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Running away, to be lost - Pacific Northwest

He stands in the fog staring at the ice, surrounded by the sound of flowing water. He reaches out his hand, running it along the rough surface of the ice, where bubbles have formed from the trapped air; clear ice against opaque blue; then takes it away from the cold: red, numb. Grey lines of grit. Cloud fills the mountain bowl, hidden rock shapes looming around him. Fine rain runs down his face. Echoes of the creaking glacier are passed across the water. He stays standing, absorbed within himself, clothes cold and damp from being in the cloud. After some time, he looks down at the water in front of him: a grey pool of flat light, unbroken surface. He stares, as though waiting to jump into the hidden currents of glacial till that flow with the meltwater to the rocks where the stillness is broken; but he stays motionless. A loud fracture cuts through the cloud. He turns towards the sound, listening as ice slides into the water, casting ripples towards him through the greyness; then he moves, stepping from the iceberg onto a rock that splits the flow of water and crossing to a bar of earth that stretches into the lake, stopping a moment before walking back towards the trail. His face is white, like the dull light reflected in the water. Boulders line the side of the trail, brought down by the glacier. He pulls his wet jacket tighter around himself, lowering his head against the rain, beginning to shake with cold. His movements are slow, he stumbles against the loose scree scattered across the trail

Pine forest, lichen hanging down in long tails, pale green and black, knotted in places with pine resin, light changing across the valley. His steps are soft thuds on the hard earth of the path, louder where there are hollows beneath the roots. Scent of the resin in damp air, seeping from bark, soft, sticky beneath the crystallised surface. Stillness in the forest, path winding downwards as air rushes through the firs.

The cloud has crept down the mountain through the trees, soaking the long-tailed moss that clings in patches to the bark. The sound of water fades as he moves through the fog, away from the stream that falls down the mountainside through dark trees. The fallen moss that had become yellow and brittle is now soaked, softened again, clinging limply to the rock. Wet bands of water stain the brown earth of the trails.

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