The Clarion Call (Episode 10)

Bade looked down at the ground that seemed far beneath him, sweat beading on his forehead. He ignored the waves of sound around, the loud voices washing over him and focused on the task in front of him.

It was a bright day, and the sun was at its peak, Bade also ignored this, letting it all fall into the background, but when the wind rose in a sudden wild gust, he found that hard to ignore, and he had to wait for a calmness to return to the air. When it did, he took a deep breath, gripped the supports tightly, and took his first step out onto the rope bridge. The rope bridge was seen as one of the more difficult fitness tests usually set for the corpers, and Bade could see why. The bridge wobbled as soon as he stepped on it, and he instantly stilled, waiting for the rocking to stop. He took the next step, and the wobble followed again, this time, Bade almost lost his footing, but he held on tightly to the supports. The other side suddenly looked very far indeed. He took another step, waited for the wobble, took the next step, and then the wind rose again setting the bridge swinging around like a wild bull. Bade felt his balance slipping and he tried to adjust his weight to flow with the rocking bridge, but his attempts were unsuccessful, and he suddenly found himself bearing his weight with his hands as his legs went out from under him. He landed with his crotch on the bridge, his body absorbing the shock.

Getting back to his feet, he made a blind rush for it, one foot in front of the other, his body instinctively adjusting with the swaying of the bridge, his weight evenly balanced and aligned with the swell and dip of the rope. Before he knew it, he was at the other side. Bade breathed a sigh of relief, going down the steps onto the floor below where Lola was waiting for him.
‘Wow, that always looked easier in my head.’ he said to her.

‘Doesn’t everything?’ A male voice said behind him. Bade turned around to regard the speaker, a short, well-built man with a bushy beard who was similarly dressed to Bade and Lola in the traditional white round-neck top, white shorts and white tennis shoes.

He continued. ‘Sorry for intruding. It’ll be my turn soon, and I have been waiting for someone to come down from there who looked like they knew what they were doing to tell me how they did it. You are the first I’ve seen.’

‘Well, sorry to disappoint you, but I have no idea what I was doing, I just ran across. But my body seemed to know what it was doing, so I guess you should let instinct guide you. Don’t think too much about it.’

‘Thank you, that ought to help. I’m Tunde by the way, I believe we are in the same dormitory?’

‘I’m Bade. Block 2A? I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you there before.’ Bade replied.

‘Yeah, well, we’ve only been at camp for a couple of days, too early to meet everyone. Anyway, I have to go climb a bridge. Thanks for your help.’
‘Sure, no problem. See you around.’ Bade replied. He turned to Lola, ‘sorry about that. How are you settling in?’
‘As expected. Come, let’s take a walk.’ Lola replied.

They had been at the camp for a couple of days now, the day of arrival had been registration, while the second day had been their first ori