100-Word Fiction: ‘Song of the Mountain’

When he came down from his mountain and ended his isolation he sang us a song so deep that the hill itself shuddered. In the high altitude he had escaped his history and greeted us with a smile that was sweet with innocence. But we had not forgotten the pasts we shared and, while his tune was generous and warm, we also remembered the lilting melodies of old and could not share his creation as equals as once we had done. He did not see that while he had turned away, we had learned our own tunes and were happy.

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100-Word Fiction: ‘Higher Ground’

Breathing heavily but gaining elevation, the tramp up the rocks that have been laid to raise you, the village church and shops shrinking away into miniature, the gentle hum of traffic and chatting tourists silenced, your face burning with the effort, your feet in your socks in a sweat, the faces smiling that have already found the summit, the hope of fair weather, a view, the worries of whether you are fit or unfit, your general health, whether it was really something to embark on, and thoughts of never achieving it, never, climbing up, never seeing, doing it for yourself…

100-Wird Fiction: ‘No Mountain High’

That a life builds, grows
Is what she had heard.
But it sometimes felt
The opposite.
It was as if a life
Started with a mountain
A mass of granite
Immovable, vast
And then things happened:
Events, thoughts. The mountain
Was chipped away at
Incrementally.
Tiny etchings, furrows –
Surfaces scuffed, worn –
From the corrasions
Of many histories.

All that stuff that happens –
Happens to – as if
A man had no part
In events, that they
Were inflicted –
That he was a victim
When no, no.

That man is no mountain.
He built his own downfall.
He deserves what he gets.

100-Word Fiction: ‘I Chase Bicycles’

There is something in human nature, I heard it said, that is disruptive. We favour the underdog, laugh too loud, stare too long, make stupid remarks. We are drawn to sarcasm, cynicism and hypocrisy. We tell little lies, become brave and boastful or lazy and stubborn. We accelerate too fast, brake too late, take the back roads, know better. We laugh at understanding, deride intellectualism, groan at athletes, hate art. We don’t trust anyone and mock experience. We spill pints, turn our backs, mutter spite. Me, I chase bicycles up mountains, screaming at the riders, dressed only in my pants.

100-Word Fiction: ‘The Mountain Tigers’

They have been trailing us for years. We know that. In fact there is little we do not know about their activities because we see everything. They are clumsy. Sometimes when we watch them we pity them in their struggle for understanding. Their cameras and computers are a heavy load in rough terrain, while we are assured as we rise from the jungle to the colder plains at the foot of the mountains. They do not mean harm. You can see it in their eyes. But more will come after them. More and more. And that is what we fear.