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The Mountain

Published by Lex J. Grootelaar at Smashwords

Copyright 2012 Lex J. Grootelaar

I threw my mask to the ground: no more assisted breathing for me—I wanted to feel the pain of the thin air in my lungs.

I cursed up at the sky as my exposed face was raked by the biting snow like the blades of knives. I cursed my god. I was naked; it was my time to make peace with him.

It was only hours ago my achievement was met. I stood on the top like a great conqueror and now I faced the wrath of the mountain. My life in front of him I could not see. My lungs struggled to find oxygen but I kept walking, I would find a way to survive this. I had been easy in luck my whole life and now was the time I needed it the most. Cursing, yet again, as I walked. My coughing lungs burning like the hell I was surely going to be sent to.

I remembered the cigarette I packed. Quitting to climb this monster of fate was easy and I promised myself after the year of training, the endless days on a treadmill, that when the beast was conquered I would have just one cigarette. Now, as it seemed, I would meet my maker with my lips bleeding and chapped but with the burning cancerous ash hanging from them.

“Is this all you have, mountain, is this all you can muster?” I yelled, but the words didn’t pass much more then my lips.

I didn’t believe in god, wise men don’t I had always told myself. But then I had never yet been faced with certain death, death that I smiled my cold blistered lips at.

The snow built around me and the wind pushed me back like another version of myself willing me to die on this day. I threw my cumbersome poles to the ground.

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