Friday, February 28, 2014

SNOWMOBILE

From time to time Mekkar would go back home from the smaller city where he now resided. Sometimes he would return with Lasse and other times alone by himself on the bus. Well, Mekkar and his best friend were still teenagers and still country boys at heart. They were both used to doing insane things without, as of yet, too many repercussions as a result of their actions. It was said that due to their youth and immaturity, Mekkar and Lasse were shielded from drastic consequences. The two developing young men were relishing in their newly found independence of living on their own at such a young age. They needed to grow up quickly as individuals away from their home village. However, boys will always be boys and when those two get together sparks can fly.

The small city Mekkar and Lasse now lived in had a greater number of fun activities to be involved in, but in some areas it could not ever match back home. Activities like ski racing while holding the reins as a reindeer pulls them around real quickly. The whole betting culture, among even the kids, which encouraged wagering to pick the winners in most everything they could think of. Plus, other enterprising undertakings that could be engaged in and possibly dangerous if it got out of hand.

This was also the beginning when Mekkar wanted to test the limits of his need for speed in various realms. He would have ample opportunities for this too. Mekkar thought that it was a good thing that he was still young enough that his hockey agreements didn’t have extremely restrictive clauses. It was not common to limit off ice antics and potentially self damaging physical activities away from the main sport or occupation. Well, at least pursuits that could possibly effect Mekkar’s needed contributions and performance related to his team. What if he got injured in these outside enterprises?

However, as Mekkar progressed up the ladder these aspects would soon change to protect both the individual and the franchise. The team already had some investment in him, through coaching and training. They desired Mekkar to develop as a player in a manner that would best benefit the team itself. Public image and perception also plays a part because positives sell tickets. Mekkar was well aware that he was not untouchable, but expendable like any other team member. Still, his philosophy became why not have some fun while you still can and try to keep it a secret from the club, if possible.

On one of these visits back to the village, the restless Mekkar and Lasse sought out the expensive first generation, prototype turbo engine snowmobiles in the barn. They both checked to see if they had enough fuel for their adventure. The problem was that these machines were only supposed to be primarily used on reindeer treks. The idea was to chase down stray animals and guide them back to the herd. Otherwise, those wandering animals might become a feast for another predator. Emergency applications were additional functions for the machines such as if someone gets lost during a blizzard, etc.

Both Mekkar and Lasse were fully aware that these machines were a newer supped up and custom modification version of snowmobiles. They could easily travel twice as fast as or more than the normal machines available for sale. Mekkar had been with both Henrik and Lasse’s papa when they acquired these special machines for village needs. On that particular journey Mekkar saw, with his own eyes, these snowmobiles in action and knew they were fast. He felt that might be the reason for restrictions regarding personal use.

This got their blood boiling with excitement and daring. Curiosity got the better of both Mekkar and Lasse and they took the machines out of the storage building. Without attracting too much attention they proceeded toward a makeshift 3.1 mile (5 Kilometers) snow covered racing track nearby. Mekkar called it their track, but basically it was a fairly flat open area which was normally cleared of any big trees. Mekkar likes to point out that the tree roots encounter permafrost below the soil at about 6 feet (1.82 meters) or less. So, it is fairly easy to remove any obstacles when they appear. Next, they scanned the area to check if most of the brush was removed, skipping an odd branch or two here and there.

There were only a couple of other buddies there beside themselves and they would be the judges of the race. Mekkar knew that they would be fair with no bias because there would be hell to pay otherwise. Plus, being dishonest, cheating, and playing favorites would mean losing friends. Since there is not a large selection of buddies to choose from that would be social suicide. If any of his peers wanted to be flat out crooked, like a politician, from that point on would forevermore result in a lack of trust of that individual. The first action taken would be a severe butt kicking while attempting to beat the corruption out of that character. The hope was to bring that one back to the fold as soon as possible.

So, after Mekkar and Lasse checked their machines again, they got back onto their vehicles. Mekkar’s heart was beating fast and he had beads of sweat running down his brow even though it was cold outside. Still, it was a little warmer than usual. Janne jogged out to the starting area and raised his arms above his head. The signal was given when Janne dropped those arms and they were off in a rush.

The race was supposed to be a minimum of 3 laps around the so called track. Mekkar was ahead the whole race. The ice sleds created a small cloud of snow dust due to the friction from the skis on the bottom, as well as, the rate of speed emanating from the machine which creates heat. It was fortunate for the trailing Lasse that this was not a pure ice track or his visibility would have been much worse.

On the homestretch Mekkar looked back at Lasse to see where he was. However, Lasse was not that far behind. Yet, Mekkar began to laugh at his best friend and even shout out cocky statements in Lasse’s direction. This caused Mekkar to lose focus. Just then, Mekkar slightly swerved a bit which forced him off the main part of the large oval shaped track they were on. This caused Mekkar to collide with a small tree. It was afterward described as just a large branch standing straight up out of the ground.

At the speed Mekkar and Lasse were racing, a collision with any object could result in some damage to the machine. There was contact with the front of the snowmobile and Mekkar flew forward in the air of the suddenly stopped machine. He landed on a small bank of soft snow right on his rear end in a prone position. The problem was that a small wooden object penetrated the side of his right wrist, past the skin into the muscle near the joint. It was the same arm and wrist that was injured before in a previous ski race.

Because of the adrenaline rush the injury was not Mekkar’s first concern. The physical pain to him was much less than the fear of damaging the front of the snowmobile. The psychological torment in Mekkar’s mind was worse right then. The teens knew specifically that these machines were not to be used for play or their own private purposes, but for work only.

Mekkar yelled out loudly, “My papa’s going to kill me for this!” He realized right then and there how much he screwed up through his devious actions. Before long, the injury pain was triggered and those messages travelled to his brain. In Mekkar’s mind, the actual damage to the snowmobile could have been worse. Nevertheless, it was enough to render it unusable for its full capability and intended purpose.

His cockiness caused Mekkar to lose big time. Let’s see, he didn’t win the race, lost all his money bet on it and had to fork over cash to Lasse. Not only that, Mekkar suffered an injury and would have to face the music from his family’s wrath for damaging the ice sled. In addition, Mekkar would be on the hook financially to have the mobile machine repaired to make it fully operational again.

This all happened because Mekkar acted stupid, cocky, and arrogant for just a moment. The teenager thought to himself what a terrible day, but it was an expensive lesson learned! Time will only tell. These thoughts went through his mind while getting back onto his feet. From there, they had to first go back to the village to retrieve a vehicle to pickup the now not running and noticeably damaged machine. Somehow, he hoped to haul it in for repairs before being noticed. All in the group knew what Mekkar’s fate was if he did not succeed.