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The Mountain

by BP | Score: 4800

Two months on the mountain and this is what gets him sick; food poisoning. Of all the dangers Everest could throw at him, a tainted can of beans is the thing to throw the only expedition into a tailspin.

The storm, which at first glance seemed like a whimper, turned into a roar. Now they're hunkered down and three days behind schedule. Lou couldn't believe his luck.

"We should start rationing."

"No need."

"There'll be need if this storm doesn't relent in the next two hours. Even then, there's no telling what it'll look like out there. We packed for a standard two month ascent."

"We're only a few days behind."

"Now. We're only a few days behind right now. If the two plus feet of snow that just got dropped on us freezes over then we can tack on another three days navigating that shit."

"And once we reach the summit we'll be fine."

Lou couldn't believe the insolence of this prick. Fifteen years guiding all manner of expeditions up the mountain had brought him in close contact with all kinds. Arrogant. Stupid. Down right deluded. But Everett Prince took the cake. "I don't know what you expect to find up there, but I hate to break this to you: there aren't any damn supermarkets up there."

"Oh my god."

The research. Lou had forgotten his name. He'd been skeptical from the start; the reluctant bookworm dragged into danger by his rich boss. Lou couldn't help but feel bad for him, but at the moment he had very little sympathy left.

"Mr. huh." Lou's mind had been wandering since the sickness took over late last night. At first he assumed the restless sleep was the result of bad night's sleep. Everyone had them. This high up, the lack of oxygen took a toll. Nightmares, a touch of the dizzys, even slight hallucinations were all normal. Even expected--especially in rookie climbers. Lou had brushed it off. 

That changed when he exploded out of bed that morning, cramped and heaving. He'd made it outside the tent where he emptied his stomach into the cold, but a dry tent was small a conciliation. He'd puke all over himself if it meant stopping the snow. He'd do it twice if it meant getting a little sun to melt away the excess.

But that was wishful thinking. On the mountain it paid to stay realistic, cautious.

The research kept his eyes down. He'd take to going through his stuff. Boxes of research materials Lou had cautioned against taking, but Mr. Prince has insisted was absolutely necessary. Carefully, the researcher had begun taking out each item, inspecting it, then repacking them all in the exact same configuration they had been before he started. Not the craziest manifestation he'd ever seen of "Mountain Madness." A term him and the other climbers threw around whenever joking about a client who started to lose it during an ascent. They tried only deploying it against the ones who deserved it, but every once in a while a well-meaning person lost it in such a way that simply begged to be shared.


Lou looked at the researcher. Had he just spoken? It was getting harder and harder to tell the difference between what was real and what the food poisoning was telling him was real.

"I'm sorry?"


Completed challenges

The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:

Begin Start typing to begin
Event Someone gets food poisoning
Location A mountain
Letter Use the letter R
Words Reach 50 words
Sentence "No need."
Words Reach 100 words
Words Reach 200 words
Words Reach 300 words
Words Reach 400 words
Character A morose researcher
Words Reach 500 words

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