Hiking through lush green forest trail, glimpse of tall mountains, thirst quenching cool water of mountain stream, camp by a gushing river, sit around a bonfire, who can ask for anything more!
I could not pass up the chance when my friend Sri asked,
“Sudhi, game for a hike to Khatling glacier?”
“Sure! tell me all about it.”
“We start in two week on a Friday night. Return six days later. Two and a half days each for up and down. I shall arrange gears and supplies. Don’t back out at the last moment. We have to share load and cost. Look for a pair of hiking shoes at army surplus store.”
Everything looked perfect till hike started. Soon, my rucksack and my lower back began to dislike each other. My hiking shoe reminded my big toe that the shoe was meant for soldiers. It was too early to complain. My friend Sri’s caution “both of us have to share cost and load” was foremost in my mind. I popped a pain killer and walked along.
At the mid point, my back refused to stand straight, big toe declined to go inside the shoe, and body felt feverish. Almost fifty kilometers from the nearest bus stop, there was none to care for my agony. “Take your mind off your body, pain will not matter.” No energy left to swear, I doubled the dose of pain killer instead, cut open my shoe front and started walking. Scenery and mountain cool water, were farthest from my mind. Every step I reminded myself, “one step less to home.”
I don’t remember much, how I reached home. I heard my friend walked me to my door step. I shedded ten kilos and lost my toe nail. Great weight loss program, indeed!
Word count : 297
This entry is part of a free-write flash fiction contest where five writers compete in the October TUFFest Ride event during 2018 Fiction Rodeo at Carrot Ranch.
Sincere thanks are due to the folowing sponsors of the competition :
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