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The Summit

March 23, 2012

This is the Photo Prompt from Madison Woods:

Come up with a story, 100 words, more or less, based on the above picture.

The Summit

Cassie knew she needed to reach the summit before dark.

As she brushed passed, the points of the bare branches tugged at her sleeve, holding her.  A flash of uncertainty gripped her like a cold hand. She pulled away, determined to keep moving and reach the summit.

The slope’s gradual incline grew suddenly steep. Her legs pulled tight. She hunched forward, paddling the ground. She scrambled to keep her footing, her balance.  She gulped the harsh and biting air. The summit within sight, she pushed herself. Rest was a few breaths away. If only her arm would stop stinging.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Lora Mitchell permalink
    March 23, 2012 7:59 pm

    Hi – Vivid, clear, real. Two lovely descriptions… ‘uncertainty gripped her like a cold hand’ and ‘Rest was a few breaths away.’ Would love to know why she needed to reach the summit. Here’s mine:

  2. March 23, 2012 8:26 pm

    This was very well described.

    It makes me wonder why she was trying to reach the summit, how she got into such harsh terrain, and what’s making her arm hurt so much. Well done!

    • April 4, 2012 4:39 pm

      I probably should have been a little clearer with the stinging arm, maybe by describing the pointed branch as a needlepoint, which may have helped the meaning somewhat. As far as what was up there, that was still to come.

  3. March 23, 2012 8:46 pm

    The joy of mountain/rock climbing escapes me–waaaaay too much effort is required, in my opinion. Your description seems “spot on” to me. I hope there is validity for the climber when they reach the summit. 🙂 I especially liked “rest was a few breath’s away”–nice phrase. Well done.


    • April 4, 2012 4:41 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed it. The joy escapes me too. I was thinking about how tough a few flights of stairs can be when I wrote it.

  4. March 24, 2012 6:33 am

    Great use of active verbs, places the reader right there. Why does she need to reach the summit before dark? Here’s mine:

  5. March 24, 2012 7:13 am

    Great descriptive tale, I could feel it, and you left me wondering why she had to reach the summit. Also wondering, if she does reach the summit by nightfall, how will she get down in the dark? Still it can be a metaphor of struggle, of doing all you can to get “there” wherever or whatever it is.

    • March 26, 2012 1:19 pm

      I’m afraid I’ll have to figure that out. That’s the challenge, I guess. To give the character a goal, then wrack your brain to come up with a good enough reason for it.

      Thanks for the comment

  6. March 27, 2012 4:17 am

    This is a great piece of description! I agree with other commenters that I have a lot of questions, but I think sometimes in 100 words it’s worth just concentrating on the description. I should certainly learn to do that more.

    Sorry I’m late commenting!

    I’m over here:

  7. March 27, 2012 2:22 pm

    Okay, I must put in my two cent worth. I think you have the beginning of something, but there actually isn’t enough drama. The reward of reaching the summit just doesn’t seem enough. The danger from the tree branches does not seem enough either. I think you can edit out some extra words, like ands and such and put in a little drama.
    Personally, I usually run into a rattle snake on the path and then there’s that gosh darn poison oak – and did Carlos tell you about the naked Fire Watcher perched on the summit????

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