A Murder of One

May 24, 2010
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The hot mountain sun beat down as Matt walked. There was a light breeze that smelled of wild mountain flowers. In the distance he could see the stream, running down the mountainside, the water icy cold from the newly melted snow. He stopped, sat down on a fallen pine tree and took a long drink from his canteen; sweat ran down his unshaven cheeks, little droplets collecting in the coarse stubble. After capping the canteen he began to walk again, the path wasn’t as clear now, this high in the mountains. But damn it was beautiful; he took a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. It tasted sweet on his tongue and he could smell the rich scent of the pine needles that covered the trail. He looked out at the valley below, where the stream pooled into a lake of blown glass that shimmered dark blue in the mountain sun. The mountains always made you feel melancholy Matt thought, there was a sadness that they harbored, ancient memories, ghosts that lived in the tall peaks and craggy pines. The mountains made you feel, they made you yearn for something more. Maybe it was loneliness that the mountains filled you with; the tall peaks made you feel so small and insignificant.

Ghosts lived in the mountains, memories that were old and dusty with age. Sometimes you could see them and maybe you would remember a summer long ago when things were simpler, fishing on the lake all day and sitting by the fire at night, gazing up at the stars, burning, balls of silver in the darkness. There was beauty that came with the loneliness, pure unconquerable beauty, the mountains at night, the stars and the lake’s glassy surface, all beautiful beyond anything that man has ever made. The memories give these places names; they give them feeling, depth. Sometimes you would look out at the forest shrouded in mist and see something, a person walking through the darkness, laughter in the tall peaks. The mountains had memories, pictures of another life, nostalgic beauty, beauty that came with the loneliness, beauty that was pure and rich and real.

The sun was high in the sky as Matt walked, it was a hot day, but not unpleasantly hot. The sun felt good on his skin, it made him feel alive. He could see the vast wilderness stretching out before him, untouched and stunningly beautiful. The mountains harbored memories he thought, ghosts.

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