“The Hill” Part Two

Elijah Nix

More stories from Elijah Nix


Victoria Valle

Illustration created by Victoria Valle, marketing coordinator of The Round Up.

I had no idea where I was going, and no idea when I would be close to my destination. I was taking a gamble by leaving my hovel. I knew if I left, I would likely be unable to come back. I decided paradise was worth it. I was not sure how long my travels would take or even if they would be successful, but I knew I wasn’t going to get to the paradise unless I moved. I had no way to physically prepare, but I made sure my mind knew it was in this for the long haul. 

The first day of travel showed me how severely my body had been out of use. My legs quickly grew sore, and sought to slow me down. I knew this was going to come, and coaxed them to continue. The scenery remained grey and foggy, and the air remained freezing cold. 

At the end of the first day, after finally submitting to the will of my legs, I dropped to the floor. I wanted to continue, but my body needed rest– a sensation I found myself taking pride in. I allowed my eyes to close and fell asleep. 

I woke, sitting in a comfortable armchair. The scene was dark and blurry, but safe. My chair sat facing a flickering light source which emanated the same force I had experienced on the shore a few days before. The force was accented by a soft fabric which had been sweetly wrapped around me. Though I could not see very well, I perceived a second chair positioned next to me. It appeared to be a duplicate of mine, and on it appeared to be the same soft fabric which currently enveloped me. 

I woke once again to the cold air which engulfed me, and recognized quickly that I had experienced another dream. 

I had thought until now that the pleasing sensation I had experienced on the shore was so unique it could only be experienced in that particular place. Now I knew it was, on some level, more universal. This… anti-coldness… was a part of the world. I simply didn’t know where or how to get it. 

This additional dream fueled my desire to continue. I rose from where I had slept and hobbled on. 

The day was just like the one before. I lacked a sense of direction, and the dark, grey fog was thick all around me. 

And yet I knew I must go on. There was more to this world than bitterness, fog, and freeze, and I had already spent too much time in a world that was not. I could no longer stay put. I knew, somewhere beyond my experience, there was comfort and rest. I walked. 

I spent most of the next day pondering what other facets of anti-coldness existed. As it was anti-coldness, I supposed it had to be the opposite of my experience in every sense. 

It made sense to me that, rather than being dark like the cold I knew, anti-coldness was always very bright. Perhaps light countered the cold? In both of my dreams, anti-coldness seemed to emit from light. In the first dream it was light in the sky. In the second dream it was the flickering light source from the floor. It seemed to be a grounded theory. Perhaps if I could get to a light source, I would feel the anti-coldness upon waking. 

The duplication of supplies was present in this dream as well, which confused me. Why was I in need to two chairs? Two blankets? One had been enough for me. I didn’t need another. Nevertheless, something about these extra supplies probed me. For some reason, though I hadn’t even touched either of them in my dreams, they seemed essential, and I had no rational explanation as for why. 

As the day drew to a close, I felt the sensation of fatigue rising in me again and allowed myself to fall to the floor, closing my eyes. 

When I woke again, I found myself in a room which was completely pitch black. I found myself in a comfortable bed under thick layers of comforting blankets. I slowly moved my hand under the covers to feel my surroundings. I moved my hand with caution. The bed was quite large compared to what I had known. 

Then, before I was able to fully extend my arm, my hand touched another object under the covers. Startled, I drew my hand back. 

I felt slightly embarrassed, but also curious. I carefully reached my hand back out and touched the object with my finger. I was shocked to feel a sudden rush of joy flood to it. I laughed silently to myself for both my excitement and my lack of poise. 

I allowed the rest of my hand to press against the object, and I discovered that the object was breathing softly. The object was not an object, but a living thing. 

I began moving my hand across the body of the living thing, and quickly found the spine and shoulder blades of a human. I also found long, curly hair descending from the head. 

The body belonged to a woman. 

I let go of the long, silent breath I had been holding in my lungs. I was lucky to have been lying down. If I had been standing, my body would have given way from pleasure. 

I continued to move my hand along the woman’s back, but found that an unseen force was pulling me, beckoning me closer. I slowly moved my body nearer to the woman’s and slowly wrapped my arm around her abdomen. I then found myself nestling my forehead into the back of her neck. The woman smelled sweet. 

I felt stirring come from the woman, and I tensed. However, the woman simply placed her hand on my arm and pulled my body closer to hers. As I had been rubbing her back, she was now rubbing my arm. I relaxed my body. 

I woke again to the bitter cold. I began to sob. 

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