Chapter 01 – The Hangover Meets Lord of the Rings
Episode 001: Getting Ahead of Myself
People panicked and screamed as a dragon crashed into the castle in the middle of the city. The wind pressure was unbearable; its large, scaled wings half-covered the sky and upturned stalls with every swing. Its roar was surprisingly more of a high-pitched screech that left a ringing echo in the ears than a low rumble that vibrated marrow-deep.
Well, to be frank, it looked more like a giant bearded lizard had a baby with a lynx (and both of them had bat in their ancestry) than what you’d imagine when thinking “dragon.” With scales and fur and talons—
But I probably should start from the beginning and explain why I was imminently going to be crushed by a breeding experiment my cousin Franny would fill a bucket with drool over. After all, I didn’t want to give the impression that this scene that wouldn’t look out-of-place in Skyrim was the norm for me.
It all began a week back when I woke up hanging like wet laundry on a tree branch 10-feet off the ground with absolutely no idea how I got there. Seriously, I was drawing a complete blank; I hadn’t even been sure what day of the week it was.
The moment was very reminiscent of The Hangover: No memory of the night before. Feeling hungover when I wasn’t even sure I drank (the nasty fuzzy taste on the roof of my mouth suggested “yes,” though). And waking up in a park wondering what the fuck happened.
Cussing and groaning as I tried to climb down without falling and utterly failing, crashing to the dirt and kissing the ground, I had half-hobbled in a random direction to find the nearest trail.
Walking for an undetermined length of time, for which I blame my groggy and sore state, it took me a stupidly long time before I realized something was not right. I should have come upon pavement or at least a visible dirt trail by then. Forcing myself to focus, I walked for a bit more—just in case—before I admitted it to myself: definitely not in any of the parks within the city.
I had still been oblivious at that point, just feeling absolutely done and wondering whose idea it was to dump me outside the city.
It wasn’t as if I was all that comfortable with nature, either. As a city kid born and bred, I can barely even point out poison ivy. Navigating through the woods was a bit above my level, especially since I wasn’t even sure where the hell I was in relation to civilization.
Then, I did something I should have done when I first woke up—I rummaged through my pockets before eventually finding my phone in the pocket of my right boot.
That was around the time a voice echoed in my head.
Freezing in confusion, since it wasn’t every day you’d hear a crystal clear voice speak directly within your skull, I had the delight to experience what it felt like to have what was probably a petabyte of data downloaded directly to the brain. In approximately 5.6 seconds.
Honestly, it felt like my brain was going to melt and dribble out of my facial orifices, the hangover suddenly feeling like a tea party in comparison.
I passed out a second time, unsurprisingly.