Trekking through the jungle of my remote copywriting island isn’t easy when you’ve lost an arm, so you’re struggling to keep up with me.
We wade through streams.
We climb up vines.
We hop over rocks.
I climb up a waterfall ahead of you, then reach down an arm to hoist you up.
“Here! Grab on.”
With your right hand, you clasp my arm and I begin hauling you up.
Suddenly, upstream from us, you see a GIANT fin slicing through the water at frightening speed … straight towards you.
I turn around and spot it.
“Oh, no!” I scream. “One of the native giga-sharks!”
With my spare arm, I reach for my Compendium shotgun, but it’s too late.
The giga-shark comes flying out of the water, its jaws open, aimed right at you. And for a moment you get a glimpse of the thing.
It’s … enormous.
So far you’ve seen lions, gorillas and toucans that were all bigger than you expected … but this … is just awful. It’s a full sixty feet long, and it looks like it could swallow both of us in a single gulp.
Because I’m on top of the waterfall, I manage to roll out of its line of motion … but you, dangling from the waterfall from my arm, can’t do that.
You hold out your left arm in a futile last show of defence as the shark barrels through the air at you—
The shark’s jaws bite down on … nothing?
For a split second, you lock eyes with the shark as it flies over the edge of the waterfall.
It almost looks confused at why it didn’t manage to grab anything …
… as you smirk and wave your amputated left arm.
Which, naturally, offered nothing for the shark to grab.
The shark gives you what you swear is a death stare, and then—
With my free arm, I’ve now managed to pull out my shotgun, and I give it a blast from behind.
The giga-shark is far too big to be killed by one shotgun blast … but the impact knocks it out of the line of the flow of water, where the shark had hoped to drag you into the waters below. You watch as the shark plunges off to the side … and plummets down into the rocks below.
With one final pull, I haul you up, and we both collapse onto the rocks beside the top of the waterfall.
I stand up and dust myself off, then turn around.
We’re a few hundred feet from the summit of the mountain.
“The sun’s getting low … let’s hurry,” I say.
We both start climbing the last few rocks beneath the peak.
“So … what kind of guy is this ‘guru’ that’s going to heal my arm?” you ask, puffing.
“He’s one of the wisest marketing gurus there is,” I say. “But it’s a bit of a trek to get to him, as you can see. Rumour has it that he’s the only guy to have ever broken the freelancing platform Upwork by charging $999/hr on a job … because it wouldn’t let him charge any more. I’ve never seen a problem he can’t solve … so let’s see what he can do about your arm.”
We haul ourselves up the final ridge …
… and you gasp.
The guru is there … but he’s not what you expected.
He’s younger, for starters. About my age.
He’s Asian, with dark hair. And though he’s sitting down, he’s about six feet tall.
Yet the weirdest thing is…
… he’s sitting there playing … a PS4?
“Meet the marketing guru of this island…
Steven Alexander Young.”
At the mention of his name, Steven turns around … and sees the guns on my back.
“Dude,” he says, in a strong American accent that stands out markedly against mine. “How many times have I told you to stop bringing those things here? I’m a liberal New Yorker and this is a gun-free safe zone!”
“Oh, come on,” I say. “I don’t like ‘em either, and if I were back in Perth I’d be glad to be rid of the things. But you and I both know there’s no surviving this place without them.”
“You could just be the guru at the top of the mountain, like me?”
Steven turns to you. “What’s your deal?”
You go to protest your case. “So I lost my arm, and I was wondering—“
“I have a solution for that,” says Steven instantly, jumping to his feet. “Here … hold still.”
He holds his hands over your injured left arm …
… and before your eyes, your hand appears back in place.
You stand there, opening and closing your fist in shock. “Oh my gosh … how did you do that so fast?”
“Like I said,” I cut in, “there’s never been a problem I haven’t seen him solve … quickly.”
I turn to Steven. “Well, that’s actually all I came for this time. No marketing problems today. So we’d better be off before it gets dark—”
Steven interrupts me.
“Actually … as the guru, I have a message for you, Daniel.”
“For me?” I say to Steven.
Steven nods. He keeps talking to me, but he points to you.
“This person here, Daniel … I foresee them being important for your business. Very important. They could have the potential to do some huge things for you.”
I frown and gesture towards you.
“This one? But over the last few days I’ve seen this person nearly get killed by giant lions, time travel, futuristic gorillas, river sharks, and—”
“Irrelevant!” says Steven. “Trust me. As the guru, I’m telling you … there is a strong chance this person could be the One.”
Steven turns to you now.
“In your inbox is one final email from Daniel. To fulfil your destiny, you need to read it. And if you are indeed the Chosen One of my prophecy … you’ll know what to do.”
And with that, Steven bids us both goodbye, and gets back to his PS4.
As we trudge back to the lab — amidst some typically creepy noises from the forest jungle — I shake my head.
“Well, I think I have an idea what Steven was talking about,” I say. “But whether you can do it … well, it’s up to you.”
We arrive at the lab and I open the door.
“Either way, this is the last time I’ll be seeing you in this parallel world … for now. You’re officially at the end of my welcome funnel, and you’re going to start getting my ‘live’ emails. Whether or not you hang around is up to you. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me whatever you choose … you’re free to go at any time, and you know the fate waiting for you if you leave. But if you stick around … it should be fun.”
And with that, I retreat into my office, and close the door.
You look down at your phone.
One last email?
A special mission?
What could it be?
You click over to your inbox, and find out …
P.S. Want to hear from the guru of this story — Steven — in real life? He has an email list which you can get on here, or by using the box below: