The adventure of a time.

Submitted into Contest #190 in response to: Start your story with someone vowing to take revenge.... view prompt


Adventure Coming of Age Creative Nonfiction

This story contains themes or mentions of substance abuse.

“I vowed to take revenge, this mother fucker is going to pay.” I was repeating over and over to myself…out loud. In my mind I knew I was going crazy but I had to keep going.

I could smell the fresh sweet air as I traversed down the stone cobble path. The exotic birds chirped and the waves crashed along the coast. The pleasant sounds trying to cool and calm my temper. It wasn’t working, “what am I doing here!?” I asked myself. The coast stretched as far as the eye could see into the setting sun and the beauty was around me, but my mind was clouded with anger and frustration.

So many thoughts raced through my mind as I kept walking, the more I walked the sober I got from my daily rituals of smoking whatever was near and dear. I was cut off from my substances and the thought train was rushing past the terminal right on time. Except, there was no stops.

The scent from the combination of salt water and strawberry guava was wafting in my nose begging me to come down to earth , but I wasn’t ready yet. That thought train was at high speed in a high altitude and the breaks got cut along the way. Was it the drug abuse? Maybe. Was it the fact I just lost all my savings of the past five years to the market and the Feds have no idea what the hell they are doing, hiking the damn rates and regulating the market to the point its untradeable, god forbid I actually hold a position. Possibly. Was it my girlfriend whom I poured my poor heart to, only to find out she was just a big honey potting bitch. I think…all the above.

I had heard from someone that this trail, that I unwittingly underestimated, was dangerous, it required your full attention. A sharp right would send me falling a couple hundred feet into sharp delicious looking rocks. Oh, how death seemed so comforting and welcoming right now. The sense of me needing to live, always overpowered my wanting to die. The combination of imaging me being stuck in the ocean after falling off a cliff wasn’t the ideal way to die right now though, plus I just started the trail and had eleven more miles to hike and the sweat just started to break on my neck and I was going to have a good time.

At least that’s what I was telling myself when I started to slip slowly down the cliff after slipping on a rock and dislocating my shoulder. The rain started pouring so fast and the trail turned into a shit creek, I had no time to realize the danger I was in. I snapped out of the thought train because it just came rushing to wall called reality. I had lost focus on the trail being lost inside my own head, that I was actually about to have my wish come true. How many hours would it take for helicopter plus one to come find me, dismantled on those sharpest of sharp rocks below? I wasn’t about to go out like that though, did I mention that my will to live was stronger then my wants to die? When death comes at you in an uncontrolled matter it makes you realize one thing. That I don’t want to die!

My heart and soul pushed out of my body like a butterfly out of a cocoon, I could feel the will channel into my hands as I grabbed for the dirt to pull myself up over the ledge. “WHY?!” I screamed not really knowing why I said that. I was covered in blood sweat and tears and mud was just an accent to my dismal existence. As I looked up I saw two baby goats, kids is what they are called but for the stories sake, that would be a little confusing. They looked down upon me and baahed with what I thought was concerned looks. I couldn’t help but say “awe, look at the baby goats” as I was just coming out of my death experience. In that moment I knew my humor was still strong even in the worst of times.

I knew I should of just stayed back at the first campsite. Where the half way-point of the trail converged with the Honokoa River. Of course I didn’t though, He even told me that a storm was brewing, the old man. He had a white beard and was unmistakably a embodied deity of this island, he smelled of teriyaki and marijuana and had a cozy warm presence, we talked for a couple hours, passing the bowl around. He made me come to realize that maybe this was a journey for myself, a way to find myself. I didn’t need to rush up and try to meet my cousin. He left me at the airport to go on the hike ahead of me because my flight was delayed. This caused me to do the whole adventure alone. One thing he said that will stick with me forever and to this day, “You’ll come to realize that one day, nothing will ever bother you again.” Of course those words and advice didn’t sink in until after I took that sharp right off the cliff face, and then coming up looking at those two little baby goats was the trigger to my enlightenment.

After making it to camp and resting, then next day I hiked a side trail into a path not often taken, it was hidden by trees and jungle cliffs. I finally felt at peace when I came to. I was alone, but it was so refreshing to be alone. My thoughts were sharp as ever. Three days of hiking this trail bleed all the toxins out of my system and I could feel my body coming back to health and my mind easing on the peddle of stress. The thought train was on a expectable velocity. I turned a corner and I could hear the splash of water, a sweet white noise you could only get in nature. I had ventured into the presence of a goddess.

The waterfall was her home and she welcomed me into it, her majesty reaching over three hundred feet into the sky. I looked up with awe and felt the rush of insignificance as my body was hushed and humbled. As I looked down my face immediately started to crinkle and my eyes turned into waterfalls themselves. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to go back to the society that always put me down while gas lighting their way out of a guilty conscious for treating me like garbage. She told me to not cry, because I would be back. I need to face my fears and challenges in life to be stronger for Her. I flayed hugging the nearest rock I could find, tears trickling down my face. I did not want to leave. I could just stay sitting on that rock with that majestic waterfall covering me and alone at last with just my thoughts.

I did not want to leave and go back to a place that is the definition of insanity all the while, making you think you’re the crazy one. The six days and nights I spent out in that jungle was a blessing, it aloud me to come to realize, finally, that I am not crazy. I don’t need to second guess anything or question my self. All the people that I surrounded myself with are toxic and making me question myself and minimize my accomplishments while brushing off the insults that they throw at me, my feelings were finally valid and I did not need to have anyone validate them for me. She said “Go forth and re-create your identity.” I will see you soon my goddess, I will see you soon.

March 25, 2023 03:58

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Corey Ray
04:31 Apr 05, 2023

Hi Deven, Thanks for the submission and story as a whole, I liked where you ended up. I struggled to understand the connection to the 'vow of revenge'. I think the flow of the story felt like I would eventually find out who the character was seeking revenge on. Connecting to that initial paragraph could have brought the whole story full circle. Thanks, Corey


Deven O'Brien
20:44 Feb 20, 2024

Aloha Corey, thank you for your time in reading over my story, I like your comment and advice about how I should restructure it. Will amend it soon. Mahalo ! DAO


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