Without falling, there is no climbing; without climbing, there is not reaching the peak.
V. Shnodgrate, Renowned PL Poet
As soon as I stepped out of Fats Henry’s house, it came to me, the sudden, like a wave hitting the beach:
The professor hadn’t eaten in quite some time.
No wonder I was feeling a bit dizzy.
The wound was the cause of that, true, but some food would help.
Now, how to get off Fat Man Island?
I looked about. Then looked about again. Because that’s what people do when they don’t know what to do.
Then I looked about a third time–just for kicks, giggles, and antidotes.
But then my left eye caught sight of something rather spicy.
You see, at the edge of the island, there was this ladder.
And it was all curled up.
This professor walked over to it, slowly, looking for any villains that could be lurking about.
Nothing. Coast clear.
I kicked the ladder over the island.
And it fell.
The professor leaned over, taking a peek.
It fell down through the clouds, obscuring my view. Hopefully, the ladder went all the way to land.
I made sure the pack carrying the katana (both halves, mind) was safely secured to my back, then I swung a foot over, and started to descend.
Soon, the professor was floating with the clouds.
That’s when I got to thinking: What if Fat Man Island wasn’t over land? What if it was currently over water? (It floats and moves about, see.)
That’d be a thing.
Now, here’s another thing: The professor, you must understand, is not a horrible swimmer, he’s just no good at it.
I was hoping many times over that I would end up on land. Oh dear me.
Then I started to think again. This time, it was a bit different:
See, I was dizzy from lack of food and my wound. How smart was it to be climbing down a ladder?
Not very. Then again, it’s something Hector would do. And Hector was the professor’s mentor, don’t you know.
He was. (Before he died, but enough of that sad tale.)
I climbed and climbed. For hours and hours. The professor was, the sudden, like a lemur, jumping between trees to get bugs. Only I wasn’t jumping between trees or getting bugs, see.
It was completely dark now. The professor couldn’t see a thing.
That’s when I heard it.
No mistaking it.
Fats Henry was roaring about something.
The professor started to climb faster.
Then, it even got worse. The ladder started to go upwards.
“Dadblameit!” I said. “That fellow is pulling me back up!”
And that’s when I did a thing only very brave professors do: I jumped.
See, it was better to kill myself then get back in the hands of Henry. Plus, I’d been climbing for quite some time. Chances were I was near the bottom.
The professor fell like a rock.
Of course I didn’t scream at all.