Sun on the Mountaintops

Three days in a row, I climbed the nearest hill of the hut twice a day to admire the view: the sunrise splashing gold over snowcapped mountains and the sunset bathing them in blood.

On the third day, watching the light receding, I felt an ache in my breast.

If I could, I would stay right here forever.

I must have spoken the words aloud, for a woman said, ‘I could help you with that.’

She must have come up behind me while my attention was on the sunset, for I had not seen her on my way up, and I had not heard her. She wore a dress, which reminded me of a photograph I once saw, from 1910 of a woman and her husband on a mountainside. In her yellow curls were several large clumps of lichen, and I wondered whether she had taken a tumble father down because of her long skirt.

‘Really?’ I said, smiling at her strange attire.

‘If you want my help, that is,’ she smiled back and her flashing violet eyes made my heart flutter.

‘I would much appreciate your help.’ I thought she meant that she could give me a tour guide job, and I must admit I hoped she lived nearby as well.

‘Just stand still for a moment,’ she said and stroked my forehead with a finger. I hardly had time to be taken aback by her cold touch, before I felt my feet stiffen. I looked down and saw the transformation crawling past my midriff. Half a second later, I was completely paralysed.

She kneeled down in front of me and tutted, shaking her head.

‘What did you look down for?’ she asked, ‘now you won’t be able to watch the sunsets.’ She turned towards the mountaintops and sighed.

‘They really are beautiful from up here.’

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Faceless

Faceless Mask

(Credit: allpix.club/pages/f/faceless-mask)

Why can I not turn and look at you? It is as if there is some invisible but physical restraint holding my head in place.

You don’t want me to look at you and you tell me so, but I must see you as you are. With great effort, I catch a glimpse of your shirt, and you ask me to stop trying, your face is terrible, you say. But I cannot live the rest of my life with you hovering behind me as a disembodied voice, telling me jokes and sharing pain, it would drive me mad. In fact, I fear that I already am mad, that you were never there to begin with; that you are simply a figment conjured up by a lonely brain. So I twist my neck just a little further and see.

You have no face. There is only skin pulled over bone with folds and stretch marks.

I wake with a start and fumble for my phone.

You are not on my list of contacts.

To Write a Thesis

My updates have been irregular the last couple of weeks and they will probably continue to be irregular the next couple of months. I have begun working on my thesis and have plenty to do in my spare time as well, so I only write fiction in small bursts when I write at all. I hope you will be patient with me.

Have a nice day and thank you for reading.

 

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