Nineteen Minutes


  I guess this might be the first time a story starts with a cliffhanger. I slipped nineteen minutes ago. Tripped on a hidden root of some old forgotten tree at the edge of a particularly precarious precipice. Scrabbled for something, anything, as I rolled over. Somehow – in the ensuing minutes I still don’t know I did – I tangled my hands up in the deeper roots of the same would-be-killer-Oak that were protruding from the side of the cliff itself. That was nineteen long minutes ago. Sure, it might seem nothing compared to that rock-guy’s 127 hour stint but he at least had the luxury of his feet on solid ground. Below me, far below me, is the not so welcoming earth. I wish I was the rock-guy, amputation and everything.

  I haven’t wriggled, haven’t squirmed, for fear that my tentative handhold will snap and I’ll experience my final few seconds enjoying the supposed bliss that is freefall before the splat. There’s little chance I’m going to be able to clamber up myself. I’m a meter or two below the edge and I can’t see any way of reaching it. I’ve screamed myself hoarse but it was evidently in vain. No one has come to my rescue. People know I’m out walking today but there’s no chance I’ll still be hanging around when they realize I’ve been gone for an inordinate amount of time. I can already feel my arms going dead, the screaming pain of my fingers, the agonizing ache of my shoulders. I can’t hang on for much longer, I know this. If I make it to half an hour I’ll be impressed.

  I never liked cliffhangers in my life before my current predicament, but now I really hate them. They suck.

Don’t they just?


~ by Joseph Blame on April 8, 2011.

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