White gleam oppressed the sky, forcing one eye shut while the other surveyed the rock wall ahead of him. Five hundred feet of scrub and cactus curved the talus to the three hundred feet of jagged wall. He knew the fastest ascent. He knew the location of the hidden crack where very few before him had climbed the natural steps to the top, shortening the trek to town by a day. By now, his pursuers moved at a far greater speed behind him, somewhere in the valley. Probably on the old mining road. One of their three choices. Not the fastest choice but the easiest. Confident they had him out flanked. He imagined the dust they must have kicked up near the flatland breaks by the river. He imagined the children from the state home in awe of their numbers, their uniforms, their weapons. He hadn’t yet calculated his move a full fledged hoodwink but if they were to mistake his absence on the other side of the mountain tomorrow as anything but their own mistake, his strategy will have reaped a reward he had not considered until now.
Chrysalis, a growing collection of very short fiction.
That Night Filled Mountain
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Unless noted, all pics credited to Skitz O'Fuel.