by Bob'n Around
Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|It was the sound. It started as a slow deep vibration no louder than a twanging guitar chord. Skiing cross country in the High Uintah’s meant keeping my ears open. The rush of the wind and exaltation given by speed carried me past such caution.
The first flurry of ice crystals against my eyelashes woke me up. Avalanche. Behind me. No small thing. The vibration became an earthquake, me flying over quivering earth. I leaned into my speed, risking one brief glance at certain death.
Ahead were the bright colors of bobbing skiers before me. My shout of warning went unheard in the medley of horror racing me into stomach churning uncertainty. Tendrils of snow packed waves rippled under me. I found myself tossed aside heading towards a pack of pine trees, needle sharp ready to spear me into oblivion.
Time at such moments seemed to pause. Would I choose to become a human pincushion or the frozen remains of an adventure gone wrong, buried beyond sight?
A new wave cascading underneath my feet snapped my ski’s like twigs, one leg going with them. I bulldozed head first into a snowbank, surfed up and over it, flying wildly in a surrounding of frost covered air. Breathing it in froze my lungs from taking another breath.
I clung to consciousness through the pain of landing, rolling, spinning dizzily, finding myself facing other less human denizens frightened by fate’s hand. A bobcat swiped a nasty claw at my face. Bolled over, it twisted in mid air, refusing to give ground.
A hand of the avalanche threw a boulder at it, knocking the wild thing unconscious.
As fast as it had arrived and changed the the slope of the eternal mountain I rode upon, roar became a grumble turning slowly into silence.
I never saw the fate of the other skiers nor did anyone else until the following Spring. Of the wildcat, we faced each other, eyes reflecting the past glare of death we had shared. Each gave a wary passing and offering of life yet to come.