Jings, it seems like ages since I’ve written something on my blog. I’ve been busy. Sorry blog! But….I have been writing, in fact, I’ve been scratching my head, getting the old creaky brain cells oiled and doing an online writing course with Gotham Writers. The class I did was ‘Creative Writing 101‘ described as …a great entry point for all prose writing – fiction or non-fiction. It was very good and very worthwhile….I’d definitely consider doing another of their classes.
One of the little pieces I wrote was a short story and seeing it ended up being about running I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by making it material for my blog. How’s that for being efficient! Ha ha!
But before that, something far more interesting, a cool video! I wrote about my adventures at the Glen Coe Skyline. This wonderful event was filmed by the BBC no less! It’s about to be aired on The Adventure Show, (on the 15th December) and I came across this preview video which I wanted to share.
Last time I checked, the BBC iplayer had got the better of VPNs. Sadly that means I won’t get to see the programme.
Finally, here’s the short story. The gig was to write a 500 word piece of fiction beginning… Chris began to question the wisdom of this trip …. The last time I wrote any fiction was in an English class at high school thirty-five years ago!
A Short Story
Chris began to question the wisdom of this trip. Hadn’t he already questioned it? His body’s sense of time, usually spot-on, must have stopped working because the light was dim, it seemed like evening. Wasn’t it supposed to be morning? Pushing with his hands on the rock that was his seat, he stood up. The tips of his fingers found their way to his forehead, and to a swelling. He flinched. He gagged as he tasted blood. An unbearable cold was eating away at him, his body shuddered and at the same time the trees and the rocks that were all around him pulsed and swayed. Shaking his head, he hoped his thoughts would clear, he couldn’t work out what was happening and he felt his heart beat violently and his breath come out in frantic gasps of fear.
He sat back down, finding a flat spot in the rubble. He folded himself, knees to chin, shrouding his escaping body heat. He put all his focus into his breath, like he’d learned. His breath and heart-beat slowed.
Looking upward with half-shut eyes, his neck stiff and painful, he saw rocks and rubble, then a steep slope in shadow. A chill shadow. Black rocky ridges were high above him.
His head hurt. He gathered together the jumbled thoughts that were whirling around inside his head. This felt like hell.
Gradually, he remembered. Images came back to him from the morning. A barely-there stony trail, an animal track maybe, cutting into a steep slope of scree, the slope falling far into the valley below. His easy stride, belying his anxiety, moving his runner’s body along, confident on the trail. Lost in his thoughts, mindlessly running far away into the mountains to ease his angst. Then blackness.
His heart-beat picked up again, he was in a scary situation. He was cold and he was in the middle of nowhere, injured. His back-pack. Moving his arm behind his back, he felt it and was relieved. Of course he would have emergency supplies, at the very least a jacket. He moved his stiff joints and struggled with the pack until it was off. Unzipping it, he pulled out his orange jacket, some water and a good-sized bag of trail-mix. There was a small head-torch too. Good. He relaxed just a little.
He’d eaten something and that had cleared his head just a little. Enough to make him feel it was worth trying to get out of his predicament, even though it was now dark. The beam of his torch led the way. The slope was steep and hellish; he was clawing at it with his hands. The broken rocks under his feet moved backwards, trying to pull him back down. Tiny balls of stone spilled inside his shoes, pushing forward under his feet. More discomfort. He would stop and empty his shoes when he reached the trail high above.
He fought with the moving slope, exhausted, his head still pounding. He found strength from somewhere to push on. He knew how to push on. The freezing cold he felt, barely kept out by his flimsy jacket, was the drive to keep going up this never-ending, energy-sapping slope. His thoughts were ricocheting about inside his head. What was he doing on this mountain-side in the blackness? If he’d stayed at the bottom of the rubbly chute, waiting for morning, he could have died with the cold and a head injury. That terrifying thought was with him as he battled up the ugly slope. He wondered who would miss him if he didn’t get home. Not Julie, she was gone, but his mum and Joe would soon start to worry. He’d made the mistake of not telling anyone where he was going that morning. After seeing Julie’s text, he’d fled to the sanctuary of the mountains, to his running.