It Never Happened ~ 5 Minute Freewrite
It happened all at once. Bits of gravel spit into my face, grazing my cheek, an immediate, demanding itch raked my throat, and my middle finger slipped off the only grip I had left. My right knee banged hard against rock as I clung to the rope. Heart thumping, I slung my head back and sighed.
“Oi!” my partner called from above me. “You alright?”
“I would be better if you didn't kick rock into my face every five minutes!”
“It never happened,” he said in his over-confident, deep Australian accent I loathed...and loved. “I can't control where the rock goes anymore than you can control the sunset, which we'll miss if you don't hurry up.” He climbed a bit higher, only six feet from the top of the mountain. I was a good twelve feet behind him. My knee throbbed, and I would have bet all the money I had on me that it was bleeding pretty heavily, but I didn't check, that would only cause me to pass out. That's something I would save for the top, then he could handle it from there. I freed the water bottle from the pack and took a swig. It washed away the sandy debris in my throat and gave me a bit of a boost.
I pumped my legs to propel me forward towards the rocky surface than found a notch to grab. Shadows were beginning to cast and I could feel the temperature beginning to drop. He was right, of course, if I didn't make it up then I would miss this sunset, and the pictures that would come from it. The whole reason I was here today and not with my mom on her birthday.
Digging my left toe into the unforgiving terrain, I forgot the warm sensation running down shin, or the growing headache that was growing from my tight traps and focused. Right hand, left foot, left hand, right foot. Don't look too high, don't look down.
“Oh love!” Dylan yelled. “It's more beautiful than I imagined!”
Focus. Left hand, right foot, right hand, left foot.
A small bit of grass caught my attention. I was almost to the top. Just a few more feet.
I could hear Dylan talking to the crew that was waiting for us. Dinner was probably already on the fire. Maybe a nice beef stew. My stomach rumbled.
Focus, only two more...and I felt it! A soft tuft grass on my finger tips and strong hands wrapping around my wrists.
As I managed my left knee up on to the ledge, I twisted to sit down.
“You're knee, dang it, Sophie,” Dylan said under his breath. “Someone get me the first aid!”
“No, shhhhh, don't make me look at it now,” I said. “Where's my camera, I'll be dog goned if I climbed all that way to miss this shot.”
I stared straight ahead at the oranges, purples and pinks until the cold metal of my camera was in my hands. As if on queue, an eagle soared over the horizon. A snapped a quick series of photos then exhaled. Now it was time to live in the moment and take the most important pictures.
“Can you believe an eagle flew by!?” I said.
“That was a vulture, love” Dylan said as he started to dab at my knee.
“Oh.” Then I made a huge mistake. I looked down and everything went black.
Thanks for reading!