(Flash fiction from June 2014)
Looking upward he adjusted the loaded backpack. The mountain rose majestic before him its pristine slopes green in the early sun. Tilting his cap he set off.
By mid-day slopes and dappled woodlands lay behind, the path ahead was steeper, rockier. The occasional hikers had vanished along with his mobile signal. A strange isolation seized him, fear nibbled. Was this wise? Should he wait, join a climbing party?
No, this was what he had wanted, alone, above the confusion. Rebelliously he consumed a sandwich and trudged on. He became increasingly conscious of his surroundings. The rocks were not barren, tiny plants grew. He was not alone for birds carolled in passing and rodents rustled from his path. This was their world always, but today he would partake.
Joyous ripples announced a stream, leaping towards the waiting valley, cool and sweet. He emptied his bottle replacing stale water. He felt a…
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