...Now Phillípe ran ahead on adrenaline alone with the reality of space and time starting to slow, the faster he ran. His addled mind played tricks on him, as he thought, my salvation will be the steel and wood construction of the bridge; it must be there only a few more yards away.
Then for a second, he heard them; then in the sky above his head, charging hard up the river valley, he saw them and froze for a moment. The helmeted Knights of the Gnostic Spirit drew their swords in anger and poised them above their heads.
They were bearing down on him fast and hard. As if he did not have enough trouble with the nasty brambles, it appeared, from their attitudes,they would run him down and through. Once again, as he did so many times before he raised a bloody arm and swore and cursed them off like a horde of buzzing bees.
Thus, as he stood to face his spiritual foes, Phillípe went off the path and only entangled himself even more in the ever-growing thicket of brambles and thorn bushes. Phillípe’s energy from his young years of felling oaks in the Canadian forests drove his bloody legs and body onward.
Consciously he knew about the angled bend at the bridge steps, which required him to shift direction in his path of travel. Nevertheless, he also knew he had to line up with the bridge correctly, after he made his way down the hill, but would he be able to turn at the right location.
With thorns covering his legs up to his swim trunks, against the diminishing width of his path and his increasing pain, he drove himself onward without letup. For an instant the nagging torture of the brambles was quickly forgotten in the rush to escape by adrenaline coursing through his body. Then he saw a recalled crucified image of his niece floating in the air ahead; she appeared even more bloody than he was.
In his confused and tormented state of mind with all his forward momentum, it was getting more difficult to judge where to step and prepare to make the turn ahead in order to achieve the concrete and steel footings of Summer Bridge. Besides, speaking of good judgment, that was always Phillípe Pârfait’s short suite.
His charging ahead in life usually got him what he wanted but, in this case, his attitude was working against him. Phillípe’s pains, momentum and crazy movements left him with little control. Neither did he see the sign at the side of the path just before the bridge steps reading: STEEP HILL DO NOT RUN.
When he arrived at the end of the path, which led to stone stairs at the foot of Summer Bridge and the safety of its railings, he was moving at a fast clip. The river was running raging-wild that afternoon and kicked up clouds of mist, which made the ground, weeds and stone abutment steps very wet. Phillípe thought, at this speed, if I try to stop, I might fall over and slide on my belly through those weeds; I'd not be able to get up, much less make the turn.
With his ever-increasing speed, he lost directional control of his legs just short of the stone steps and the safety of the bridge railings. As correctly surmised, in all of Phillípe's crazily driven madness, he missed the turn to the bridge’s stone stairway, tripped on a vine, lost his balance.
Without a guardrail or fence at the bottom of the hill to stop him, Phillípe’s momentum threw him over the edge and he fell one-hundred feet down on to the rocks and water of the Eel River below. If anyone were near enough to hear him scream, as he fell over the cliff, his wife’s name “Monica,” it would be recognized as his last will and testament..."
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