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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Man of The Mountains (unedited version)

Tiny drops of sweat beaded on a huge man’s forehead. He stood in the middle of a humungous mountainside.
The man was young, almost in his middle years, he had black hair, cut short, which he never could quite restrain from looking rough, and green eyes.
His body was muscular, his arms looked like very thick ropes, and his shoulders were broad.
His chest was large, covered up in muscles, and his legs looked like they should belong to a bear.
He wore plain woollen trousers, held up by a worn leather belt holding a hefty axe, a white linen shirt, and new, brown tanned leather boots, which still hurt to walk in.
His eyes moved quickly from spot to spot on the lower part of the mountainside, he couldn’t see anyone, but was convinced that someone was there, following him.
He thought he saw something moving down the mountainside, near the slope, so he quickly started moving again.
“They’re going to catch me, they are, I know it!” He thought, “They won’t, you fool, you are halfway, and they’ve only just started!”

He quickened his pace a little, and moved towards the lowest spire of the enormous mountain, or at least so it seemed.
The mountain was huge, though not very steep, and not really tall, but there were at least 6 jagged spires, and it was all blueish grey stone, with edges and holes everywhere.
There was not really a path up there but, the man had found a way up when he was younger.
In his mind he could see the ones chasing him, catching up with him and beheading him on the spot.
“I haven’t done anything at all.” He thought..
“So why are they chasing you then?”
He had just stood there, on the mountain slope, watching the events.
The little town he had lived in was now partly collapsed, crushed by large rocks.
And they blamed him, claiming the mountain seemed his best friend.
“Like the mountain had its own will and intended those rocks to smash those houses. They are all mad!” He thought.
“It was an avalanche, I had nothing to do with it!” “Didn’t you?” “Then why are you arguing with yourself?” “I’m not…” He realized that he was in fact having an argument with himself, and thought he was going mad.
He had just been sitting a little up the slope of the mountain, when they started yelling for him.
“Fedrin Odilhes!” They had called after him. “Yes, Fedrin is my name”. Fedrin thought, as he continued against the spire, or rather, the row of spires. “Didn’t even remember your own name? Now that doesn’t seem very innocent does it?”
Some inner voice inside Fedrin seemed to say. “Shut up! Just shut up.”
He told it, and it disappeared.

The people that lived in the village called the mountain Odilhesfernat, which meant “Spires many”.
He had been named Fedrin Odilhes (Born by Spires) because the people in the town had found him near the row of spires.
When he finally was at the lowest spire, he went up to the carving in the stone, which looked like a doorframe.
He touched what would have been the door with his hands, and thought of the door moving upwards. And the door of stone slowly started to creep upwards.
Revealing what seemed to be a tunnel.
When the door had disappeared completely into the roof of the tunnel, he went inside and thought of the door of stone closing the opening again.

Before it closed entirely a grey mountain wolf darted through the opening.
The opening closed, and it should have been as dark as night in the tunnel, but sunlight shone through small holes in the roof, Fedrin took the hefty wooden axe from his belt and planted both feet steadily on the ground a few paces from the wolf. He wielded the axe in both hands with a fierce look in his green eyes.
The wolf darted forward, sharp teeth bared, when the axe rushed down and took of its head.
Blood splattered all over Fedrin, the floor, walls and the roof, and then as suddenly as the flow of blood from the neck had started, it stopped.
Fedrin smiled, “Being a lumberman had finally proved useful.”
He thought, as he took up the bloody wolf head and smashed it into the tunnel’s right wall.
He could not help feeling shaken as he cleaned his axe on the wolf’s fur and walked downwards in the tunnel.
He had made his first kill, and if he knew how many more he would have to murder, before this nightmare-like adventure was over, he would kill himself on the spot.

Walking down the plain tunnel, he realized that every bit of this tunnel was carved with precision that seemed impossible.
The stone was not ruffled, like most human work was, there was not even marks from chisels or pickaxes, the stone was completely smooth, almost as if the mountain had formed the tunnel by itself.
Even the holes in the roof, letting dimmed, greyish, sunlight in, was exactly 5 feet apart, and cut in perfect squares.
Being closed up in a tunnel filled with greyish light, it seemed like the walls was closing in on Fedrin, and his pace rapidly increased from a walk to a run, just to get out of the tunnel.
Where you couldn’t tell one meter of stone from another, other than the difference in height. Fedrin’s steps echoed throughout the tunnel, in a way that made it seem like someone was following him.
He was on the edge of giving up, when the tunnel straightened, and a doorframe, just like the one earlier, appeared in front of him.

Desperate to get out, he thought of the door exploding, but unable to really concentrate because of his ragged breathing, he sat down to the stone floor, trying to settle his breathing and the feeling that the walls was closing in on him.
“Ok now, Breath slowly.” He told himself, and his ragged breathing started to turn into a slow and calm one.
He thought once again of the door exploding, and this time the door obeyed his thought.
The door slowly cracked, from the middle and outwards, as if resisting, but then, suddenly it burst out of the frame in pieces, leaving a rectangular hole in the mountainside.
He heard some weird noises outside but darted out nonetheless.
When he came out of the tunnel, he blinked a few times to adapt his eyes, and realized he was in a hidden valley, and, that two very small, muscular, human-like, bearded, grey eyed creatures with grey skin, was standing on either side of him, wielding long handled spears.
He saw a blurred movement and felt two spear-points against his neck, he studied their eyes, looking for some sort of hint, but all he could see, was determination.
All hope was lost, or was it?

Posted by Ragnar @ 2:23 PM

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