Prompt: At the peak
At the peak we turn around and stare down into the white valley. At the top of the world, nothing looks real. You don’t feel like you’ve conquered a mountain, instead you glimpse into an alien world. The mountain groans as snow shifts and wind howls, like an old man who has particular distaste for visitors.
You feel uncomfortable in your body and are painfully aware that you don’t belong here. Your breathing is heavy. The air is too thin, a kind way of saying that anything that needs oxygen to survive will have trouble at these heights. Even the birds aren’t foolish enough to fly this high. Your limbs are numb from the cold, and you haven’t slept properly for close to a week.
Here at the top of the world, the highest altitude on the planet, the smallest weakness can lead to death. Never had a heart problem before? The mountain will test that. Think you packed enough provisions? The mountain will test that too. Being physically prepared isn’t just a recommendation, it’s necessary for survival.
After a thirty minute rest, it’s back down again. Don’t worry, old man mountain, we won’t be long. Let us admire your beauty before we return to our world, the world we tend to take for granted.
Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less. Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.