Taking a deep breath, he placed his fingers in the tiny crevice and heaved. This was it. The moment of truth. The test for his future. “No hurry. No worry” was his mantra. The security gear was wrapped around him. There was no way he was going to fall off climbing this rock. This rock was an old friend, an old lover, welcoming him back into its stability and solidness – when pretty much everything else in his life had crashed around him.
This rock had been his closest friend since he was eleven. Every weekend he would hike through the woods behind his yard to this great wall. The flora around him changed colours– a fiery red of autumn, the solemn brown of winters, the lush greens of summer. And with every passing season, his dream had taken form and the rock had nurtured it every time he made the climb. He had become addicted to the sense of freedom that pounded through his veins every time he had rappelled down the wall – quick, sure and joyful! He had tenderly embraced every crevice and every edge on the wall over the years and honed himself to fit to every contour perfectly.
Now the hardness of the wall seemed to mock him and every pointy edge appeared like an ominous sign. But he was not stopping! He was halfway through and there was only the slightest twinge that he could safely ignore. His slow and steady breaths calmed him down and slowly he started to blend into the surroundings. He could hear the woodpecker, smell the fragrant purple flowers, and feel the tickle of an insect on his neck. He was the wall. He was the rock. And suddenly his fear vaporized into the breeze gushing around him. Now, it was talking to him, cooling his brow and stroking his aching knee.
With one last heave, he pushed himself up into the sumptuous grass that matted the rock at the top and started laughing. He kept on for a good five minutes, happy tears and laughter in sync with the sounds around him. He had done it! This time, last year he had been fighting for every breath after a drunk driver had turned his life around in one second. Today, he had conquered his anxiety and loss of limb by turning to his old wall and making himself complete.
As he rubbed his knee where his Jaipur foot met his body, he smiled to himself. His dream of running an adventure club for the little kids was alive and kicking.
Written for the prompt at mindlovemisery’s menagerie. I have been reading a lot on Jaipur foot and truly inspiring stories of those who have overcome the loss of limbs with their fighting spirit and a little help. This prompt was perfect to express that into this tiny piece of fiction.