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"I'm sure we took a wrong turn somewhere," Simon said stumbling on lose ground.
"It's a mountain," Kate told him with a powerful sarcastic tone. "There are only two directions we can go."
It was true, but I was beginning to feel the same as Simon. We were as high as the pine trees at the foot of the mountain, so we only just started. Looking up it seemed the mountain curled over our small group, like a vast rock wave about to crash down on us, but its frozen in time. Much like we were not until we found our way.
We continued our climb in silence, each of us concentrating on the footholds of the mountains or trying not to step on loose rock. The mountain challenged us. There were clumps and clusters of solid land here and there, but they were usually taken up with a tree or large bush. We were limited in footholds, so Simon and I ended up following in Kate's footsteps.
We could tell she didn't find climbing this mountain easy, but she was doing a lot better than we were. After all, she was the one who suggested that we climb the damn thing. Not that we wouldn't have if she didn't suggest it, but she was eager to climb it so close to night. That was another foreboding factor. With night approaching we had to make it to the top or climb down. We doubt there was a large enough niche that we could camp in. However, Simon and I knew there was no going back with Kate at the front.
"What exactly do you want to show us?" I asked for the hundredth time. Something vastly important waited for us at the top.
"Not you too, Heather," Kate complained with a frustrated groan. "Just wait and see both of you. It's amazing."
Simon muttered something morbid when a rock crumbled beneath on foot. He clutched the rope and kept climbing, but he was stressed. There is always one climber in the group that is singled out as the most nervous; Simon was that man and he showed it every inch of the climb.
Soon the mountain became very steep. So much so that it would be impossible to climb on the path we decided. Kate led us off to the side. As we moved slowly around the mountain Simon was breathing heavily.
"Are you alright?" I asked.
His face was pale and sweaty. Not a great sign, but it is when his face starts turning blue that I worry the most. That is when he starts holding his breath.
"Of course," Simon told me. "Just need to catch my breath."
Uh oh, there it was. Kate immediately turned her head recognizing the same, tired excuse. We need a moment for Simon to catch up mentally.
"We can hold here for a bit," Kate told us.
The climb came to a halt and we all rested as much as we could clinging to the side of a mountain. The forest below us was fogging up. It was a white cloud only broken by the tops of the trees. The sun was slowly setting.
"Ready?" Kate asked with a small sense of urgency. Even in stressful situations such as this she maintained a ridiculously level head.
"As I'll ever be," Simon replied a little more .
"Not far now," Kate told us.
The climb continued, the mountain was no longer steep and our climb became a simple, although careful, cake-walk. The rock was more stable now. I guess if there was any loose rock it would have broken off years ago. That is something you can count on when it comes to mountains. It is very rare for large sections to give away, the climber is almost never the hay that breaks the camel’s back. Most mountains seemed to shed their weaker parts from the top downwards. Suddenly, I paused in my thoughts once I heard water running.
We didn't reach the top, but that wasn't our destination. We walked on flat ground now and there was even grass. Following a narrow path alongside the mountain we found ourselves on a small spot of land that clung to the mountain. The source of water revealed itself. It was a tiny waterfall, but it was a strange waterfall. The water didn't break, it ran smoothly with no ripples or white bubbles, it was like a steady stream of glass. Kate stood beside it proudly and she had every right to be. It was something I had seen done by man, but never by nature. With one alteration this effect would no longer exist, so we caught it just in time before it disappeared.
"Well, hell," Simon remarked with a smile and small sense of being impressed. "This was worth the climb."
We touched the water breaking it, but the moment we let go it returned to its clear state. It was astonishing. We had see water flow like this before, but it was always artificially made. This was natural.
Just was we stared through the glass like water sun began to set. The world was set on fire with the orange light and the glass like water gave us entirely new perspective on the event. Kate and Simon stood there at the edge absorbing every detail.
It was almost picturesque, the two standing at the edge of the rocks, staring through a strange waterfall at the beautiful American sunset. I myself had my breath taken away staring at it. It was almost as if nature decided to spend more than a moment in this very spot, it took a whole day to craft this magnificent scene. I nodded in appreciation and focused my eyes on Kate and Simon who stood next to each other. Now was the best chance I had in weeks.
I walked up behind them and in two quick movements sent them over the edge. Their screams stopped before they hit the ground, mostly running out of breath from the long fall. Once more I nodded, but this time with pride.
That was easy enough.
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