. The boy was hot, and tired; he lazily pulled the moist collar from his sweaty flesh. He gazed into the lush greenery and exotic trees and plants. They were on a safari, his mother and he. It was a most boring ride, they had seen very little of the animals, and it was terribly hot. The air was damp, the restless passengers became uneasy, and the tour guide acted like he had not slept in years.

Then, the guide slowly stated, "If you look to your right... " he yawned, "you can see the healing Qualum plant... Dr. Gregor Flint founded it in 1896. People claimed it healed his wounds. He died in 1912 of heart failure."

"What is THAT?" one passenger cried. The boy bolted his eyes where the woman had indicated. A dark mass of shadow was breathing rhythmically. It was far away, but the creature's stench drifted to the vehicle. "That," said the guide, pointed at the giant monstrosity hidden in the shadows, "is... "

He looked nervous. "Well... I'm not sure." All of their eyes were upon the beast. It shifted around... It began to run. It charged at the jeep. Some screamed; others could not tear their sight from the awful creature. The guide started to drive, but was not quick enough. The boy saw the terror leap at them, gripping hands ablaze.

Its red eyes were filled with rage and it ripped a chunk from the automobile. It fiercely opened it's mouth… and let out a low, guttural roar.

Then its lethal fangs and deep throat was all the boy could see, and all he could hear was the carnage of the beast.



Illustration by KKC Bauder
Hank Crenul was awkwardly walking from one side of a narrow hallway and back. Trying to gain his sea legs, as the captain had said. He tripped and staggered as the boat rocked and swayed. "Ughh," he groaned, as his stomach lurched. He was afraid he might have to go on deck again to be sick over the ledge.

As he started to get the hang of walking, Drake strode in a perfect fashion alongside him. Drake was Hank's brother. "Hello," Drake happily said as he past. "Hi," said Hank, in an irritable tone. Drake looked at his brother.

"Are you okay?" he asked, a sly grin spreading across his face. Hank had one hand on the cold, metal railing, one hand covering his mouth. He rolled his eyes; of course he was okay.

Realizing he was going to be sick, Hank rushed out of the hallway, to one side of the boat, and proceeded to vomit for two minutes. When he was done, he sat hunkered down in an armrest on the outside of the boat. He looked into the brightening sunrise.

Hank was on a trip to the Serengeti, to find a healing plant. The Qaulum. He spied a distant island. As he was gazing into it, Captain Xavier Broddle approached him. "Mr. Crenul," said the bearded man, in his French accent, "we are approaching Kenya."

"Good," Hank answered. "Almost to Tanzania." He dismissed Broddle and prepared for morning. When it was daylight, they were rapidly coming up on Kenya. Hank and Drake were anxiously awaiting their arrival. "Can't wait to get there," said a breathless Drake. "The Qualum will be there. I'm sure of it."

The mist was getting thick now. Even throughout the fog, the day was very sunny. Hank was hot, so he retreated inside for a beverage. He caught sight of himself in a mirror in the kitchen. The sea had been rough on him.

His brown hair was untamed, his eyes were puffy, his chin was a shadow of stubby hairs, his face... the palest shade of green...

Hank grabbed a bottled water until he heard a shout. "LAND! LAND!"

Startled, he ran!- tripped on his feet! - stumbled out the door! - leaned onto the deck! - looked at the quickly approaching shore!

The ship began to violently shake as it beached itself. A few sailors hopped off the ship and into the cool blue water and raced to the scalding-hot white sand. A few even kissed the ground. "Rookies," growled Broddle. Excited, Hank was disappointed when Drake told him it would take a while to gather the equipment.

After what seemed like an eternity, they were finally ready. With all the essentials, they exited the boat. "The Serengeti!" screeched Drake. As they were about to enter the Endless Plains, Broddle stopped them. It would be... inhospitable to let you go alone. I will send some of my sailors (and myself) with you. Er... how many would be appropriate?"

Drake shrugged, Hank answered "maybe six." They traveled to the Plains, they marveled at the beauty. Endless space -- cool, green grass -- animals (herbivores, mostly) frolicking around.

Hank, Drake, Broddle, and the six sailors -- Vike, Rawe, Johnson, Klave, Traff, and Izith, all ventured across the Plains, cutting down the thick brush in their way. After an hour, Broddle spoke. "So where exactly is this Column Plant?"

Drake sighed. "It's the Qualum plant. And you can't expect us to find it in five minutes," he retorted. Broddle laughed. "I am a Captain. I'll leave it to the experts." They were out of the plains now, into some denser brush.

Hank viciously cut at the twigs and leaves in his way. He was getting annoyed. Vike opened his mouth to speak, and a horrible roar exited his throat. Silence. Everyone knew the sound had not been Vike's; no human could make that strangled, bloody, repulsive shriek.

They all slowly looked to where the sound had produced. There. There was a monster. So beautiful... yet so terrible. Hank was aghast -- terrified. A giant ape was resting on it's knuckles. Deathly white, it's fur was thick, it's arm's and hands were giant, it's face was contorted with rage...

All was silent. The only sounds were the heavy breathing of the beast. Nobody moved. With such speed and tremendous force, it was next to them, one titanic hand had snatched Broddle. The monster screamed like a banshee in Broddle's face. The hardened captain stiffly fought in the creature's fist. He managed to pull out a long blade and sank it in the animal's wrist.

Surprised, the ape released the captain. It did not like the man's SharpStick, it wanted to hurt the man, it wanted to cause him pain --

Illustration by KKC Bauder The horrible mammal smashed its long arm into Izith. Izith gave a horrible groan of agony, and the beast sprinted at the rest of the party. Hank pulled out a gun but was afraid to shoot. He chased after the sailors and his brother, pointing the gun at the ape...

He wanted to shoot, he did, but the gun was jammed. Tears of anger filled his eyes and he insanely started to bang the weapon against a rock.

It was chasing another man, but the man had a BoomStick. It did not want the BoomStick again, it had had it before. It did not like it. It started to run away, it would hurt the man another time...

Again! Again! Again! Hank bashed the stupid handgun into the side of the hard rock. He had to make it work, he had to make it work before it came!-shouldn't it be here by now?-fix the gun!-where was the ape?!-he would kill it, he would --

Hank slowly stopped smashing the pistol and looked where the creature had been. It had left him. He looked around in a state of confusion. Adrenaline was pumping through his veins, he had felt no pain, he had inherited super strength. The mangled remains of a pistol lay limply on the rock.

He slowly calmed down and controlled his breathing. Hank relaxed on a nearby log. Then a realization hit him.

"DRAKE? BRODDLE?" he called. Hank became worried. He began to walk around in circles, muttering to himself. "DRAKE? BRODDLE?" He was mortified at being alone, surely his dear brother would not leave him to die --

Hank realized he wasn't alone. He hurried to Izith's side. The man looked small, his body was crumpled from the pressure of the ape's hand. "Are you okay?" Hank crazily asked. Izith did not stir. "Izith," he repeated. "Answer me."

This time, a bit of life flickered into the man's dark eyes. Izith looked at Hank. "Tell… tell your friends… tell them that they… can't leave. They… have… to find… find the Qualum…"

Hank gazed at Izith. "What was that thing? Izith?" Izith struggled. "Yeti," he said, rather loudly, and something extinguished in his eyes. Suddenly, Hank was alone.

Hank was left with so many question. Yeti? Yeti's were supposed reside in cold places -- Himalayas. The Abominable SNOWman. Were Yeti's even real? "Ughh," Hank sighed to himself. He was ready to believe Izith, he was ready to believe anything. That was one big ape!

Okay. Hank needed to find the rest of his party. He looked at the dead Izith. He couldn't bury him. He couldn't cremate him. "The most I could do," muttered Hank as he set Izith in a 'peaceful' position next to a tree.

Hank gathered all of his gear and Izith's. He ended up with three matches, a cigar, a pistol, several bottles of water, a nutrition bar, a paper with information about the local animals, a machete, and a backpack to hold it all in.

He set out in the direction of which he thought his friends had retreated. Nothing happened for the first thirty minutes. He would take a turn every once in a while, carefully sipping the water to conserve it. Now and then he would find a bush or stray limb to slice with the machete; it felt awkward in his hands. After a while, he came across a large body of water. It was a dark green, most likely littered by algae and animal remains.

Would this lake be safe to cross? It stretched to the left and right as far as he could see. There was no way around. If he went back, he would be lost... he didn't exactly remember each and every step he took. Besides, Broddle and Drake had probably crossed it. They wouldn't have dared gone back to face the Yeti.

He produced the paper explaining local wildlife out of his pocket. It read:

Local Predators:

Hyena
Lion
Cheetah
Crocodile
Leopard

The thoughts sent shivers down Hank's spine. Most of all, the challenge he was faced with now, crocodile. He looked deep into the water, wondering if they were watching him, waiting for him --

He had to do it.

He removed his khaki shirt and equipped himself with the machete, and put one leg into the warm water. The liquid slid up to his knee, then his thigh, up to his waist. The water was finally up to his chest, and he began to tread water. He paddled in the direction of the other side of the lake. As he swam, he saw something floating in the water.

"Brush," he said to himself, and kept swimming. As he swam past it, he saw that it was... a shirt. The shirt had been Klave's, and it was stained with blood. He could imagine Klave floating face up in the green water, his dark hair hanging limp in the liquid, crocodiles surrounding him, his blank eyes staring up at the clouds he could not see --

Hank thrashed about in the water, he had to get to the land, or -- He churned up water like a tidal wave, rapidly coming to the shore. He was there, safe, safe from --

Lost Horizon by KKC Bauder

Two powerful jaws nearly tore off his leg. Terrified, Hank jerked back his leg, avoiding the teeth that had narrowly missed him. A crocodile was trying to eat him! He raised the machete, stabbed the creatures snout -- again, again -- again!

The crocodile made a horrible strangling noise and retreated back into the murky depths. Hank screamed -- he did not quite know why. "Come back!" Hank roared. "Come back!"

He felt insane, felt powerful, Hank liked it. He stepped back into the water and started to trudge deeper. He viciously stabbed the water. Water splashed into the air. Over and over and over again!

After what seemed like an eternity, Hank rested back against the shore. He laid his head back on the rough ground and sharp grass. "I'm becoming a savage," he thought. He closed his eyes… he would be okay… he would find help… he would…

Morning came slowly. Hank felt exhausted; he did not want to open his eyes, but the sun was too bright -- He slapped a bug on his leg. His eyes felt puffy, his lips felt dry, he needed water. Hank sat up, he looked around. Why did he expect to be home? Weren't things supposed to fix themselves overnight? He looked at his bag. Hank was dehydrated and starving. He painfully took a few nibbles of his nutrition bar (he had many sores in his dry mouth), and a few sips of his bottled water.

"Better not drink any more," he mumbled. He was on his last bottle -- the supplies were dwindling. He stood up, testing his shaky legs. Hank gazed up into the bright blue sky. White clouds drifted by. He carefully picked up his bag and gear and slowly set off into a deeper part of the Serengeti. Hank felt malnourished; his arms were getting thin, his ribs could be seen under his pale flesh --

Eventually he was feeling sick -- pangs of hunger shot through his stomach. Consumed by nausea, he fell on his knees. The world was starting to spin; every sound was so loud -- so incredibly loud...

He nearly lost his lunch. Hank had not eaten much in two days, he was going to starve... he did not think when he took another chunk out of his nutrition bar. He gulped the whole thing down, not feeling much better. And why was it so hot? The heat was burning the back of his neck…

"Drake," he said with a slight burp. "Want Drake. Need food. And air." He was losing his mind -- no, no -- he did not want to…

"Yeti. Crocodiles. Aah. Aaaaaaaahhhh!" he whispered. Blackness was eating at the corners of his eyes… the darkness was consuming him -- where was he going? -- he wanted to stay -- The last thing he saw was blackness -- then the horrible face, the white fur, the red eyes, the sharp fangs in its gory throat -- of the Yeti.

Light flickered into Hank's eyes moments later. He had only been out a few seconds… hadn't he? Green trees were blocking his view of the gray, angry clouds in the dun-colored sky. He felt the back of his head. What had he been resting on? Wait… he had passed out face down. Now he was facing the sky? He tried to figure it out. Then a familiar face popped into view.

"Drake," Hank groaned. "Shh," Drake whispered, his bright blue eyes shining. "Be quiet." He anxiously looked around. "I think the coyotes are out hunting now." Hank gave Drake a helpless look and asked, "What happened out there?"

Drake did not take his eyes off of a rustling bush. "You passed out from heat exhaustion and starvation. If we didn't find you, you would've been dead," he explained. Hank rolled his eyes. "No," he said fiercely in a hushed tone, "why did you and Broddle leave me?"

Drake glanced at his brother. "I… I'm sorry Drake. I just… panicked, I guess." Hank sighed heavily and turned away from his brother. He wanted anything but to look at him. Drake had always known he was bigger and stronger kid than Hank, he knew Hank wouldn't have survived. But he got scared and ran? "Pfft," Hank sneered. "So what all did you do when I was… gone," inquired Drake.

"What would you care?" snarled Hank. "It's not like I was nearly eaten! Or -- or I was in any danger! You left me, Drake. Lost in the Serengeti. Why would you care if I'm okay now?"

"Because!" Drake retorted. "I'm your brother! -- and we're safe here!" Hank eyed a moving bush -- they were here -- "Not for long!" he roared, and grabbed a revolver from his brother. He sat up, feeling queasy, and saw Vike and Rawe run beside him and aim their weapons at a coyote slowly revealing itself.

"Where's Traff?" Hank asked, shooting at the animal. The coyote pounced, narrowly missing Drake. "A leopard got him!" Drake answered, trying to dodge the vicious animal. But the fierce coyote let out its high-pitched laugh, and burrowed its teeth into Drake's leg.

Lost Horizon by KKC Bauder
Drake screamed in agony. Hank saw the coyote drop; Rawe had shot him. He could not believe his eyes -- he had just witnessed Izith and this poor animal depart --

He looked at Drake, moaning in pain, his fingers trying to staunch the blood pouring from his leg... Hank tore a cold washcloth from his forehead that they had put on him and pressed it against Drake's leg. He wanted to save the only brother he'd ever had...

His one and only brother…

He hugged him…

Hugged him…

Several hours later, Drake and Hank were sitting in a makeshift tent. Vike, Broddle, and Rawe were by the fire, swapping words occasionally, but mostly cooking coyote meat. "I'm sorry," Drake suddenly, said. Hank looked at him -- happy, but he did not show it. "Seeing a big ape attacking Broddle gave me a scare." Hank glanced back down at the floor.

"I want you to know... I would never leave you," Drake continued. "I wasn't thinking straight." Hank smiled down at the floor. "Okay," he said. "It's okay." Drake let out a long sigh of relief. "I can't wait to get out of here," he said. "I think we're going to be okay."

Hank suddenly was alarmed. "Izith!" he cried. "Izith said we couldn't leave. We have to find the Qualum." Drake looked bizarrely at Hank. "Izith said this?" Hank nodded. "Right before he died."

Drake raised his fist to his chin, deep in thought. "Hmm," was all he could say. "Why would he want us to find the Qualum plant? Does he want us to be killed?" Hank shook his head. "No... "

A few moments of silence. "So what really happened when you were alone?" Drake asked, curious. "Well," Hank replied, "I didn't really do anything. Until I got to the lake."

"That's where we lost Klave," said Drake grimly. "Yeah," Hank said. "When I was on shore, a crocodile attacked me. And after that... I was hungry... and sick... " At the word 'hungry' he realized he was starving. With a smile to his brother, Hank extinguished the light, went outside, and grabbed some coyote meat from the fire. He went back to the tent, but his brother was already asleep.

God help me, God help me, God help me. The thing was going to eat him, it was -- A vicious roar erupted from the beast's mouth -- its death shriek -- its calling card -- everyone knew someone was going to die...

No, not now, why NOW? He was going to die -- would it hurt? -- his bones would be crushed! -- blood would pour everywhere -- he would be feasted on -- Now a flashback; he was stabbing a crocodile, he was savagely wounding it, he was a monster!

A flash forward; he saw his own death! So gruesome -- stop it, STOP IT -- Two flashbacks -- a flash forward -- a flash sideways! Aaaaaaaaaah! He was going to kill someone; he was an ape, his white fur rustled, his strong hands crushed a poor animal, he began to walk on his knuckles, his red eyes scanned the wide forest --

"AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!" Hank screamed into the night.

- CLICK HERE TO KEEP READING -
< Back to Phoophie Talesback to phoophie talesTales from the Dark Side >>