Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Wet Mountain

There is a rocky mountainside, covered halfway up in stones the size of human heads. All the boulders are dark gray and cold and slightly wet. The mountain is wide and tall, but it connects to an even larger mountain range to the north. In the distance, the mountains are brown and barren and covered only in scattered patches of dry grass. The sun is hiding somewhere behind a thick haze of clouds. The light is still very bright, the kind of light that requires squinting. The day seems new, but slightly drained in energy, as though something very intense has just vanished and what remains is slightly diminished. At the base of the mountain range is a receding sea. The water is dark blue and choppy with white caps. It flows out towards the horizon in a hurry, as though something was waiting for it beyond the thin line of sight. The wide mountain is mostly covered in heavy rocks, but as the mound moves closer to a tip, the rocks become smaller and smaller, until they are just small pebbles hidden between blades of dried grass. There is one four foot trail that travels the length of earth from peak to ocean, but there are other scattered trails that are much thinner, only wide enough for one person at a time. Close to the shore is a thicket of trees beside a clearing thirty feet wide. They are as tall and thin as eucalyptus, only they have darker and wider leaves and more full reaching boughs that create a wide canopy. The clearing is smooth and flat and free of all rocks. Because of the trees, it is covered in a nearly green-black shade. The earth here is damp and smells of wet bark. To the left of the clearing and trees is a grouping of dark wood condominiums. The singular structure is angular and modern and would give off a very cold emotion if not for the wood used to construct it. The collection of two-story houses each have double pane windows and wide sliding glass doorways that face the seashore and the thicket of trees. On the lower floor, beside a sliding glass door, is a dead white horse laying on the ground. Its legs are curled close to its body in the fetal position. The glass doors reveal the occupants of the houses. There are people. They are swollen and pale and laying on their backs on the damp linoleum of their kitchens. Their bodies are moist, as are the T-shirts and shorts which clothe their bloated bodies.

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