Flash Fiction- The Climb

Posted: September 16, 2015 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I close the door behind me and look up at the spiral stairs. Those crumbling grey slabs seem to go on forever, just climbing and climbing, rising higher and higher.

Well, I think, standing around’s not going to get me anywhere.

So I start the climb, my hand clinging to the metal bannister, staying close to the cold grey of the curving wall. I take each step, my shoes striking the stone. It’s hard work. The steps are absurdly steep. They just keep on going.

Still, I feel more tired that I should. I can’t explain it. It’s like I’ve been climbing Everest, the way my lungs gasp for air, the way my legs scream, the way my back aches.

I feel like giving up. Like just lying there on the stairs.

Maybe just a breather. A quick break. That’s all I need.

I look up and I see it, right at the top of the ascending spiral.

A door, wood black as the blackest midnight.

If I weren’t so exhausted, I’d sprint the steps three at a time in my effort to reach it. No sprinting for me, but it does give me the energy, the strength of will, to go on climbing.

Just through the door, I think. Just through the door and I can rest. 

To tell the truth, I’ve half forgotten where I was going. It’s blurry, hazy, like my memory is full of fog and cigarette smoke. All I can remember is the climb.

At last I reach the door. I fumble at the handle, twist it, step through, feel relief seep through me. My journey is over. Over at-

I close the door behind me and look up at the spiral stairs. Those crumbling grey slabs seem to go on forever, just climbing and climbing, rising higher and higher.

Well, I think, standing around’s not going to get me anywhere.

END

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Comments
  1. Joy Pixley says:

    Such a lovely dream-like quality to the tension, and then in the last part — boom, suddenly the horror drops. Not a dream: a nightmare. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. werrf says:

    I’m generally not a fan of the present tense, and there are plenty of books out there that I’ve tried to read and ended up writing off because of it, but in this case it really works. It keeps you in the moment the whole way through.

    Only criticism I’d make is that talking about getting through the door then you can rest somewhat telegraphs the ending – that there will be no rest. But that’s just a minor niggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Madeeha says:

    It’s a clever piece of writing. I agree writers mostly avoid using present tense in writing but in this case it works well.

    I don’t know if it’s only me but I lost my flow when you start saying
    “To tell the truth, I’ve half forgotten where I was going…” (Please take it as my two cents)
    Perhaps, avoiding the use of “to tell the truth” can work here. Again, it’s only my two cents
    I must say that it is a great effort on your part 🙂
    Regards

    Liked by 1 person

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