Silence can echo

Mountaineering is fantastic, you deal with some degree of what we call objective danger every time we set out on some mountain trail, and then the trail comes to an end. We have to find our own way. Up we went, one foot in front of the other and our steel rods , our screws and other tools were making sounds contrasting with the peaceful landscape. Our steps in a rhythmic pattern with some syncope — stop to turn — to pass some complicated situation, snow or ice or wet slippery rocks, were our company. All-day clambering up and down, every now and then consulting others or stopping to look at the map and compare it with what we saw, we went. We were sweating or shivering, chatting or silently counting breaths. That day we made it to the peak, and we sat. The weather was perfect. The snow coating was also fantastic; our horizon was white and blue with dark, jagged rocky profiles that went bluish in the far. The wind was whistling and having fun with our helmets. Until on the way down, already tired but ecstatic from the whole experience, I took the lead and went forth. At some point between the slope and the glacier, I noticed a crack, a crevasse running all along the glacier side but hidden in debris. I screamed to the team roped up behind me to stop! But they didn’t react quickly enough, and I was pushed by the sturdy guy behind me who was advancing thoughtlessly, he pushed me right into the crevasse, I fumbled with my feet and crampons. I found myself hanging head down, inside an A-shaped crevasse with a crampon somehow holding on to a side of a wall. Silence was absolute, so much that my breathing had an echo, a muffled echo.

I couldn’t move nor see nor hear what was going on outside, and somehow I didn’t care. I was in awe and stumped at the same time. Blood was accumulating towards my head, my eyes were squinting and feeling like they wanted to pop out of the orbits. I managed somehow to detangle my hands, and I readily lost a glove, fallen into the infinite shades of blue and green. Then snow was falling in; presumably, the team was trying to set up some mailbox and mouflage to pull me out. I moved my foot, and I fell even further, but at least I pivoted. My head was now at the same level as the body and legs. I took some time to readjust my senses. They had loosened the rope those morons; why on earth? I saw in my mind all the books and stories I’d been reading about mountaineering accidents and went to sleep. Cold does that. Then the rope started pulling softly at first, and I heard a voice but couldn’t figure out what it was saying.




Where begins and where ends the power of the storyteller?

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Artemisia R-C

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Where begins and where ends the power of the storyteller?

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