Tim was an adventurous man, and he had quite a bit of money. One afternoon during work, Tim decided that he wanted to go driving on the dunes in egypt. So that weekend, he booked tickets to Cairo and took a few extra days off work. When he arrived in Cairo he took a bus to a smaller village with less people and laxer laws and rented a car to drive on the dunes. He went out the first time at night around 11:30 because his flight came in late.
Tim had a marvelous time on the dunes: driving up and down them, going far too fast, and of course, drifting. He was at it all night and was having fun but the sky was getting brighter and he decided it was time to head home. As he started off towards the village the car suddenly sputtered and died and try as he might, Tim could not start it up again. Tim kept trying to start the car, he had extra gas so it wasn’t that, what could it be?
Eventually Tim figured out the battery had died. This worried Tim slightly but he remembered the village was to the east so he figured he could walk. The car compass said the nose was pointing east so he took his water bottle from the car and started walking off in that direction. What Tim didn’t know was that the compass wasn’t accurate because the car had died so he ended up walking west instead of east. He walked for a few hours at which point he climbed to the top of a large dune to see if he could see the village. From the summit he looked and could only see the car several miles back where he came from and then nothing but desert for miles and miles around.
Tim decided it would be best to head back to the car and around mid day he made it back. He then decided it would be best to follow the car tracks. He followed and followed them along but ended up back at the car. Confused and frustrated, he thought how that could happen. He concluded that because he was doing donuts, he ended up following the wrong trail. He set out again determined to find the right one; an hour later he was back at the car. He tried one last time but the wind was covering the tire tracks with sand making traveling not possible and he was forced to return to the vehicle. Tim by this point was desperate. He decided his only option was to just pick a direction and hope for the best. He collected what little remained of his water and a bottle of wiper fluid he had in his car in case he needed fluids and picked a direction and started walking.
By the time Tim left the car it was pushing 6 o’clock. He walked and walked for several hours and ended up at the foot of a large sand dune. Tim decided that his best chance of survival was to climb the dune so he set out. About 45 feet up he was feeling the burn and pretty soon it became too steep to climb. Tim got on his hands and knees determined to climb the dune. About half way up he chugged the last of his water and continued to forge on. About 3/4ths of the way up he felt like he was dying of dehydration and decided that having some fluids in him was better than none and he could be cured of the poison back in the town, so Tim drank the wiper fluid. The fluids in him again had him feeling rejuvenated and he pushed to the top of the dune.
When he reached the top his head was spinning from the wiper fluid but he had made it! He crested the peak and looked out into the falling sun expecting to see the village. Unfortunately all he saw around him was desert. Disheartened he looked to going back down the dune when he noticed something, a smallish wooden and straw structure half buried in the sand. He started crawling down the dune toward the structure, now fully feeling the effects of the poison. He crawled into an opening in the structure and by this time he was barely conscious. Inside the structure was a golden colored lever. This confused Tim, and when he stood up to try and push it, his head started spinning something bad and he collapsed into unconsciousness.
Tim woke up to light coming through the cracks in the building and felt rejuvenated. He felt healthy. “How is this possible?” Tim thought to himself, “am I dead?” Tim started to sit up, those questions floating through his head when all of a sudden he was face to face with a snake. And much to Tim’s astonishment, the snake began to speak. “Hello I am nate the snake” The snake said. Tim was confused and scared but he worked up the nerve to sputter out a few “whats” and “hows.” The snake interrupted Tim’s unintelligible babbling to say “Travelers usually don’t find this place, and the ones that do get 2 wishes. I saw that you were poisoned, dehydrated, and dying so I granted a wish on your behalf allowing you to survive and stay healthy without a need for food and water.” This made about as much sense as any explanation that Tim thought of so he accepted it. The next question that came to Tim’s mind concerned the lever. Nate the Snake began to explain: “The lever is a doomsday lever, in fact, this area used to be what you know as the garden of eden. This lever was supposed to destroy the world and all its inhabitants if the animals became corrupt or evil, since then humanity has spread all across the planet and we can’t have the world ending now can we?”
Tim didn’t quite buy it but the snake continued his story: “I am descendant of a generation of serpents supposed to guard this lever and make sure no travelers, such as yourself, wander across this lever and push it killing everybody.” By this point Tim was so confident he was hallucinating that he just went along with it. The snake asked if Tim had any questions: “Ya so do you know where the village is?” Tim asked. Nate the Snake replied with a short “no” and continued to talk on about how Tim is the first person he’d seen in many many years, as it became more apparent that Tim didn’t really care, Nate the Snake pointed out that Tim still had one wish. “Oh right!” Tim exclaimed and proceeded to ask Nate for an internal compass so that Tim would always know where he wanted to go. Suddenly, Tim knew the way to the village, it was about a days walk southeast of where the structure was. With that in mind, Tim thanked Nate and promised to visit again (still thinking he’s hallucinating but at least he has a direction to go now) and he set out southeast to where he hoped the town was.
Tim stumbled into town later in the day convinced that he was just lucky and that the Nate the Snake encounter was a fever dream on account of the poison. He checked into a hospital and was given drugs to flush out the toxins but he was fine. He decided to cut his trip short on account of his odd adventure in the desert and he took a bus back to Cairo the next day then flew home. Tim continued his life where he left off, and he told all his friends about his ordeal in the desert, and he went on with his normal life for about 5 years.
Then one day Tim was going to go out to eat with is friends and something occurred to him: he hadn’t eaten or drank anything in over a week, he’d just been too busy and didn’t think of it. This puzzled Tim as he racked his brain to figure out why then suddenly the whole Nate the Snake encounter came flooding back to him. If he didn’t need to eat or drink, that means the whole encounter much had actually happened! Tim became terrified then excited as he considered the possibilities of it then he remembered the promise he made to Nate to come back and visit him. He hastily bought a ticket to Cairo for the weekend and took a couple days off work. The flight was uneventful and he ended up in Cairo where he took a bus to the small village.
Tim didn’t have the money to rent a car this time but since he didn’t need to eat or drink he figured he could just walk to Nate’s domain. With his internal map pointing the way, Tim set off into the desert to the Northwest and walked for the rest of the afternoon and well into the night. By the time the sun was rising behind him, Tim walked over the final dune and saw the small wood and grass structure that housed the lever. When Tim was approaching the structure, Nate the Snake slithered out in front of him. “Tim!” Nate the Snake exclaimed, “I thought you’d forgot about me” Tim felt blood rushing into his cheeks as he felt ashamed about forgetting, “Im sorry Nate, Ive just been so busy living my life and honestly, i chocked our whole meeting up to hallucinations due to the poison” “Thats understandable” nate said “Thank you for coming back though it really means a lot to me, anyway I have someone to introduce you to.” As if on cue, a smaller snake slithered out. “Tim” Nate continued, “This is my son Joe” “Oh hi there” Tim said “Now tim,” Nate said, “I actually have a huge favor to ask you, my son, Joe, will take over my job when I die and be bound to guard the lever forever. I want you to take Joe with you and show him the world, I know this is a lot to ask but please, I want him to see the world before he’s bound to the lever forever”
Tim was hesitant but he figured that Nate had saved his life, so he owed him that favor. So after the meeting, Tim and Joe trekked back across the desert to the village and back to Cairo. Nate quit his job and they spent the remainder of his money traveling the world. Tim and Joe travelled Asia first, then the americas and finally they went to europe. It was around the 5th month of the traveling and Tim and Joe ended up in a bar in Norway. Over some beers they were discussing their plans next and Joe spoke up saying that they had been gone for a while and that it might be time to go back. Tim agreed that it was time and they flew out to Cairo a few days later.
They landed in Cairo and took the bus to the village and started walking the day and a half journey to Nate and Joe’s home. After about 6 hours of walking, Tim and Joe came across a car half buried in the sand. Tim brushed off the sand and unburied it from the sand before climbing inside. After checking out the car and briefly looking at the engine, Tim concluded that it was in working order. Tim and Joe searched a little bit for a person to whom the car belonged but found nobody around, so they hot-wired the car and started driving to shave off many hours from their journey.
After a few hours of driving they were nearing the lever and started the last downhill section toward the lever. The car started picking up speed so Tim applied the break, and nothing happened. Tim started panicking and slamming the break but the car didn’t slow down at all. “Whats wrong?” Joe asked with a tone of fear in his voice. “The car’s breaks or jammed it isn’t working” Tim and Joe both pushed on the breaks as hard as they could but nothing happened. They turned off the engine in desperation but the car kept sliding toward the structure, suddenly, Nate came out of the structure to the left facing away from the car but he couldn’t hear because the engine was off. There was a flat area behind the structure so Tim figured if he just turned right he could roll to a stop.
Tim turned the wheel right but the car didn’t shift at all because the tires were stuck in a groove. Tim kept trying to turn it but nothing was happening, he briefly by accident shifted the wheel left and the car moved. The car was going quickly toward the lever building and they had to make a move. Tim kept yelling “What do I do?” to Joe, he could either hit the building or move left and hit Nate because the car wouldn’t go right. Joe was rather quiet and then he looked Tim with tears in his and rested his tail upon the wheel and started pushing it to the left. Tim looked confused and scared as joe maneuvered the car so that it would hit Nate. Tim looked at Joe and asked, “Why?” and Joe looked back, crying now, and said:
Better Nate than lever.