«Yes, they are back here in my neck. And now is the last chance for you to leave by walking through that door.»
We had met in the snow covered Swiss Alps for the adventure of our lifetime. There was ice in the air. Lots of snow and a historic house standing next to a natural ice channel. What a scenic place!
30+ people, all but three wearing military uniforms, sat on chairs neatly placed in rows. The Kernal entered the room first followed by his entourage of lower ranking cadres. We were about to be instructed on how to complete the famous Cresta Run alive.
That wasn’t everyone’s fortune. We all knew it. Going down the channel 80 km/h head first didn’t come without risks. I was even told the story of the Liechtenstein Princely family having banned its members from coming here because of a fatality years earlier.
The Kernal spoke in plain English. He called all our names and immediately recognized my name as not being of English origin.
«Egg… en… berger, you are not English, are you?»
«No, Sir. I am from Liechtenstein.»
«I can tell.»
He moved on quickly from there to show us a number of X-rays on an overhead projector. Those were the days when such technology was still in use.
Shoulders, elbows and legs. Every body part was assigned to one of the people standing next to the Kernal. It was like they were carrying those pictures as badges of honor. And not surprisingly, the Kernal wasn’t the Kernal for no reason. His X-ray showed his head appearing to be attached to his body thanks to a set of staples in his neck. He must have experienced a hell of a ride.
That was when he showed us the door.
Nobody dared standing up.
We were all given a last chance and we decided against it.
Nothing happened. No injuries. No consequences.
What a day to remember.
I was lucky then.
Someone has just shown me the door again.
Shall I stand up and go just because he is trying to scare me?
I feel more tempted this time.