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Cragfast

For the Snow Micro Challenge

By L.C. SchäferPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 1 min read
Cragfast
Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

They say the mountain can send you loopy. The air is thinner, the terrain is uncertain. It does something to your head.

The trouble is there is a certainty lurking between rocks and down drops, and it dogs your every step.

That's why Danny is frozen to the spot. He can't go on, and he can't go back. He's overcome with impending doom in all directions. This is the only relative safe spot, so he keeps it, scanning the grey and white vista for signs of help approaching.

Cold seeps through his expensive gear.

When I start to feel warm, that's when I'll know I'm a goner.

He should've been back at a normal altitude long since, but he got separated from the group. Were they still pushing on? Surely they'd noticed his absence. Had they stopped to look for him? Or gone back for help? Maybe they'd abandoned the ascent in the face of the snowstorm.

He hunches over to hold warmth in. Thinks of his cosy bones, deep inside his body. It doesn't stop his teeth chattering.

How long has it been?

He hums a tune, but it sounds funereal so he stops. He beats his arms about his torso, and is overcome with a panic that the movement will set off an avalanche, so he stops that, too.

The sun-glare off the snow hurts his eyes and burns his face.

Sleepy, he removes his coat and lies down on the soft white blanket.

Just for a moment.

Short StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

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Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (16)

  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock5 months ago

    Another "Everest" vignette. (The movie continues to haunt me.)

  • Laura Lann5 months ago

    So we'll executed! Loved it

  • Uh oh, I don’t think it was going to be good for him in the end. Love these descriptions, how when he feels warm, that’s when he’s done. This was so good, so scary, felt real, felt cold, excellent job!

  • Caroline Craven5 months ago

    I watched a rescue show the other week and it talked about how folk got stuck in the mountains unable to move up or down. I hadn’t heard the expression cragfast until then. I’d have just said paralyzed with fear!! You did a great job with this.

  • Raymond G. Taylor5 months ago

    Compelling story beautifully told. Well done

  • Phil Flannery5 months ago

    Just for a moment.

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    This is excellent, and terrifying. Well done.

  • The moment that lasts longer than you can imagine

  • Ashley Shiflett5 months ago

    Very nice! You have a wonderful talent! ❤️

  • Hannah Moore5 months ago

    Oh bother. Nicely done. Your writing is so effortless as a reader.

  • Rachel Deeming5 months ago

    Nice word, by the way.

  • Great story! And I learned a new word!

  • Rachel Deeming5 months ago

    Good stuff. I hope he gets rescued. The only view someone wants at the top of a mountain is peaks, not someone past theirs. Sorry. That was flippant and a bit cruel.

  • John Cox5 months ago

    A worthy competitor for ‘To Light a Fire’ by Jack London. Although I do not have any experience with altitude sickness, I have a lot of experience with severe, cold weather. His circumstances feel authentic and dire. Well done!

  • JBaz5 months ago

    Wow, I really enjoyed this. You wrote this in such a way that I was the one trapped and waiting for rescue or death. Then you punch me with the finale

  • a/n: "cragfast" is when you are stuck, unable to go up and unable to go back. This is listed in some dictionaries as being literally physically stuck, but it can also be psychological; a type of shock. Thank you for reading!

L.C. SchäferWritten by L.C. Schäfer

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