A Questioning Mountain

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She takes one more step to reach the tip of the tallest mountain, practically in the heavens, to find what she’s never known. Breathless from excitement and loss of energy, she looks with questioning eyes at the man before her, the man with all the answers. He smiles, knowing of her arrival. Taking in her tattered clothes, bloodshot eyes, and dirt infested skin, he knows she’s done her part. She has found Atlantis, discovered the lost Ark, climbed mountains, killed the dragon warrior, been through more than any prince would ever encounter for a fair maiden. She crawls to his feet, head sunk near her chest, unable to lift her head. He watches with the patience of a mother as she kneels before him. Her long dark hair falls off her shoulders and collides with his golden robe.

He speaks in a gentle, soothing voice, “You have traveled all this way and yet you cannot speak a single word? You have done what millions have only dreamt of, and succeeded. Many have lost their lives to see the great I. Ask me, the man with all the answers any question and I will give the exact answer.”

She continues to stare at the ground, wondering what she should say to such a high ranking man. “I w-w-ould like an answer, if I may,” her voice cracks through parched lips. Her eyes flicker slightly as she takes in the sound of her own voice, how foreign it sounds to her.

“Of course, after all, I am the man with all the answers,” he teases impatiently. She sighs, afraid of her own stupidity.

“I-I-I”, she tries to speak but wonders if after all she’s been through, if this is a question she should be asking. She ponders, thinking of any obvious answer she had not yet acknowledged. When nothing comes, she sums up all of her strength and courage to look into the face of the man with all the answers. He grins, knowing of his own greatness, ready for anything.
She finally speaks the question she has dedicated herself to know. “What?…is?...fun?” She pants like a dog in midsummer with her gaze still upon the perfect frame of the man before her. She is intimidated by his presence. With her eyes remaining on him, waiting for the answer, she sees his expression change.
“Why you foolish girl! After all you’ve been through! Why would you ask such a stupid question?” His head falls back as he cackles, piercing her heart.
She becomes frustrated. Through watery eyes and heavy breathing she repeats: “WHAT is FUN?”
His cackles become even shriller as he mimics her speech in a little girls’ voice. “What is fun? Hehe. You travel all this way just to ask in such a puny voice what fun is! What is fun? WHAT is fun? What IS FUN?” He continues to laugh as her body slowly melts into the ground. She’s lost hope.
His cackling continues, transforming into the loud beeping of an alarm clock. She raises her head, brushing the hair away from her face as she looks in front of her. Her heart races as she takes notice of the cursor throbbing on her screen.





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