he next morning, we awoke on the mountain, very stiff. Down the slope I could see that the plainclothes policemen with red and blue floral shirts were ascending after us.
Fuckers, Louis said, bringing from his disc bag a shining serrated buzzsaw blade, and sighting along it toward the men below.
Are they following us? I asked. Should we offer to let them play through?
Fuck it, Louis said. Let's just get going.
We never knew the whole story about Louis. He had connections. We knew that he had done some work for a consulting firm interested in building disc golf courses on the moon—some entertainment visionaries or something more sinister. What with the extremely low gravity and lack of atmosphere, it was not clear whether discs would fly straight, tumble end over end or maybe achieve escape velocity and leave the moon altogether. What was clear was that they could be thrown extremely far, and that an 18-hole course might take considerable time to play. Louis had been to the moon as their tester, and some of his drivers were still in orbit.
My jeans were shredded from climbing through the volcanic rock. I took Louis' hunting knife and hacked away their ragged legs, fashioning crude cut-offs. We teed off from the peak, aiming for a crater about a thousand yards away and many hundreds of yards below us.
The wind was brisk and kept changing direction. Louis held out his disc, sighting along his arm toward the distant crater. Then, unexpectedly, he whirled around and threw in the opposite direction. We thought he had gone mad, but the wind took the disc head on and lifted it up and up, well over our heads, and into the sky and behind us. Left, left! Louis shouted, spinning, though we weren't sure which left he meant as the disc descended toward the hole, gliding in like a hawk on target.
It was in the air for nearly a minute, until it was a tiny speck of tie-dyed coloration against the mountainside. It hit an updraft and we watched it climb the mountain for awhile. Hot spring down there, Louis explained, creates an updraft that can help you play this hole.
It took us most of the day to find our discs.
Louis' disc had gone into the crater, he presumed, and he sat on a boulder there, with his portable typewriter on his lap, reworking a short story, until we three Unknown each appeared, preceded by our flying discs.
We divided up our last candy bar and descended into the crater, tossing discs before us.
There was no sign of Louis' disc. I was sure it had never made it into the crater, but he was perfectly confident.
We went on through caves, tunneling downward through blackness. At one point, we had to duck to avoid brushing the bats clustered on the cavern ceiling. I followed carefully behind Dirk, the lamp on my helmet casting strange lurching shadows as I scanned the damp grey clay for the bright plastic yellow or red or blue of my disc.
Finally, the passage narrowed to where we had to crawl to get through. We came out in a vast underground cavern whose walls were patterned with luminescent moss. There was a dampness to the air, and the sound of trickling water echoed from the high pointed ceiling. As our eyes made things out, we saw a river, in whose clear depths strange pale fish moved sluggishly. And there, on the other side of the underground river, lit by the play of our flashlight beams reflecting off the water, was the basket.
In which sat Louis' disc.
I threw a roller, Louis explained.