If you have read my About page, you may have noticed that I love the game Manhunt.
Manhunt is basically like a game of outdoor hide-and-go-seek/tag, and it is seriously awesome. I would still play it today if I could find people to play it with me. I don’t know the proper rules, but when we were growing up we played outside in the dark, and you had to hide until the person who was “It” found you. Once you were found, you had to run to Home Free before they caught you.
If they tagged you before you got to Home Free, you were It. If the person who was It didn’t tag anyone, they had to be It for another round (and possibly forever). Being It sucked. Everyone avoided and taunted you. I dreaded being It.
To decide who was first It, we all put our feet in a circle and did the whole eenie meenie miny mo thing, and then added: “My mother and your mother were hanging out the clothes, My mother punched your mother right in the nose. What colour was the blood? RED! R-E-D spells Red.” And then person belonging to the foot you landed on was out. This was repeated until there was only one foot left in the circle, and that person was It. It was very elaborate and we did not mess around.
My house was the perfect place to play manhunt. I had a pretty big property, surrounded by the forest, lake, a park (it only had two swings and a teeter-totter but it was very foresty with lots of hiding places), and my neighbours’ property.
Home Free was a picnic table in my front yard.
One night we were playing manhunt, and I was hiding with my bestie Lisa. It was absolutely pitch black. We had been hiding in the park next to my house, but were caught, and were running away from my neighbour Ivan, who was It. Everyone else had already made it to Home Free. We were Ivan’s last chance of escaping being It again.
We had managed to get away from him and were lying low across the street at the back of my house on the lake side. Our only goal was to make it to Home Free. I was terrified of being caught and becoming It. If I ended up being It, I could see myself not being able to catch anyone and staying It for the rest of the night and everyone harassing me. It was a horrifying prospect. It was the last thing I wanted to be.
We knew Ivan was still on my property to the left, and we knew he was after us, but he didn’t know where we were yet because it was so dark.
It was a tricky situation. If we just started running towards Home Free, Ivan would see us and probably head us off and catch us. We had to lure him towards us first before we started running.
We instantly made a plan.
We would make Ivan run towards us, and as he was running diagonally for us, we would run straight for my house, go around the side, and book it to Home Free.
It would take Ivan a few seconds to change direction, and since we would have a head start, I was confident we would make it.
I was already picturing our sweet victory dance on the picnic table.
We put our plan into action.
I heard Ivan start to run, so I waited a few seconds and then yelled to Lisa “RUN!!!!!!!”
She took off, and I quickly followed. I could hear Ivan chasing after us and let me just say, I have never ran so fast in my entire life. We were on a mission. We were BOOKING IT.
About 20 seconds into our run I heard a humoungous CRASH in front of me. Lisa had run into something. I couldn’t see her, but there was a hose for the eaves trough on my property around where I thought we were. I figured Lisa hit that and tripped. I made an instant decision – look out for number one and keep running.
I didn’t want to hit the hose myself, so I prepared myself for it. I started running even faster so that I could just effortlessly leap over it (and Lisa, if need be).
And here is how that went in my head:
I remember reaching my sprinting potential, and thinking to myself “I have never run this fast in my life! I feel so free and wild running in the wind!” My legs felt as if they were flying over the grass!
Just as I thought this, something stopped me dead. There was an old decorative (I use that term loosely) wooden fence that surrounded my yard, that served absolutely no purpose, and in our rush to get away from Ivan I had completely forgotten about it.
The crash I heard wasn’t from Lisa hitting the hose, it was from Lisa hitting the fence. Just as I broke into a full-out sprint, I crashed into it, and it hit me at thigh-level. I did a complete flip over it.
Lisa had also hit the fence at thigh-level and did a full flip over it. I landed directly on top of her.
The fence was totally broken. Lisa must have cracked it when she hit it, and I completely did it in when I hit it right after.
And Ivan saw his opportunity and seized it. I opened my eyes and saw his grinning face above us.