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[Jaz]
Rock. Rock surrounds me. Puffing, I carry on up the steep, craggy path in front of me. Meandering slowly upwards, I look around. Glimpsing the huge mountains which lie in every direction like sleeping giants, the bright blue sky winks down at me as birds sing merrily. I should feel happy, but something about this place is just... wrong. Maybe it’s just me, but I swear that the grey and purple rocks seem 2D, the birds like a tape being played over and over and the mountains like the backgrounds in films: huge cardboard cut-outs which can never be reached. It sounds stupid just thinking it, but I feel as though reality is slowly escaping from my grasp, getting further and further away with each step that I take.
[Kate]
Jostling through the front door, Kate growled in annoyance as the huge, brand new painting would not fit. She pulled, she pushed and she did pretty much everything imaginable but still it took what seemed like hours with the help of a next door neighbour and a passing jogger to get it through into the living room, where hopefully later on it would go on the wall. Sighing, Kate walked through into the kitchen and slung her keys onto the table aimlessly. She made a cup of tea and sat down reading the paper. Jaz probably wouldn’t be back for another few hours, he was out walking for the day and it was a great day for it. Anyhow, a few hours would be more than long enough to get the painting mounted and positioned on the wall.
[Jaz]
I walk onwards, taking another sip from my water bottle in boredom. Should I just head back down? I’m not exactly enjoying this whole experience, but I decide that I’m three quarters of the way up and stopping now would just have made this a waste of a day. I sit down, looking at my arms, the slight hint of tan running up and down them. So at least there is one positive then. Elevating my gaze, I gasp. The mountains. Where are they? The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end as I spring to my feet, hoping to see them below me. Perhaps I’ve walked around the mountain? But no, that’s impossible, the map says that there is only this route apart from a “hard-core”, climbing route and I’m certainly not doing that. Looking around in confusion, I feel my pulse begin to quicken. The only two things around me are the rocks and the blue sky above me. Throwing my rucksack over my shoulder, I jog upwards, hoping to have a better view from the summit. This doesn’t make sense, I think, I saw them just minutes ago and now... nothing. Just the blue sky and the rocks and astonishingly, even the merry birdsong has vanished. I feel my head begin to spin as I spill over the final crest. It is no different, only the mocking sun above and the sharp, broken boulders below. What’s going on? I run full pace down the mountain, heading for the bottom, but even after half an hour nonstop sprinting, I have not made any progress and the views around me stay exactly the same.
[Kate]
Kate finished her cup of tea and walked casually into the living room. Jaz would be home in half an hour and after having got engrossed by a short report on teenage drug abuse in the paper, she needed to get on with the painting. Having already put two nails in the wall, she unwrapped the picture and stared proudly at it, her eyes struggling to take in all of the fine details which she saw. Lifting it with a grunt, she carefully balanced it onto the nails as if playing hook the duck at a fair ground. Soaking up its pure magnificence, Kate stepped back in order to see the whole picture for all that it really was.
[Jaz]
I sit down, frustration and fear battling inside my head. At the moment frustration is winning. What the h*** is this? It is not possible and therefore must be some kind of nightmare or hallucination. I don’t know. Cradling my head in my hands, I try to think but my mind is too full, questions bouncing around like ricocheting bullets. Clamping my eyes shut, I look down at the ground. “I am Jaz Harvey,” I tell myself. “This is a dream.” Hitting the ground in anger, I sit perfectly still, waiting for the nightmare to pass. What if I can’t get down? What if nobody ever finds me here? What if’s? Fire through my head like machine gun bullets. What if I never see Kate again? Would she wait? God, she is probably waiting for me now. I begin to sob, head between knees. I am by myself. I know it. I am by myself and I will never get down. My sobs accumulate into long mournful wails. Getting to my feet slowly and picking up my heavy rucksack, I walk forwards, snivelling pathetically like a toddler. There’s a drop. A way out of this, this madness. Clearing my head of rational thought, I jump. I am at one with the world soaring through the air, the sheer power of it engulfing me. And then there is only darkness. I cry.
[Kate]
Kate stared at the painting in adore. It was beautiful she thought happily. Jaz would be happy. Gazing solemnly into the heart of the picture, she exhaled, admiring the splendour of the rocks in the background and the huge cliff behind the solitary black silhouette. Something about the man, lying there, motionless reminded Kate of Jaz. Perhaps it was his posture or the huge rucksack lying by his body. Where was he? She thought. His dinner would be getting cold.





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