Saturday, September 22, 2007

Creative Writing Returns: Mountains

I enjoy writing, but I'm not very disciplined. I've only ever completed one story, actually, over five years ago. Still, it's good to flex the writing muscles every once in a while. So on the spur of the moment I whipped up this little vignette.


Ken had never seen a mountain before.

Well, that's not strictly true. He'd seen hundreds of them on film. He'd driven through the Berkshires a couple times, with its rounded mounds marching like elephants along the horizon, just tall enough to qualify as "mountains" by surveyors' standards but which were really just glorified hills. But he'd never actually stood at the foot of a real mountain out West, staring up at the snow-covered peak impossibly high above the vast green expanse of conifers. His mind could barely appreciate the sheer immensity of the thing: How could something so huge exist? He had vague memories of his mother reading him The Hobbit as a small child, and pictured himself as a scared little hobbit without a pocket-handkerchief staring in wonder at the enormous Misty Mountains looming in the distance.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?"

Ken's mind snapped back to reality. He was back on the city's main thoroughfare, modern glass-and-steel buildings flanked by homey old storefronts, tourists swarming everywhere. One of the three huge cruise ships in the harbor behind him sounded its enormous, bellowing horn; he felt his whole body vibrate. Suzanne had an arm slung over his shoulder and was playing idly with his short black ponytail.

"Uh... yeah. Yeah, it is. I just never saw anything so..."

"Big?" she interrupted with a chuckle. "Yeah, you Easterners and your little molehills. And it's 'I've never seen,' by the way." She playfully punched his shoulder.

"Shut up," he said with a grin. He looked back up at the peak towering high over town. "I expected more snow."

Suzanne rolled her eyes. "This is Juneau, not Nome. And July, by the way."

"So no polar bears?"

"No polar bears."

He shrugged, and laughed. Suddenly Suzanne grabbed his arm and tugged him toward the street. "Look, there's my brother's car. David!"

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