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September 9, 2012
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He tied his boat among the rocks, and soon began to climb. Slowly, every so slowly, he went foot by foot, climbing away from shore and onto what should be called land, but really was nothing more than rocks.

When he tried to look above there was no grass of green. More and more rocks awaited our man, and still he climbed. The sun beat down, and clouds covered the top so our poor man could not see his destination, but still he climbed.

'It appears as though God has taken a day off today,' he thought to himself. And still he climbed up and up, even though the rocks were always coming.

When the stones cut into his palms, and the toes of his shoes wore down till his toes peeked out, and when the sun burned what skin it could, and when the wind cut through his clothes and chilled his bones, he still kept moving forwards. He couldn't see the sea below him, and there was nothing in front of him but clouds.

And still our poor man climbed, and climbed, and climbed.

To reach the top and say that he made it when no one else had before. Even though no one before had ever made it up the mountain, and that everyone fell, he will be the first to make it.

Blood began to drip from his palms and down his arms. He left bloody handprints wherever he touched. Besides his boat it would be the only proof that he had been there.

Our poor man fell into a level of purgatory, where he couldn't tell if he really was moving, because the land and sky never got closer or farther away. Still he climbed, and even at one point abandoning his jacket because it weighed too much for him.

Suddenly there was no more sea beneath him, and he was in the clouds. No, he wasn't in the clouds, he was the clouds. His hands weren't hurting from the rocks and numbness anymore. At a moment he was everything, and he knew that he had reached the top, except there was no top. He was a part of the sky, where the birds flew and the sun rose and set.

He quit rising, and stayed in place, until he could no more.

And our poor man fell.
I don't know where this came from, but all I tried to work on were settings and theme with the fewest words as possible.






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:iconwalkthelane:
I think that its simplicity does it credit. It leaves the reader open to imagine for themselves what color the rocks are, or what the character looks like. It is stories like these that flex and stretch and exercise the human mind.

However, there is one area where I think it could use some embellishment. Since you leave things like visual detail vague, I take it that the story is supposed to be centered on the mental journey. I recommend compensating for the lack of detail in other areas. (But not too much, mind you. Like I said, the simplicity has impact.) What I mean is that I think the character should have more emotion to his thoughts in the beginning of the story. Fear? Excitement? Apprehension? Determination? What exactly is motivating? You don't have to give a literal purpose to the hike, let the metaphor be a metaphor. But it would help the reader relate more to the character and imagine their thoughts, if they understood what it is that drives him/her.

Then, in the middle, as the character enters the "purgatory" and the thoughts begin to blur, and the emotions give way to monotony, you either get a better sense of how hazy and confusing things have become to the character, or how the character's mind is freed from distractions like emotion, and is suddenly clear and empty.

In the end, as the character falls, understanding his/her emotions from the beginning tell you a lot about the end. Perhaps the character climbed the mountain out of fear, and is finally released from those fears, giving the ending a sense of freedom. Or, perhaps the character had a goal in mind, something that he/she wanted or needed to achieve, and the falling signifies failure, giving the ending a sense of sadness and defeat.

As you can see, even the slightest hinting of the emotional motivation at the beginning can entirely change the tone of the story, even if you change nothing else.

Well, this is what I think, and I hope it helps! Of course, it is your story and you don't have to use any of my ideas if you don't want to, I just really felt moved by this piece and was intrigued, so I wanted to offer my views. I hope I get to read more of your work in the future!
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:iconkikumizu:
He was struggling for something no mere person can achieve...sounds like many things in life. Very adaptable piece.
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:iconoilux:
Oilux Apr 15, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you, I was heading for adaptable.
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:iconkikumizu:
Achievement made then :)
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:iconneko-chan199:
Neko-Chan199 Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It shows man's determination to achieve until the very end of his life.
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:iconoilux:
Oilux Sep 10, 2012  Student Writer
That's just what I was going for.
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:iconneko-chan199:
Neko-Chan199 Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
And I totally got it!!:icon0inuthatsgreatplz:
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:iconwolfy-of-ebil:
A few grammar errors, but it was still beautiful.
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:iconoilux:
Oilux Sep 10, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you.
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:iconstonedinc:
stonedInc Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Second line, "Slowly, every so slowly", isn't it ever so slowly?
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