Neville woke from a dream about sunshine. He was sure there were other components to the dream, but the sunshine was all that really mattered. After
only a few seconds he realized what it was that had disturbed his slumber. Footsteps….heavy, slow footsteps crunching through the packed snow right
outside of his tent.
Neville froze, forgetting even to breathe, while his mind tried to deny what he was hearing and now seeing in shadow play on his tent walls. The
offender was large but not as large as he had believed he would be. The shadows proved it close to the size of a normal man in height, but much
larger in bulk. Perhaps this was some lone traveler at his camp rather than the object of his obsession. No, it couldn’t be. No one would be in
this place, at this time of year, in the middle of the night, save for others like him. There were no others like him. He had given up his adult
life to trek into inhospitable conditions in search of a creature that most thinking people denied even existed. His investigations had led him here,
near the summit of Nanga Parbat, the ninth tallest mountain in the world. So many had died trying to reach the top, that the locals had begun calling
it the “killer mountain”. Neville supposed that his name might now be added to the list.
The beast stopped and stood still for so long that it may have been possible for Neville to believe that it had all been in his imagination, if he
hadn’t been able to smell it still. The dank sour smell filled his nostrils making him think of mildew and wild game. Suddenly, the creature
raised one hulking arm and lightly scratched at the fabric of the tent. Neville was terrified. He had no weapon to defend himself and no way to call
for help. The warm fuzzy ideas that he was searching for an animal with intelligence and decency now seemed delusional. The scratch came again.
He had lived for sixty three years and had been unafraid of the things that made most men quiver. He was daring enough to climb this and hundreds of
other mountains alone in sub-zero temperatures during blizzards. He had denied himself home and hearth, the love of a family, acceptance from his
peers, and so much more in hopes of seeing the abominable snowman with his own eyes. He would have that sight before his death. Slowly Neville
raised himself to a sitting position and reached for the zippered door.
Standing before him was a creature of legend. Near seven foot tall, covered with mottled white and grey hair. Its eyes were of a dark color, made
darker by the lack of light and its teeth were pointed and large. At first Neville thought that it was snarling at him soundlessly. Instead the
brute seemed to be smiling.
“May I come in? It is freezing out here!” Neville nodded stupidly and it brought all of its mass into the tent and re-zipped the flap.
“My name is Simon and you are Neville. There. Introductions are made. I will not eat you or cause you any other pain or damage. I would like to
sit and talk for a while if that would be alright?” The smell was making Neville’s eyes water or he was crying. He wasn’t sure which was true,
but again he managed a nod.
“I have seen others but none like you. You bring no weapons or traps or even cameras. You always travel alone and make no disturbance. You have
been on more mountainsides than I care to count and honestly, I am tired of travelling to follow you! So tonight, I decided to come and make myself
Neville bowed his head. He thought maybe he had taken a fall and hit his head on a stone. A strong concussion may explain these strange happenings.
On the other hand, this is exactly what he had spent his life hoping and searching for, so why waste the opportunity? Other hunters laughed at him
when they found out that he believed the Yeti to be kind and altruistic. Neville had long ago determined that there were too many sightings and too
few attacks for the creature to be out for blood. He also knew in his heart that they were an intelligent species. There was no way an animal could
have avoided discovery for so long, removing all physical proof of its existence. He had supposed that they had a language of their own, as all
thinking creatures did, but never did he dream that they may speak in a human language. “Why now? Why tonight did you decide to come to me?” He
could hear the whining quality of his voice and hated it.
“As I said, I’m tired. I saw you once about four years ago. I didn’t even realize you were looking for me on that trip. You seemed almost
lost. I followed you on that trip to make sure you were safe. One night I snuck into your camp and read the journal you left by the fire. It was at
a time in my life when I, too, was searching for something. You see, Neville, I am not like others of my kind. They are happy to never be known, to
keep all of their thoughts to themselves. They only ever seek out each other’s company to mate, and that is rare. I on the other hand have
theories and questions and ideas that I would love for others to think about and reflect on, but who to tell? How would I share them without
subjecting the rest of my species to the scrutiny that they have so vehemently shied away from?”
Simon’s eyes betrayed the sadness behind his words more that his gruff voice did. Neville was far from understanding, but he was moved by emotion
and turmoil that he could feel from the beast. No, not a beast, but a being. He felt as though they were kindred spirits, both wanting what seemed
impossible. Yet, here he was with his lifelong ambition taking shape on this night. How lucky he felt and he wanted so much to thank Simon. Neville
reached for the bottle of whiskey by his sleeping bag and took a long swig, then offered it to his guest. “I have so many questions for you! How
do you speak English? How many of your type are there? Where did you come from and where do you hide? What of the proof that the Yeti is actually
some type of ancient Artic bear?” He realized Simon was giggling at him and made himself stop talking.
“The English is an easy one to answer. Our life spans are much longer than yours; on average about 800 years. In that amount of time, we see and
learn a lot. I don’t know if others like me have learned your language. As I’ve said, we don’t communicate often, but I find humans
interesting and have basically spied on your type for hundreds of years. There was even a young girl that I became friendly with in a primitive
village. She could not see, so she never knew me for what I was and was unafraid. I must pledge ignorance on your other questions. I do not know
much of either our current condition or our history. When we are born we are left alone. All I know I have found out for myself. Like your species
though, I do have some beliefs based on what I have seen."
Neville and Simon bantered like this throughout the rest of the cold night. Both of them feeling more complete than they had ever felt before.
Sometime in the pre-dawn hours, and idea came to Neville.
“What if you joined the human race? You would still have to be a recluse, no doubt, but it would let you share your knowledge and ideas as you
wish. I have plenty of money left to me. We could buy a home in a secure location and create an identity for you. I don’t think you would want to
entertain many guests, but there is always the internet.
edit on 9-1-2014 by Cameoii because: (no reason given)