Nothing for something

By , Cupertino , CA

He  was a short, fat man with lots of stubble on his chin. I suppose he might not have shaved in a little while. His skin was dark, compared to his white hair, like a freaky magic-dude from The Lord of the Rings. We wedged next to him on the chairlift, feeling a bit uncomfortable with the scarce amount of space we had between us, for he smelled of tobacco and his breath, rotten meat. As the seat rolled out, I glanced at him, and with this action, his eyes darted quickly to mine. He glared at me, and a spear of fear shot through my body. I couldn’t breathe. There was something cold in those eyes, and it hung heavily around him like a dark, evil aura. I did not like him, and I knew he didn’t like me. . Silently I judged his appearance, his manners, his sanitation. Where were his family right now, was he married? Probably not. Our seat touched down at the top of the mountain, and I prepared my landing, extending my skis. Icy wind bit my face, regardless of my painstaking effort to keep my skin covered. After touching down, we headed to the Wall, which was left, but he turned right, resulting in a crash with me. We fell hard on the ice, and I lost a ski. His jacket was pressed into mine, and his rubbery skin jiggled, like a creepy, smelly pillow. I yelped, quickly untangling myself, and hunted for my lost ski.I  soon found it and quickly uncovered it. I turned back to shoot him a look, but he was already gone. Man, ok, he was fat but he was fasttttt. I slide down to join my dad, who muttered under his breath about the responsibility of adults, and not crashing into little kids. We started along the slope. Hot adrenaline pulsed in my head when I saw the edge of the cliff. “C’mon Nicholas it’ll be fun.” my dad said behind me, reading my mind.  Um. No. He skied to the edge, looking over. “Hey, there’s a ski-able place over there we can try. It looks easy.”. Dad it is a cliff, I don’t know if I’m comfortable with it, but he was already on his way. I followed reluctantly, watching the edge. I’m not usually afraid of heights, but the 700-meter drop was a little extreme, especially considering the fact I’m on two thin pieces of painted plastic and metal, on slippery wet ice and snow, and there are a whole lot of rocks and ample space for free fall.

We got there and I looked over the edge. Dad… I reallllllly don’t wanna do this. He shrugged. “Go that way then.” He pointed toward the end of the slope. My pride still pushed me forward. Ugh, I’ll try it fine, if I die, it’s your fault, ok? Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the man. I paid him no heed, however. He was a skier, he had all the right to ski. I turned to face the cliff. My dad was already starting down, sometimes slowly turning left to right, sometimes making giant leaps. I positioned my poles and pushed them into the snow. I never saw the rock.

I was thrown sideways, hitting the ground and quickly sliding to the area marked “Unsafe”. DAD OMG HELP. I grabbed at a root. I was too petrified to scream. Hot bursts of adrenaline thudded in my head. I could hear my heart, but it felt as if it was down in my toes. The ice scraped against my face, cutting it, and I felt hot blood trickle down my cheek. I couldn’t move. Anxiety crept up my spine, curling around me like a snake. My legs were over the edge. Ohhhhhh snap. My slide quickly became very fast. My hips over the edge, my chest. The ground slipped away like a turned page in a story book. I tried to scream, but my breath had already left, just like my life was going to.

Someone grabbed my hand. I looked up. It was that man, shrouded in a bright outline from the sun, almost like a halo. I hung there, for what felt like minutes, before he pulled me up.






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