December 9 – Mountaintop Tragedy

Author’s note: this turned out rather darker than expected. I didn’t manage to include all then aspects not the prompt, but I think I was close enough.

Prompt: the main character is a 39 year old woman. The story begins on a mountaintop. The witness to a crime disappears. The theme of the story is: a journey.

It had been a hard slog to the top, but Rhiannon had to admit it was worth the effort. As she took in the view, she felt her muscles tingling as they began to relax. She still wasn’t entirely sure why her boss, Mrs Carlingford, had invited her to come mountain climbing with her, though she suspected it might have something to do with questions she had been asking about where some of the company’s funds were disappearing to. She liked to think she had integrity, but she was starting to think that an all expenses paid trip like this in exchange for her silence was a pretty sweet deal.

“Thanks for inviting me, Mrs Carlingford,” she said. She took a deep breath, and then continued, “I think I know what this has all been about and I just wanted to say…”

Mrs Carlingford reached out and grabbed her arm roughly, pulling her forward and making her slip on the snow. Her heart jolted; it was a long way down from here and she didn’t really want to find 8th how long it would take her to fall.

“You know, you really should have just kept quiet about the money,” Mrs Carlingford hissed, bearing down on her with teeth bared.

“I… what? Mrs Carlingford, please!”

“If the auditors come after me because of anything you’ve said, it could ruin me!”

“I know, and honestly, I can keep quiet about it, I swear! I hadn’t even said that much, the auditors would have nothing to go on as it stands right now, I promise!”

“Your face is far too honest,” Mrs Carlingford sneered. “Once they started asking questions, you’d be telling them everything.”

“No, I…”

“We’re the only two up here, you know. It’s going to be a terribly tragic story I have to tell when I get back down. You weren’t as experienced as you’d thought, and then climb proved too much. Towards the top you lost your footing and tumbled over the edge…

“I’m sorry, Rhiannon, truly I am. But a woman has to do what a woman has to do…”

“No, please…”

It only took a small flick of Mrs Carlingford’s wrist to throw Rhiannon off balance and for her to tumble over the rock face. Mrs Carlingford watched, satisfied, as Rhiannon’s body disappeared out of view. It w as a shame it had to come to this, she thought, but she really hadn’t been able to see any other option…

9 thoughts on “December 9 – Mountaintop Tragedy

    • Emily Witt says:

      I decided for the month of December to see if I could write a short piece of fiction each day, kind of like the Story a Day in May challenge. After NaNoWriMo, I was planning to take a complete break from writing, but I still had the itch, so this is tiding me over, then I’ll get stuck back into my major projects in the new year.

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