In Loving Memory Of Layne Ransom The snow, it was falling. In the distance, a polar bear with maddening teeth. In another distance, a pack of angry elves sharpening their swords. But the worst danger, the jaggedest point poking at my very existence, was in my own throat. In this throat, for all my centuries of beating heart and pulsing rhythms, a great thirst besqueeched me. Yes, it is true, I've been alive for many generations, dodging cannibals and dinosaurs, slaying dragons and radical feminists. Yet today, I go on my greatest journey of all: to find a gift for myself to thwart this terrible burden. I began to trudge out of my cave, long time dwelling inside Mt Rushmore. Before the presidents even hatched their wombs, I was there, shoveling the slopes, defending my new frontier. I hopped on my sled, adorned with ancient accoutrements. Soaring through the icy hills of my life, I was off to find my quencher. Past the dreadful savages and around the predators I went. But it seemed like a wicked god's labyrinth, all my progress and stealth turned resulting in nothing. The throbbing in my throat heightened. Also a board in my sled turned into a snake and slithered into the darkness with one of my deepest secrets. But lo, my years of yearning, of learning, of burning esophagus dashed me forward. And finally I came to the Mystic Michael and his flickering flame castle. I answered the riddle of his winged snow buffalo guard--What is not afraid of a single snowflake of Mystic Michael's breath? The answer of course was a fool! And I am no fool! I plodded with caution, bowing to his presence hovering above his kingdom like the ghost of the blizzard's latest victim stalks the hillside that toppled him. I came to The Mystic, offered him what I had--the sled, the painting of last night's sunset I had made while waiting in line, three magical acorns. And he gave me a GPS tracker set toward a magical potion Mystic Michael himself had conjured for everlasting folks of my predicament. Back into the storm I scurried. Following the arrow, the flashing lights of alleviating possibility, until I came to a golden tomb with the words agua quencheritis etched into the front wall. As The Mystic had instructed I slid two fig leaves, MAGIC FIG LEAVES, under the door and it opened. A great song rang out. A three-headed penguin nuzzled me forward. And there it was, the treasure I'd been seeking, the peak of my thirstful struggles, the loving hand to push me down the slope of comfort: a bottle of water, chilled.