Once upon a time, there stood three, lofty mountains.
If mountains could be separated accordingly to their gender, there would be two male mountains and one female mountain –
Supposedly female, as judged by the two male mountains, who could barely make out two swollen peaks jutting out of the billowing tufts that obscured their vision (and ardent admiration) for her beauty. They finally knew one fine summer’s day, when a shrill voice screamed “Get away from me!” as a humble camel ascended her peaks.
Being mountains, they could not move from where Nature, that sly puppeteer, had condemned them to stay, so they passed their expansive, idle time by mostly sitting in silence. On occasion they would converse with each other, and find out what each other’s inhabitants had been up to.
These settlers had turned up unannounced one day, and proceeded to make each mountain their home without further delay.
A religious sect had set up shop on the first male mountain, a wandering philosopher had declared the second male mountain his perfect haven, and two magnificent eagles spied the female mountain as the perfect place to call their home. Both eagles had since spawned a healthy eagle population on the previously eagle-free area.
As it conspired, today was one of these days, and the second male mountain was bemoaning his unfortunate fate to them. He called himself George after he’d heard someone call the philosopher that. He knew not what a George was, but it sounded nice and good as a name; furthermore, he was tired of being called Blue Peak. First, he was not blue, and second, he felt that the name Blue Peak was lacking in character, somewhat – passe, bland, two common nouns hastily strung together for the sake of naming this mountain something.
He felt he had a shining destiny laid for him, in his path. He knew not what this was, but it winked at him periodically in his daydreams, like the stars in the sky. He sighed.
George was a very laid-back and patient mountain, but then again, all mountains are laid-back and patient to an extent. He had learned many philosophical theories over the years by listening to the philosopher’s lectures, and therefore made better use of his eternal life by musing over them. But lately all that pondering only served to put George in a dreadful mood…which could only be described as something along the vague, scholarly lines of “existential despair”. George had first heard the term issued by a belligerent student. This melancholic, restless feeling, he assumed, was probably what this word meant.
“I wish he would stop bringing in more students, they’re ruining my forests with all that chopping for firewood. They’re turning me BALD.” George griped to the first male mountain, who called himself Chris for the same reasons as George. Chris, being much more reckless than George, became increasingly at odds with George as their inhabitants were constantly bickering with each other. Both secretly wished that they could get away from each other, but alas – they couldn’t move, and so they continued their luckless fate. They could only hope for the unreliable clouds to obscure each other from sight.
Chris was in a jubilant mood, having spoken to the female mountain earlier, while simultaneously ogling her glorious pinnacles.
“He is doing God’s work, only with philosophy,” Chris replied benignly. “George is doing a good job.“
Religion and philosophy tentatively held hands for once, though peering at each other with suspicion.
“Did you mean me, or that fleabag philosopher?” George asked, morosely.
“Him, of course.”
Both of them soon lapsed into deep silence.
“Well, don’t you say!” exclaimed the female mountain suddenly.
“What, Bird?” Both Chris and George answered. They’d called her that after Chris had overheard an excited toddler exclaiming, “Bird, bird!” as he saw a circling eagle.
“It’s not much, really. I was just eavesdropping on the eagles. You’re going to have new people staying with you again, George!” Bird said.
“Perhaps you should be more careful, now that they know you’ve heard everything,” George replied cautiously.
“Aww don’t worry, they don’t speak mountain! They’ll think it’s one of those tremors again.” Bird replied brightly. George silently applauded and admired her unceasing optimism.
He wished he had half of her joyous personality – or at least her carefree approach to life. Damn it all – why had the philosopher chosen him, of all places, to stay on?
As he raged, the clouds; fluffy, majestic masterpieces of Nature’s doing, parted like the velvet curtains of an opening theatre show, and he then witnessed Bird in her feminine glory. Her unconscious sensuality and naive seduction were displayed at their very best, with the addition of the late summer’s rays. She was clothed in a bejewelled emerald sheath of lush forest that clung to all the right places – Good god, those rising peaks! – and he continued to stare in undisguised awe. Somewhere in George, a tremor split the ground open. No one was harmed, though the philosopher balked at how his overweight pony had fallen to its premature death, into the newly-created crevasse.
Then, without warning, he felt the strangest sensation. A deep, dark, angry…something. This…something had inconspicuously attached itself to his volatile mire of existential despair. What was this?
He was very confused. It was the first time he’d ever encountered anything like it. No word from his limited vocabulary could describe this roaring Minotaur that was barely chained to the ground.
In his mind’s eye, this curious beast looked like a reddish black mob of angry ants. And then, through this tangled mess he discerned a faint thread of yearning – first spiraling out, gossamer-thin, then becoming a mass of tangled lines, red and purple and black, which lashed at him. George tried to shake this not altogether unpleasant feeling away, but the more he stared at Bird, the more intense this feeling grew.
A passing gale soon swept the clouds in Bird’s direction, obscuring her from his sight. The intensity of this feeling subsided with the elegiac movement of the clouds, although now it continued to lick at him like kindling embers gnawing away at firewood. George mulled over this sudden change in mood. He decided to seek counsel from the only friend he had, even though in all honesty, he would have given everything to get away from him on some days. But still, he was the only person he could count on, and he knew it was the same for that friend too.
“Erm, have you ever felt…” George hesitated for a moment. He wasn’t sure how to best articulate this emotion to Chris. His dangling sentence abruptly terminated itself as his mind tried to package this vague feeling into appropriate language. He observed his inner monologue dully as it hurriedly pulled up words from messy book shelves, pored over them. Realization and rapture saw him ascend rapidly to the dizzy heights of ecstasy, his internal monologue praising itself on its fantastic rational, logical, genius mind. Unfortunately, this short reign was quickly replaced by a writhing despair, as self-doubt rose like the mightiest of waves, more frightening then what Noah saw as his ark sailed the treacherous sea. He soon sighed, yielding to a rather agreeable ennui as he watched his perfectly built train of thought topple to the ground in a detached manner, scattering the pieces of logic everywhere. Why did he even try sometimes? What even was the point?
Chris’s voice rudely jolted him from the grasp of his inner world.
“George? What were you saying?”
George sighed. “It’s nothing, Chris…”
© Zelda Reville
Do mountains dream of playboy bunnies and drunken philosophy? Who knows? I’m planning to put this out as a 3 part series to challenge my lazy ass to write something more than 3000 words. I don’t know if I’ll actually complete this, but I’ll try…