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A Billybuc Writing Challenge--The Mountain of No Hope

Updated on December 19, 2017

Our friend and fellow hubber Bill Holland (billybuc) has issued a challenge. As he stated (rather eloquently, I might add):

Let’s see what you’ve got. Let’s get the creative juices flowing. This is a safe place for all writer wannabees. This is just a chance for writers to enjoy other writers, meet some new people, form some new friendships….that sort of thing.

And this is a chance to free ourselves, at least partially, from the ridiculous pursuit of the perfect SEO article which HubPages usually forces down our throats.

Cast off the chains and for one day, sit down and write the way you want to write, rather than the way the Google gods demand you write.

How could I resist? So here are the rules:

  1. We must have the word Mountain in our title

  2. We must include and mention the 3 photos he provided.

  3. Short story ….flash fiction…. No word limit …. No prequel… No sequel

  4. Publish the finished article by September 10th

So let's begin.

"The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor."

--Albert Camus

Twelve Months

I love Winter. The days are brief; most of the 24 hours are colorless and cold. No one notices that you stay indoors, hidden away. In Winter I don’t think, or sometimes I think too much. Sleep is good.

Spring—the months of March to June are filled with rain and wind. Another excuse to avoid.... But flowers bloom and trees bud out for the future. I'm not sure there really is one.

Autumn—she’s the equivocating bitch. Sometimes cold and dreary. But then, she goes all warm and cheerful. Almost like Summer. Stifling heat, sweat, and blinding-bright sunlight.

I hate her most of all.

“It was not really alarming at first, since the change was subtle, but I did notice that my surroundings took on a different tone at certain times: the shadows of nightfall seemed more somber, my mornings were less buoyant, walks in the woods became less zestful, and there was a moment during my working hours in the late afternoon when a kind of panic and anxiety overtook me…”

– William Styron, Darkness Visible

The Safe Place

My grandparents had a farm; we lived there for a while.

The barn was a special place. The sun shining down through the loft would fill the air with a million dust motes. I told myself that they were stars and I was up in the heavens with them like an astronaut, or maybe an angel.

When the screaming got too loud I would hide in the barn.

I still go there every day, but only in my imagination. I feel safe there.

How can you be so selfish?

Don't you know how much you are hurting those around you, the people who care about you?

Why don't you just snap out of it?

Questions, Endless Questions

OK questioners. I dare you to spend a day in my life, an hour in my existence, a moment in my mind. Step right up--let me show you the fog that muddles my thoughts. Did I brush my teeth today, or was it yesterday, and who really cares?

Heart pounding, gasping like I'm the engineer on a runaway train. I'm in a panic and I don't know why. I feel sweaty and light-headed and my mouth is filled with cotton. There is nothing to fear, but I fear everything. I want to run away from my body.

That runaway train? It derailed. It's just sitting there now, on abandoned tracks, molding, rusting. I'm trapped inside of it and there's no way out.

Am I loved? How could I be? I'm not that person. I'm not anything. He died.

If You Are Feeling Depressed

There is someone you can talk to, 24 hours per day. They do not judge or scold. They are there to offer support and to LISTEN.

You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Or go to their website at

© 2016 Linda Lum


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