The man was young, his mind was sharp as could be expected of such a man at such a time, and his body had endured at least enough hardships to receive a curt nod from a seasoned veteran should such an encounter play out. Born under common circumstances and in common lands, neath common stars he learned of everything that can be considered common as the ephemeral dunes of pubescence drifted away. All except for one, a figure in the distance he could barely make out, obscured by the misted peaks that stayed still, jealously guarding their illuminating treasure. He asked his common friends and common family on what this uncommon thing was, their eyes would wander up to where he would point, brows furrowed and smiling weakly and confused they would respond “nothing that I know of.” before looking back down to the chores of their daily life.. In the late nights when the light would glow from atop one of the peaks through the fog and into the window of his bedroom he would turn over and whisper the verse of indifference, attempting to silence his curiosity. This persisted for years, even after he had acquired a common job, a common family of his own, and a common mate he still found his eyes wavering from his commonalities to what was still shrouded up above. The thing emanated signals that made the man’s brain reverberate until he was too tired to move but too sore to sleep. Once more as it had many times now a light flowed into his room, his eyes fluttering open and closed, reasoning with himself to ignore such distractions. Slow sobs fill the room as hours pass and he holds his head in his hands, the light still taunting him, baiting him to discover. Without a word he stands, dresses, and leaves his home, sighing with resolution as he steps out of his town until his foot stops at an incline. Step by step and grunt following grunt each foot slumps after the last like a mantra, rising higher and higher, the pale relief of the stars forgotten beneath the slowly thinning shroud of trees. Eyes of Lot he ascends closer to the light, with a misstep and a well placed stone he falls backward, hearing the snap of bone, he stares down with irritation, tossing the limb like a broken walking stick and begins his march once again,, barely feeling the pain over the deafening vibration of his skull, growing more profound with each inch closer. Slip and another fall, at least one hundred feet off the side of the cliff he attempted to defeat, leg broken again he throws it to the wind turning again to the treacherous face of rock, he drags his now-lighter torso upward, handful of jagged rock followed by palmful of nettle stings. The face grew steeper as a chilled wind blew from above downward to his remaining hands and face, numbing them to the pain they’ve endured. Turncoat of a mountain once again shows his colors when a boulder no smaller than he flies past, so focused on the light that appeared closer he failed to acknowledge his right arm missing from his side.Still he climbed, mouthfuls of painful rock breaking his teeth as they attempted to carry his ever-diminishing weight. Finally the path flattened, giving his mouth a respite his arm traveled as a lone scout, searching the best rocks to pull him forward with. As he dragged himself ever higher he saw out the corner of his eye spaces where his fingers used to be. What felt like hours later where the fingers had gone missing seemed larger, now that his wrist had succumbed to the cold and force of the peak. Every meter leaving another part of himself behind he persisted, until nothing but a nub at the base of his shoulder remained of his ally. Screaming with frustration at being so behind schedule he flings his torso forward, smashing the last of his teeth followed by his nose and jaw with every smack against the frigid stone. His face met snow and he lay for a moment, looking upward at his goal. Higher above the ridge prepared its finale, a house-sized behemoth picking up speed as it careened toward the lone hiker, smashing out of him the last breath of his lungs as they traveled, back down past the cliffs and valleys, through the hills and trees he conquered before finally slowing to a halt near the edge of town. The hauntings of the vibrations slowly faded as his brain suffocated, a final image burned to his retinas, the mimicry of the light atop the peak, shrinking and dying to a lifeless ember. After the shock of discovery died down, the trills one could hear from the townsfolk on the subject was one of light humor, speaking of the man who died climbing snow-laden peaks to find what all others found on wooded hills.
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