The Mountain

No sugars, no carbs, I look lean and lewdly fit.
I preen like a mountain goat in my prime packing my altitude kit.
Ready to face the climb feeling jacked and ripped.
I’ve mastered the drills, conquered Wales and the last of its hills.
At the least, I’m an Alpine beast.
So why do I feel downcast and ill?
Perhaps I should kick back and chill and forget the mountain.
All my gear sucks anyway, knock-off clobber from North Face.
I’m soft, why bother?
In this summit race the best I’ll manage is fourth place.
No medal for me once I’m done, what a chronic waste.

But I love a challenge and the climb ahead looms, loaded with portentous doom.
So from base camp I take a moment, inspecting my baggage.
It’s likely this climb will be testing, resulting in significant damage.
And there’s a passage I must take but it’s unrelenting and savage.
Looking around, my fellow climbers look weak at the knees.
To be fair, they were cocky.
I bet they thought this peak was a breeze.
Now they just huddle together like rats at sea.
They muddle along like tourists, but without the glee.
Scrabbling for purchase on the mountain’s scree.

But me? I dominate.
This little hill, to me, is a stairmaster.
Bulletproof from disaster, I’m a sherpa, a warlock, a zen master.
I’m a shamen that shames men.
Those that try to climb this steep peak have nothing to gain from my spirit friends.
Yet I call on the Gods to protect them all.
If one goes under, the whole team falls.
And I can’t let these muppets drag me down.
Ranulph Fiennes ain’t got nuthin’ on me with his swagger, he’s a wannabe clown.
The way I see it, I plan to become an intrepid legend.
Entering the records books never happens to those that finish a tepid second.
So I scan the group in case others have form.
Paranoid, I feel threatened.
Staring into the void, the last thing I need is to be taught a real lesson.
Discreetly, I kneel by the camp’s gear and try to steal and conceal a weapon.

Then… treading lightly at night I prowl through the camp.
White mist gives way to red in my head.
The cold rage has now descended.
My plan made in haste was not what I intended.
But needs must to meet my brutal target.
So I rise from my seat, tool up and get started.
Hiding supplies I garrote the sherpas as they sleep.
I’m no ordinary deserter and this heavy decision didn’t come cheap.
But I’m committed to see it through.
For some of the group this end should be fitting, departing into the Arctic blue.
Dying from the cold or lack of supplies.
It’s how they would have wanted to go I think, as tears freeze my eyes.
Then I sink to my knees as I consider my schemes and lies.

What victory… will this be?
Somewhere on this climb I missed a beat.
And even though I’ll summit alone I’ll still face bitter defeat as the stark realisation plummets home.
I did this. I am damned.
Ghastly spectres haunt me.
Ghoulish frozen bodies floating in the ether like Homer’s odyssey.
And it’s odd to see, as I try to grip reality.
I move down the mountain feeling the slip of my sanity.
This blip of my senses, nothing but vapid vanity.
My rapid descent gives way to pure clarity.
The mountain had its way with me.
And here, at the bottom, all I can do is pray and bleed.

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