No Distance Too Far – SHORT STORY

shack in woods

IN THE MIDDLE of somewhere disaster struck. Civilisation was hundreds of miles away. All alone, I had no choice but to walk.

Faced with snow-capped peaks, I persevered through bitter winds, battered by ice crystals until I thought the elements might claim me for their own, so eager were they to bury me in a blanket of white, to freeze me, to possess me as a relic of the mountainside. My will and courage pitted against near vertical ascents, I did not break, determination carrying me aloft while food ran scarcer than blood at the tips of my toes and fingers.

I beat the mountain only to be faced by a descent of nightmares, where one error would result in my body tumbling to the base. They were the most perfect hours of my life, as I channelled the spirit of a mountain goat, finding balance and agility in crucial moments until finally I was down, faced by the undulating shape of miles of thick forest.

My feet were blistered, caking socks to feet. My bones ached as if I had aged forty years in two days and the most persistent of growls emanated from my deprived stomach as I trudged onwards into the darkness, the scent of pine needles and golden sap satisfying my senses if nothing else. I fought bears in my mind, speared fish and roasted squirrels. But not a soul did I see. A tree fell in the woods, and I was there to hear it.

Spurred on by an insatiable desire I walked miles all alone, as the wind whispered through tree tops, that I was not welcome here.

Finally, after walking through the night, stumbling and bouncing from bark to bark, howling like a wolf to make the experience more authentic, hallucinating perhaps, the pain of walking dulled to a distant memory I once knew.

Descending a hill, I breached a clearing, and the relief I felt at what I saw made me crumple to my knees, to weep with the remaining fluids my body could spare; a half a tear struggled to fall as I kissed the earth.

Fueled by the sight of a solitary shack, I ran, gasping, desperation overwhelming all else as I scurried across grass, then a track, the small shack like a visible dream, one window lit up, suggesting a presence. Quickly it approached, tantalising, larger and larger, until I was on the path to the door.

Desperate, I thumped on the door. A short old man answered, addressing me with suspicion.

“Got any smokes?” I said, wheezing.

“No.”

 

lion around 2

 

24 Comments

  1. This was really wonderful. I’m getting used to receive shocks from you. This was not one and left me with a smile.
    I really wait to read your work! Keep writing and best wishes for you submission πŸ˜„

  2. Pretty good piece. It really did have my attention the whole way through. I like how you added the thing about got any smokes, that was a nice touch. Anyway I have a blog at Gastradamus and I would really like to get a writers review on my stories. My topics are edgy and spicey, so you should definatly check them out.

      1. Not to worry. It’s good to see your icon turn up. Brings a smile to my face that you are still around and plodding on. Hope the writing is going well.

      2. Good. Working on two novels… At the same time. Glutton for punishment! Good luck with the submission… You will do great.

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