Five Minutes (Short Story)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
Three friends five thousand feet above finds their most memorable five minutes in this engaging story

Submitted: November 15, 2010

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Submitted: November 15, 2010

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Five Minutes

Harsh winds barged against our feeble tent, denting it at places and straining the fiber ropes that held it rooted to the icy ground. Outside, the temperature dipped below zero degrees as night drew nearer. Inside, heated arguments assured us of our existence. The gas lantern that hung at the corner began to flicker. Three living souls cramped in a small tent waited for the few hours that remained.

“I can't feel my feet”, Joy shouted but only a whiff of misty air escaped his mouth. He carefully took out his boots and woolen socks. Others were aghast on seeing his feet's color; blue as though arteries were constricted, forbidding any blood to trickle through. I never bothered to check out mine. Numbness was long gone, my legs fell asleep hours ago.

“Slowly massage your legs. That will do the trick”, Kane told. He began to demonstrate its usability by flexing his own legs. Meanwhile, I grabbed the only chocolate bar left. Two pair of eyes followed it.

“Like I was going to eat all by myself”, I mocked, trying to smile but it ached badly. Nervousness made us sweat, sweat turned to ice crystals and pricked us everytime our facial skin morphed. Joy once did try to wipe it off but along with the crystals, something else also came apart. His face now resembled a baboon's ass, red as blood. Looking at him, my face ached harder. I divided the bar into three parts, reserving an ounce more for myself. Every bit of calorie mattered.

The gas lantern was brought in the center. Everyone took their bar and placed near it with the hope that the heat would soften it enough for our cluttering teeth to bite through its crunchiness. Nature smiled at our effort.

“Do we have any hot water left”, I exclaimed. Joy raised his eyes in anguish. He took out his thermos from deep down his bag but rather than opening it he began jerking the vessel. The rattling metallic sound coincided with the harsh beats of the wind.

“No water, No food and this freaking cold, what could be more worse”, I wished Kane wouldn't have said that. The flap on the tent's entrance that so rigorously fluttered finally gave way to the gusty winds blowing out our last source of heat. It took all of us to finally mend the gaping hole leaving us in dead darkness. The florescent minutes hand on Joy's watch suggested only a hour left to wait.

I stared blindly at the tent's opening. “Days alone”, I thought, “No human interaction expect these fools, my friends”, this made me smile, it hurt. I didn't know whether my parents would be proud of what I was going to do in the next hour. Time paced as minutes hand moved closer.

“So we are finally going to do it”, Kane asserted. “It's a lot easier when you don't think about it and just do it”, he tried to ignite the dying fire inside us but we were all too tired and wanted to get over with it quickly. After long hours, sun rays finally pierced through the horizon and entered our tent. Minutes left to what we set out to achieve.

Kane opened the flap. Growly winds still prevented us further. Our glasses protected us from the sun's glare. Sub zero jackets, coats, gloves were all air-tightened. Back packs were strapped on before we could stand; their weight caused the snowy layer to sink a few inches.

Joy was the first one to get out of the tent, followed by Kane and lastly me. Kane's trick did really help us stand on our feet. The view was gorgeous beneath. Fog obstructed us to see further down the cliff.

While others enjoyed the morning beauty, I was already running. My boots sank deep inside the fresh snow from the night; some entered my boots, chilling my sole. Joy looked back to see me reach the end of cliff and before he could say, “Wait”, I jumped. I took a leap of faith down five thousand foot.

It was relieving.

The next day, my parents were sitting in front of the television watching the news. My mother cried continuously. A crowd consisting of doctors and nurses gathered, surrounding her. A five minute video was broad casted repeatedly.

Joy, Kane and I, all of us shouted, “Let us also see. It's us who filmed the whole scene”. The crowd moved to give us a glance of our most memorable five minutes.

Red parachutes flew high and low in the barren sky. Our ecstasy was silenced by the fierce wind rushing past our ears as we gracefully descended down through the clouds, finally hitting the wet grass.


© Copyright 2017 siddharthmukherjee. All rights reserved.

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