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Chukpu Pumpeza

A 250 word microfiction

By Bri CraigPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 1 min read
Image from the film Sherpa, directed by Jennifer Peedom

Over two hundred dead bodies litter the peak of Mount Everest - and although this is my seventeenth climb, I still pause to honor these souls turned frozen guideposts. Most of my clients' eyes tend to glaze over after the first body. Sometimes they will even take a picture, looking at the corpse before them with the indifference of photographing a mildly interesting bug.

The other sherpas and I refer to my current client as the "Chukpu Pumpeza," rich teenage girl. He is a grown man of course, but he's prone to outbursts that could have shamed the collective of my daughter's most "unfortunate" years.

Chukpu Pumpeza is different from my other clients when he sees his first dead body. The other tourists have always seemed overtaken with summit fever... regarding the bodies as mere lessons and markers of the pathways forward. But Chukpu Pumpeza stares. He takes pictures. He smiles.

He asks me to point out Sleeping Beauty, the Canadian, and Green Boots. He knows each body by name and recites to me the backstory of each failed climber. He even stops as we reach the body in the bright red jacket.

"This one was from your last expedition, right?" Chukpu Pumpeza turns towards me. His irises are so icy, that the snow underneath our feet feels warm. My lips stick together as I press them tightly into a line.

"I knew him," Chukpu Pumpeza stares at the ice pick in his hands.

And then he smiles at me.

Short StoryPsychologicalHorrorCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Bri Craig

Bri Craig (she/her) is a variety pack writer. She enjoys writing poetry, webcomic features, humor, short stories, and personal anecdotes. Basically, neither of us will ever know what will be posted next!

Let's connect! More about me here.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (3)

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  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    Oh, this was wonderfully written. And timely for me as I have just finished writing a story about the litter collectors of Everest which will be published this week. This was excellent.

  • Shirley Belk3 months ago

    Be afraid! Be very afraid!

  • Okay that was soooo freaking creepy! Loved your story!

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