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by GeekArtist


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Back in The Day I ran a small martial arts practice group with a bunch of my friends. We lived in a rather boring town without any proper martial art schools (aside from Karate-4-Kids), so we took it on ourselves to learn and teach each other. For a few years we practised in a clearing at the back of a park on the edge of town. It was perfect: secluded, wide open, shaded by trees for workouts in the summer, and accessible by car. . . for a while.

Eventually, the city decided that the back of the park should only be accessible on foot. This made NO damn sense, as it was least a mile walk from the front of the park, and the woods were so thick on all sides that the road was the only way. The front of the park was useless to us, as there was no trees for shade, and more people than in the back.

To enforce the mandate, the city put up a bunch of temporary signs and barricades in the middle of the road. The only way that anybody would be permitted to drive to the back of the park was if they paid a $15 fee to allow a car...ONE CAR!!...to drive back there and DROP PEOPLE OFF and then DRIVE BACK to the front.

Naturally, we didn't take this lightly. One night not long after the barricades went up, my friend and I walked down into the park alone. Once we got to the barricades we promptly pitched them straight into the river. The plastic ones floated away downstream, while the heavier metal signs sunk immediately. We had just finished with the temporary barricades and were working on pulling a planted street sign out of the ground when we saw the headlights of a car entering the park.

The entrance was across a field that was at least 3/4 of a mile wide (yes, this was a huge park) so we had a minute or so before the car would reach us. We figured it was probably just some kids driving down here to sneak some parking-lot nookie, or smoke some weed, so we started walking, in no great hurry, down the road towards the back, where we could take some foot paths out of the park.

We'd gotten down the road a decent way in the pitch black, when we hear a sound behind us: a car. Coming. FAST! We take off running towards the park at the back, thinking to loose pursuit in the woods. The road wound around a lot, and the trees were very dense on either side, so the person wouldn't see us until they were right on top of us. As we near the end of the road we see the headlights of the car start to come around the bend behind us. Both of us turned and dove into the bushes on opposite sides of the road just as the car rounded the corner nearest us, maybe 30 feet back. I swear, it was close enough that my feet were illuminated by the headlights of the car as I dove headfirst into the thick bushes.

I landed mostly safely in a dense bush that was covered in creeping vines of some kind (thankfully not poison ivy). Just in time too, as I heard the car go roaring past us at a speed that was rather unsafe on that road. I lay there in the bush, unmoving for a bit, and it was maybe a minute before the car came roaring back the opposite way, just as fast. No sign of police car lights, but I couldn't see much through the thick bush.

Once the car was gone I started slowly trying to wiggle out of the bush, quietly in case someone had stayed behind. I quickly found, however, that I couldn't move! The vines that I'd dove into were tough and rubbery, and had wrapped around me like a cocoon. I hung there for a bit, suspended off the ground by a foot or so, with my head pointed down and my feet in the air. Both legs were stuck good, and my left arm was pinned to my side. Thankfully I had a pocketknife in my right jacket pocket.

It took me about 5 minutes to cut my way totally free. Once I got back to the road, I found my friend, who had walked up and down the road, and found it to be empty. We headed quickly for the clearing in the back, and the trails beyond.

We'd gotten about 30 paces off the road towards the middle of the clearing when another car comes tearing around the last corner of the road...with pretty red and blue lights a-flashing. Another mad sprint across the clearing got us past the picnic area and across a small bridge, where we took cover. Just in time too, as just then, a spotlight speared through the darkness from the police car, directly at the place that we'd been just a moment before.

The cop apparently hadn't seen us, or just didn't want to give chase on foot, because he left shortly after arriving. A few minutes on the trails and we were out clean. Of course, this didn't stop the city from erecting more permanent barricades on that road, but I take comfort in knowing that we probably caused city-hall to lose money on that whole deal. The barricades and signs we ditched aren't cheap, and none of us ever paid for access to that park.