Several of my friends and I, along with others that I didn’t know were gathered together outside of a huge fortress for a major task. We were all told to team up into groups of five. Scattered inside this large edifice of a house were authentic gold bricks. Each group was given a chest. We had exactly five minutes to collect as many gold bricks as we could, place them inside of our chest and exit the fortress before the scheduled demolition. However much we gathered, we were able to keep the amount and split it amongst our teammates. It didn’t matter how we got, we just needed to be out of the place before five minutes was up because that’s exactly when the place was going to blow up. When the facilitator yelled “GO!” all I could see were people sprinting pass me, darting left and right trying to block people from getting the bricks and gathering as much as they could. Some teams had strategies while others argued their way through the entire process. I’m running, trying to catch up with my group members thinking back over all the rules and trying to remember if my team had a strategy or not. I’m guessing my mind had froze and shut down at the thought of knowing this place could possibly blow up any minute, if we didn’t time things right. Could it all be a trick? Why did I agree to such a ludicrous challenge even if the reward was a possible million dollars? Would I make it out alive? Would I come out empty handed due to my paranoia? Is it possible that I would actually… I FOUND ONE!! My first gold brick… and then another. I guess it was easier than I thought. Three minutes have gone by and it seemed as if the 30 second dash up here was more like thirty minutes. Some people were scattered all throughout the house with their eyes wide open, in awe to the amount of gold bricks that were just laying around. My group quickly gathered a good 15 bricks plus my two. I realized the time and that’s when everything that we had planned in our strategy came back to memory. I motioned to my team that it was time to close the chest and make it out of there as quickly as possible. The weight of an empty chest is nothing compared to a full one and it took all of our might and strength to carry it out of there to a safe enough distance from the explosion that was about to take place any moment now. We made it, safely on top of a small grassy hill. From our safe haven I could see some groups just entering breathing in and out of breath and others struggling just to leave the building due to the fact that their chests’ were just too heavy. So ultimately it was more than just an opportunity to gain money but a test to find that fine balance between a little and a lot… life or death. At the five minute mark the facilitator told everyone to freeze and stated that an additional 3 minutes would be allowed to search for any more gold bricks. As group leader I had a 5 second meeting inside my head with about 10 different possible scenarios and told my group we are NOT going back inside. I had already calculated how much time it took us to run inside, find the 17 that we have and then how we struggled to get out. There would be no way we would make it back alive. We will just wait here until the challenge is over. Some were confused, thought I was stupid and mad but I knew that we had enough and I wasn’t willing to risk my life for the possibility of more money (I mean call me crazy if you want to). As soon as the facilitator said “an additional 3 minutes” people were darting back to grab as much as they could… without the chest at this point it seem like it was an every man for themselves type thing. The 6 minutes and 30 second mark hit and the people who were still inside from the first 5 minutes double dutched right back inside one they hear more time was allotted. 6 minutes and 45 seconds nothing… 7 minutes… 7 minutes and 30 seconds… you could hear a loud beep counting down as if it’s overhead the entire grounds of the fortress. There’s absolutely no way you couldn’t have heard it. At that moment you could see people throwing bricks out of the window and tumbling behind them, people stumbling over each other as they carried 5, then 4, then 3 bricks in their shirts… dropping them as they ran. 7 minutes and 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 The loudest explosion occurred but I couldn’t even hear it! My group had taken the extra 3 minutes to drag our chest further to safety away from the explosion but there was still such an impact. It was like everything happened in slow motion. All in a matter of seconds the possible fortune that some would’ve brought home was destroyed along with the priceless lives that were risked to get it. Upon waking from this dream I thought to myself: If I ever get the chance to obtain prosperity, riches, perhaps even millions… think about what risk I would be willing to take to possess and maintain it. Nothing comes without a cost.
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