Last Hike

A peaceful night, its stillness interrupted periodically by the flashes of lightning and crashes of thunder. It was raining, she loved the rain her mother once told her that it was nature’s way of cleansing itself. She looks outside over the balcony, on a clear night one can see the mountain, its peek peeping into the clouds but today she can hardly see anything. No matter she knows the place by heart. She closes her eyes and pictures the beautiful rain forest the green foliage hanging all around her as she walks through it. She can visualize her favorite fountain a spot where she went to bathe and relax. It’s always lonely, her personal discovery: her sanctuary. This is the third time she had come climbing to this parts, she simply can’t get enough of it.

A crash of thunder brings her back to reality the rain had increased in intensity. She walks back into the cabin and closes the door. Loneliness creeps into her consciousness and she regrets not going with the others out to the town for drinks. She picks the phone but all she hears is the dial tone,” it seems am on my own”, she sighs.

She goes into the bathroom to prepare for bed; she always brushes her teeth before bed. It’s a ritual that had been drilled into her since childhood. The memory of her mother shouting at the top of her voice, ”dare you get into that bed before brushing your teeth and you will get it from me”, made her laugh. She missed her mother so much though she had never approved of her climbing activities. She always told her to get a stable job. She had a major fight with her mum before she left for this trip with some friends. Her mum had organized a job interview for her but she refused to go. She had shouted at her that she is going and never coming back home. Maybe if she had a father he would understand her. That has always been her consolation. Her mother never talks about him and she has never had the courage to ask about him.

Suddenly the lights go off. “Damn”, she curses. There had been frequent power blackouts since they arrived. All the candles had been used the previous night but she loved sitting in the dark by herself; it always helped her think. She walks to the bedroom and gets into bed; the curtains are open so that she can see the mountain first thing when she wakes up in the morning. A flash of lightning lights up the room, her heart skips a beat; a cold chill runs down her spine. She takes a deep breath and convinces herself that her mind is playing tricks on her. At this point, she did not like being in the dark by herself anymore.

Another flash and it is clear: she sees the shadow again this time, it’s closer. She opens her mouth to scream but in one swift motion, the scream is harnessed in her throat by a rope tightly placed around her neck. She struggles with her attacker, the person is too strong, she can’t breathe, she can’t scream. “Why”, she croaks painfully. She can feel herself going limp, she’s overpowered. She can see the mountain in the distance and sees her self at the summit looking down at the lovely scenery as her breath is viciously stolen from her. Her last thought makes her smile, what irony: “oh mum, I guess am not coming back”.