|A bit more flash fiction. I'm not sure what's up with 'Lydia', but she keeps coming into my consciousness.|
Lydia was sitting at her computer. Nothing was coming. She’d done a couple of writing exercises to warm up, but couldn’t produce anything else. At least nothing she wanted to keep.
She kept gazing out the window. The sun was out after weeks of cloud, snow and drizzle. The clear blue sky was inviting. Nothing better to do, she checked the weather channel - minus two Celsius – not bad. Better to be outside getting exercise than staring blankly at the computer monitor. - She was good at rationalization. - It was still early, not yet noon. There was time to take a short drive up the mountain and hike one of the short trails off Mt Seymour Parkway and be back well before Dr. Phil.
She put on her boots and ski jacket, looped a scarf around her neck and stuffed a pair of gloves in her pocket. She probably didn’t need the scarf, but you never know. Better safe than sorry, her grandmother always said.
In fifteen minutes, she was pulling over to park at one of the mid-mountain lots. It was a glorious day. She stepped over the roadside cement barrier to enter the trailhead. The snow was well-trampled with occasional dirt patches breaking through the most travelled parts of the trail.
Lydia knew exactly where she wanted to go. She headed for a jagged ridge just beyond the second bend in the trail. Following the ridge about thirty metres to the left, she came to a slight outcropping of rock that overlooked the water below. There was a panoramic view of the city across the inlet - the perfect spot for meditation and inspiration. She found her usual spot on a broad flattened boulder. - It had made her laugh the first time she saw it. The indentations on the surface mimicked the curves of her butt, literally begging for her to sit. It had become her special seat. - She eased herself onto the rock, bracing for the momentary icy-cold dampness through the fabric of her jeans.
This is exactly what I need, she thought, a chance to get away and clear my mind. Fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes later – she wasn’t quite sure – she heard a rustling below her. Strange. It’s usually silent in the winter. It’s too early for animals and there isn’t a trail down there, so it couldn’t be people. She heard it again. Curiosity got the better of her and she just had to look. Standing at the edge of the ridge, she peered over and thought she saw movement - something round and dark. Could somebody have gotten lost and fallen off the trail?
“Halloo! Is somebody down there?” No answer. But there was the rustling again. She eased her left foot over the edge to get a better angle. Yes, she was sure there was something moving. Grabbing hold of a branch from a nearby bush with her right hand, she slid her left foot a little further down the slope. - That’s when the branch snapped. - The sudden movement dislodged the loosely packed snow from under her boot and she found herself with legs splayed, half-straddling the lip of the snow-covered ridge and slipping downhill.
“Great.” She leaned towards her uphill leg, grabbing handfuls of snow and dirt, hoping to get a solid grip. It didn’t help. Instead, she felt herself sliding further downhill in a split-legged position until her right heel finally let go of the remaining lip of the ridge and she rolled, bumped and skidded down the slope, eventually coming to a thawumping stop and blackness.
By the time she woke, Lydia was too numb to feel anything. She was impervious to the cold. Lying in a snow bank will do that to you. She looked around to get her bearings. Straight in front of her she saw a dark green garbage bag snagged on a bush. It was ballooned out with trapped air, bobbing back and forth, and rustling against the loose branches.
At least, she thought, now I have something to write about.