This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt comes from Carrie of Views from Nature.
Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.
Muscles burned and seemed to rip apart in his forearms as Mark’s fingertips grasped for the next ledge. Pleading with his toes to give him that extra half inch needed, he flexed his calf and could feel the piercing stretch. The ache diminished as his hands connected with the jagged rock propelling him to continue to reach farther up the cliff’s face.
Orange rays that glinted off threads of crystallized rock alerted him to the diminishing sunlight. Time was the most precious thing to him now; it was the driving thing. For a moment he wished he had taken the walking path on the back of the mountain. The path meant for the weaker. The path he had always taken that seemed to be made for him. It’s what he had always done.
Mark gathered the last reserve of strength in his body to pull himself onto the summit. Staggering to his feet to face the setting sun, he closed his eyes for a moment feeling every inch of delicious agony coursing through his body. The pain was his reward. A badge of his torment to take the difficult climb.
He collapsed to his knees drawing a ragged breath. A bottle slipped from the compress of his pants pocket. Glaring at the exposed plastic cylinder, he swept it quickly off the edge to plummet to where his fight had begun. As he lost sight of the small container, the final diagnosis time frame of a few more mere days of life thundered in his heart.
Hearing easy laughter behind him, Mark turned to see a young couple emerge from the walking path. The sun had began its final kiss to the sky and the couple expressed remorse in having missed the concluding beams of the glorious day. Not a bead of sweat marked their faces as they turned to retreat back before pitch dark.
Mark smiled broadly as he wiped his own glistening brow. This last choice to fight before the encompassing darkness had been as brilliant as the last touch of light and life.