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An Unexpected Turn Of Events

A trip to an island resort... with unexpected results.

The sting of the blow had all but subsided as I launched myself from the ground. Twisting my torso, I flicked my leg in an arc as Luke flipped away. So, before I go on, let’s have a recap. How did I end up in another crazy scenario? Well, it all began last Tuesday...

The sun glimmered up high as the boat descended upon an island surrounded by white sands and azure waters. I jerked awake as the whirring of the boat's motor quieted. "Hey, do you think they sell smoothies here?"

Groaning, I replied to the speaker, Lucas, A.K.A. Luke. "Yeah and pigs do fly! Seriously it's an island resort, not a shopping mall. If they do sell them, I'll pass you 5 bucks."

After the boat drifted to the docks, Luke and I grabbed our stuff and walked along the length of the boat. Within moments, we hopped off and thus our vacation in Hawaii officially began. We were greeted with a wondrous view of pristine sand which was swept by clear seawater. As I turned around I caught a glimpse of an enormous slide structure that spanned a couple of metres above the sea level, with children in swimsuits of various designs queuing excitedly. Wow! At that moment, a man in a Tiki shirt and bermudas in the brightest pink I have ever seen before came around with a white tank-like cart.

"Do you want to buy a smoothie? I just whipped it up a couple of minutes ago. It's a buck fifty each." Wordlessly, I dug into my pocket and placed a wrinkled five dollar bill into Luke's outstretched hands. Luke grinned wolfishly as he passed the money to the man. "Why yes my good man, a vanilla smoothie please. Oh, and do you have a banana one?"

"Of course sir, give me a sec."

Just as I was about to resume my initial act of surveying the island, I felt a cup pushed into my left hand. "Oh hey, thanks," I said. I have such wonderful friends... although technically that was my money. Needless to say, he pocketed the rest. We trudged along the pathway to the main counter and checked into a room. Then, everything went to hell.

We were on our merry way to our two bedded room when we chanced upon Liza, my rival of sorts and ex-girlfriend. She was a hot dame, of that there was no doubt. Smart, pretty and resourceful, this girl could make any man weak in the knees. Even though we broke up, Liza and I were close buds who still remained cordial unless it pertained to studies, and she knew Luke pretty well too. After all, we all took advanced calculus and physics together at our local college.

"So hey, why are you here?" I was particularly curious for it was a rare sight to see her away from her house, the only exception being in school.

"Is anything wrong? Don't tell me you don't want me here." At the last part, she pouted playfully, setting off laughter from Luke and me.

"Jokes aside, I'm here doing a thesis for my psych professor. I'm doing a thesis on hypnosis and the visible effects on the mind and the human body."

Luke snorted, resulting in a minor choking fit. "Wow, that has to suck. So what, are you going to con some poor chum here?" Luke spat out in a rasp.

"Yeah, that was kind of what I had in mind. But now that you're here, YOU can be the guinea pig."

"Wait, what, me? Moi? Why not him?"

Glaring daggers at Luke's betrayal, I replied blithely, "Been there, done that, doesn't work. Thanks for the sell out anyway." As Luke looked at Liza and me, all of us knew he would do it. But thinking back now, maybe I shouldn't have been too hasty to sell out Luke.

Fast forward to the afternoon, after an early dinner, we began the experiment at 6. I sat at the edge of the bed as I watched Liza slipped headphones onto Luke's head and turned off the lights. With a glowing pendant in hand, she played a track which directed Luke's attention to the sparkling crystal set on the necklace. Within seconds, I observed Luke's head slowly begin to slumber in the glow of the crystal. After a minute, his breathing slowed nearly to a halt. Lisa buzzed with energy as she waited for the track to end before she turned on the light. "Okay... In three seconds, you shall wake up. 3...2...1...awaken!"

Luke's head having previously been lowered jerked up towards me and to my misfortune, head butted me and tried futilely to get out of the way. Agony shot through me as I buckled. I waved away Luke's and Liza's attention as they tried to help me, convincing Liza to continue. Liza tried putting Luke in a trance, but to our collective amazement, it failed. What had gone wrong?

Later that night, we caught a broadcast of some Asian martial arts flick in my room before we settled to sleep. Just before leaving, Liza shot us a quip. "We should totally have you and Jase (me) fight. Luke, you and Jase should fight in a martial arts duel. Maybe then we can see who's the strongest of them all." Grinning, Luke and I turned to each other before we yelled out "Hulk is the strongest there is!" Exasperated, Liza shook her head and left to her room. After that, Luke and I tucked in for the night.

Halfway through my sleep, I remembered thinking," I feel light-headed...dreams feel so weird...why does it seem like Luke is choking me." Drifting out of consciousness, the last thing I saw was Luke standing over me making some weird noise, his hands choking me to oblivion...

I woke up to find myself in the middle of a clear patch of sand, with Luke in front of me, and poor Liza tied to a (tanning bed) and gagged. "Must fight...must see who strongest there is..." Luke muttered, barely coherent. Startled, I clawed to my feet as I slowly found my footing on the dust-like sand. Luke stood against the edge a pillar in full fighting form. The minute I stood, he whipped his leg out, tripping me. I spun backwards as I barely dodged his arm, the miss causing him to slam his fist several inches into the ground. My heart raced as I fell back to my traditional fighting style - using my left arm as a shield, my right arm as a lance. I managed to parry several blows before he got a good one into my stomach, causing me to double over and fall to the ground. I jumped and swept at his legs, but he somersaulted out of the way. The momentum ruined my centre of balance as my leg sliced through the arm, causing me to fall. Then he charged forward, his arm shooting towards me like a piston just as I was getting up. I was dead.

Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit. But I did nearly get pummeled into unconsciousness. Thankfully Liza had gained consciousness and began thrashing as she screeched through her gag. The screech did not penetrate Luke's mind, but it did startle me. I slipped and inadvertently tripped Luke. As he sank onto the ground. Stumbling over me, I climbed over him and wrestled him into a choke hold. Bucking wildly, I held on tight as I choked Luke while he battered my already worn body. Finally, with one last tug, Luke became still. After that, I tried to free Liza but to no avail (Luke tied it crazily tight). Thus, I had to resort to borrowing a steak knife from one of the nearby restaurants and managed to free Liza.

Grabbing the remains of the rope, Liza chuckled shakily as we bound Luke up. "It was a success! It did work. Although, to be honest, it was accidental."

"What? What kind of success is nearly killing me, restraining you and having our friend turn into an evil killer assassin?" I demanded, my body aching in places I hadn't known existed.

"Oh lighten up. It did work. How would I know he would have taken my little joke about the martial arts duel as a suggestion? It isn't my fault. The trigger, by the way, is sleep."

"Huh? Oh." On closer inspection, I realized the weird noise from before was the sound of snoring. "Sorry, buddy." I slapped Luke - hard.

"Wha...what? Why did you slap me?" Luke cried out indignantly. I left it to Liza to explain what happened, as I lay face down on my pillow and groaned long and hard. After reversing Luke's conditioning, we stayed for another few more days (with Luke and I scolding Liza every other hour and she apologizing every few minutes or so) before returning home where yet another disaster awaited me. But that story is not mine to be told.

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