As Refreshing As It Sounds

You wake up to the familiar scent of pine and fresh vegetables, but no recollection of how or why you were asleep in the first place.

You’re in a rustic cabin, feet bound, reminiscent of a failed mission two decades earlier. Some less-experienced spies might panic, but you’ve been here before. Slowly you glance in the direction of the wafting stir-fry. “Good morning, Bell,” Dmetri mumbles through a thick Eastern European accent. The morning sunshine glistens off his right cheek, and the scar you gave him in Chechnya ‘98. “I hope you’re hungry, because this will certainly be your last meal.” He arrogantly leans toward you for one long, pompous snicker; a solid grill of diamond dentures sparkle beneath his scar. In his arrogance, he doesn’t notice your legs sweep behind his ankles, dropping him on his back. He reaches for what must be a detonation switch to god knows what as your bound hands go straight toward his mouth. “GUARGHUERHG!” He tries to yell through the fabric. “You know diamonds are the world’s strongest stone, Dmetri, perfect for when you need to cut through poorly tied knots.” Even after all these years running the transport route through the Arctic Circle, somehow Dmetri still can’t tie a convincing square knot.

Hands and legs free, you grab a snowboard and head to the door of the cabin. Just as you are about to descend the mountain, Dmetri appears in the doorway behind you. “You may know karate, Bell, but you never were much of an explosives expert.” Dmetri stands with his thumb on the detonation device, ready to finally win your 20-year feud. *Click* He snickers, ready to watch the fireworks show.

“You’re right. But I do know a thing or two about electronics.” Dmetri turns around to find that you’ve rewired the electric fireplace to his button. The remaining vegetable oil from Dmitri’s breakfast catches fire, throwing Dmitri’s tough guy demeanor into a panic. “Thanks for the memories, Dmetri.” You clip in right as the whole cabin burst into flames. The red-hot fire glimmers in the reflection of your goggles, and you start your descent down the mountain. As you rush towards the base, feeling the cool Sierra air breathe life into your lungs, you think “The Sierras are nice this time of year.”

It tastes kind of like that.

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