The Test Of Trees

Avatar Author: Michael Lawton Read Bio

Drove far past where the roads turned to gravel, then dirt. Parked by a tall tree with bright leaves, flanked by a twisted spruce with dead red needles. Put one mountain peak at my back, a beckoning finger raised, and mark another in the distance. A sheer rock face at the end of a curving ridge, like soup pouring over the edge of a spoon.

(I’m already thinking of food.)

It takes me the rest of the day to reach the foot of the mountain face. Had to cross one small stream, trying to forget about it. Any foreknowledge of the area is against the rules.

I gather some wood, start a small fire (the easy way) and get some water boiling in a metal pot. Some goes in a foil pouch labelled “Chicken Enchillada”, the rest gets mixed with hot chocolate powder. I savor the taste of spice and sweet, eating and drinking at a pace to hold the memories on my tongue. I sleep in a tunnel of blue nylon held up by army surplus paracord. Tonight I am warm, dry, and full.

I don’t sleep.

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Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?


Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Abstract

    I like it! Welcome to Ficly!

  2. Avatar Radical Yellow Duck

    I like the descriptive style. What I’m not clear on is the motivations. Are you planning to climb the cliff? Are you orienteering? What rules would knowledge of a stream violate? And do you sleep in the blue nylon tunnel or no? What kkeps you awake? anticipation? excitement? That d**ned rock in the small of your back?

    I think a sequal is required to clear these things up.

  3. Avatar Kater

    I’m also looking forward to a sequel, curious to see what the character is up to. And welcome to ficly!

  4. Avatar Reverend Speed

    Interesting start, well-written stream of consciousness. This is intriguing:

    “Any foreknowledge of the area is against the rules.”

    Eh? Internal discipline or is there some kinda test going on?

    Normally I’d be in favor of more plot per Ficly, but this is actually kinda nice. Relaxed sensation of a weekend camp-out.