Saturday, August 11, 2007

Impervious - Another Lydia story

I'm resurrecting another Lydia story (with a few minor tweaks) that was originally posted on First Drafts in February 2006. That site is no longer active, so I decided it might be a good idea to keep my posted writing in one place. I've previously explained how bad I am at keeping my computer files in any semblance of order. I'm hoping Blogger, with its label system, will help.

This piece is from the prompt, "Impervious".

Lydia was sitting at her computer. Nothing. 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 clear blue sky was inviting. She checked the weather channel - minus two Celsius – not bad. Better to be outside getting some much-needed exercise than staring blankly at the computer monitor. 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 and gave a panoramic view of the city across the inlet - the perfect spot for meditation and inspiration. She found her usual spot on a broad, flat 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 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 thaawhumping 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. How did she get here? Right, the rustling sound. She looked up to get her bearings.

Movement caught the corner of her eye. She turned her now stiffening neck and saw a dark green garbage bag. It was snagged on a bush and ballooning out with trapped air, bobbing back and forth against the loose branches of a bush.

At least, she thought, now I have something to write about.


Junebugg said...

What an excellent beginning to a story! I'm glad you reposted it as I haven' read it before and I would have hated to have missed it. When is the next installment or are you going to leave me hanging with my imagination going wild..........

Kay Dennison said...

I really liked this a lot! I'd love to see how it ends.

ell said...

This is a bit of flash fiction that I did as a writing exercise. There's no sequel or ending at this point. However, Lydia does seem to creep into my writing from time to time, so you never know . . .

Meanwhile, Junebugg and Kay, you'll just have to let your imagination run wild.

Chancy said...

I also like Lydia and would like to know more about her life and if she was badly injured in her fall.

Is she single or married? Perhaps divorced and living alone?

This Lydia character has potentioal and should be finished into a short story.