At The Summit


We hiked for four days before reaching the summit. When we emerged from the trees, we were met with an early-morning fog that extended far beyond our range of sight. We turned back and clung to safety in the forest, hanging like bats in the canopy. How had we been so misled? The mist enveloped us, cooling our bodies and favouring us with breaths of cold damp air. Jonah climbed down and started a fire on the forest floor. Could I smell the fire from high up in the trees or was I fooling myself?

My arms were tiring rapidly.

What was I supposed to do when the food ran out? I didn’t owe these people anything. You know what I was thinking – If I could go back now, do you think I wouldn’t jump at the chance?

The storm was still off in the distance, horizon to horizon black with rain.

When Jonah asked me, did I want to go on or go back, I didn’t know what to say. A jumble of words, each one trying to get in first. Where to begin? What caused what? Who did what because of what? Did it start here or back in Paris?

Danny’s last dying breath was a curse. He cursed them all, and wished them all to go to hell like he was surely going. I didn’t want to end up the same way.