#FridayFlash: High Places

When there's nothing between me and the sky, I can almost believe that escape is possible.

It can't be the open ocean, though. I've tried. In the middle of the great wide expanse of nothing, off the shipping lines and with all the cities of land beneath the horizon, the starry expanse spreads above me in aching glory, but it's all wrong. The heavy press of the water-laden sea air is like a sheet of CIA plexiglass anchored between a groaning banquet table and a starving man.

But up high, on solid ground? I can almost touch them. It's worth trading the view for the fleeting feeling of self-delusion. Rooftops and steeples in high cities are good, places like Denver and Zurich. But high mountaintops are better. Denali, Everest, Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, even touristy Kilimanjaro... the air is thinner and the stars closer.

I'd live atop K2 if I could, right at the upper light of the north face, probably the most technical in the world. The difficulty of the approach would keep the climbers away and I would have only the noise of the wind to contend with. I'd build a camouflaged shelter from the frozen razor-rubble and only come out at night. I could drink in the quiet starlight and pretend I'd escaped this rotting, rampant world forever.

But I can't feed where there are no humans.

And I get so hungry.

||| Comments are welcome |||
Help keep the words flowing.

18 comments:

  1. Moving to K2 might be an act of charity for the narrator to humanity. This is similar to a short story I've been working on - particularly hunger as a conflict point.

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    1. Living in a state of conflicted self-denial is excellent fodder for fiction.

      And depression.

      Delete
  2. Maybe if he moves to K2, he could munch on the yetis. Or maybe play bridge with them. ;-)

    I liked this, the MC's yearning to escape what he's become, the flow that kept me guessing his nature right to the end.

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    1. There are no yetis on K2.

      Not anymore.

      Delete
  3. it's only fai that he may have hunted the last few remaining humans to extinction, after all it's what we humans do to other species...

    marc nash

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    1. No, there are plenty of humans around. Too damn many of them, actually.

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  4. I can't help but feel a little sorry for your creature Tony.. He is so trapped and desolate .. Can't we just send him a couple of humans now and again to his shelter at the top of K2? I have a few in mind that I would like to send to him/her/it. Weird and wonderful as always..
    "The upper light of the north face" ..Great phrase, by the way..

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    1. For a few hundred years, he lived atop the Andes. It was a good time, actually. The locals would send up some people as sacrifices every few weeks, he'd take care of the weather and warring tribes and all was well. Taught them a hell of a lot about the stars and the heavens, too.

      But then the Spanish came. And everything changed. And he had to move on.

      Delete
  5. Poor thing. Forced to live in the dense highrises of of his human prey.

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  6. I was just thinking, I'd like to join him, then came the twist! Nice one Tony, ^_^

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  7. I loved the manipulation of reader sympathies here... sort of like Gardener's Grendel.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad the twist(s) worked for you!

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  8. There's a lot of a sense of back story to this one. Very full story.

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    1. No simple motivations, that's for sure.

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  9. Loved your answer to Tom - you should incorporate it into the story immediately!

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    1. Ah, but there is so much behind this person's needs and desires. Not sure I could fit it all in.

      Delete

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