"What is this place?" The Visitor asked The Organiser.
"This is the Land of Obstacles." The Organiser answered.
They stood inside a huge circular room, with a single exit door and windows all around. Just below the windows were hundreds of small circular holes with a light above each one. In the centre of the room was a huge circular depression, like a giant bath tub. It was filled with water and bottles of a red liquid. On the label of each bottle were printed in simple bold black type the letters L J H. Occasionally, the light above one of the circular holes flashed and The Organiser took one or more of the bottles and fed them into the hole, causing the flashing to cease.
"Would you like one?" The Organiser asked him.
"OK, thanks." The Visitor answered gratefully. He was in need of some refreshment. He took a bottle from The Organiser and twisted off the cap. The Organiser watched him with a look of glee in his eye as he took his first swig. As he drank, a wonderful wave of love, joy and happiness swept through him. His face lit up with delight and he felt a powerful but calm energy vibrating every cell in his body.
"Not bad, hey?" The Organiser asked.
The Visitor's reply was nothing but a speechless, delighted gasp. He looked out of the windows. Surrounding the building in which they stood was a moat, with a narrow stone bridge leading from the door to the other side. At the other side of the moat, leading off in every direction, were obstacle courses. Some were long and some were short. Some appeared to have obstacles which were much more difficult than others. Each was bounded on either side by a high fence, too high to scale. He watched transfixed as hundreds of figures filed up to take on the various courses.
"Here, take a closer look." The Organiser handed him a pair of powerful binoculars. The binoculars enabled him to see the faces of some of the figures. All looked serious, grim, determined. He decided to follow some individuals as they made their attempts. He witnessed some disturbing things. Fights broke out. Some broke down in despair as they failed to overcome a difficult obstacle. Some seemed to remain stuck in the same place, trying over and over again, but never succeeding. Then now and again he saw someone reach the end of a course and there they found their prize on a small stone dais. At the end of the short courses was just one bottle of the wonderful red liquid. At the end of the longer courses were more bottles. He witnessed the elation as the victors drank their prizes. But it was short lived. After the liquid was quaffed, each stood on the dais on which they had found it. As the joy began to fade from their faces, the ground opened up and they they descended out of sight. At the same time, the light would begin to flash under the window through which he was looking. The Organiser would push more bottles into the hole and these would eventually re-appear as the dais rose back into place.
"Where do they go to?" The Visitor asked. The Organiser took him by the arm and turned him round a little.
"Look over there." The Organiser said. The visitor looked through his binoculars in the direction indicated and there he saw people emerging from out of the ground on platforms similar to the ones at the end of the obstacle courses. Now their faces showed grim determination once more as they made their way back to the beginning of their chosen courses to take on the challenge once more. It was then that he realised something odd. None of those he had witnessed so far ever turned their eyes towards the building in which he stood.
The Visitor heard a noise behind him and turned to see the solitary door opening. In bounded a tall, strong-looking man, seemingly overflowing with energy, with a cap partly covering his dark blond hair and thick stubble around his chin. He wore sunglasses and casual, yet stylish clothes.
"Hey, Orgie!!" He said with enthusiasm. "How's it hangin'? Who's this? Has someone else finally realised?" He strode over purposely and held out his hand, inviting The Visitor to shake it.
"No, Will. Unfortunately not. He is from another place. He is here merely to observe."
"Okeydoke, then! What do you think of the show so far?" Will asked, not waiting for an answer. He then made his way to the centre of the room, took out one of the bottles, opened it and finished the whole thing in one swig. "Aaaahh, " he let out a long sigh. "Magnificent!" He now seemed to have even more energy than when he had arrived. "Mind if I fill a crate?" He asked the Organiser.
"Go right ahead." The Organiser answered. "There should be some just outside the door."
Will fetched a crate and loaded it with bottles. The crate was designed to hold 16 bottles and he stacked a few on top of those held in its holes, so that it carried about 24 in total.
"Cheers, Orgie!" Will said and he bounced over to give The Organiser a high five, before exiting the building with his crate. The Visitor raised his binoculars and watched as he crossed the moat and made his way towards the throng. He saw Will handing out the bottles from his crate and a crowd began to gather round him. The crate was soon empty but many more continued to gather round Will. The Visitor could see him gesticulating to them, pointing in the direction of the building, but still it seemed than none of them turned their faces in his direction. Eventually they dispersed and The Visitor saw Will make his way enthusiastically towards a rather difficult looking obstacle course. He watched as Will took on the course, at one point falling from a rather difficult rope / wall climb and laughing heartily to himself on the ground before getting up and giving it another go.
"Who is Will?" The Visitor asked The Organiser. "Why is he allowed to come and take bottles from here?"
"Anyone is allowed to come and take bottles from here. They can come whenever they want. They can take as many bottles as they want. We have an endless supply. Why would we refuse them?" The Organiser answered. "But very few come. Very few ever look towards the centre."
"So why don't you go out and tell them?"
"Ah, I am not permitted to leave this building. I have to keep loading the prizes. That is my solemn duty. But anyway, as you have seen, telling them is by no means a guarantee of anyone coming."
"So why does Will bother doing the obstacle courses if he can get bottles here whenever he wants?"
"Why? I don't think it is a question of 'bothering' for Will. I think he just loves obstacle courses!" The Organiser answered.
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