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14th December
2012
posted by amber

The canyon was dark and not at all appealing. But I had to go in there.

To emphasize this fact, a tinny voice spoke into my ear. “Enter the canyon.”

So I shrugged the heavy backpack into a marginally more comfortable spot on my shoulders, and began to trudge through the freezing water. Before long the creek was above my knees, but I carried on. The kidnappers wouldn’t have sent me into life-threatening danger, at least until they got their ransom.

The sun was setting and the high walls of the canyon cast black shadows across the water and the huge boulders crowded beside and within the water course. I turned on my headlamp and continued to scramble toward I knew not what.

I hoped it would be Jennine and I wondered how she was feeling about at last entering my world, the world of stone and obstacle and unforgiving challenge. Her world was the world of malls and theatre and endless swiping of her credit cards. She was probably afraid that I wasn’t going to come, that I’d be happier without her, happier with some other woman who enjoyed what I enjoyed. And there were many women like that, one in particular now and many in the past.

But I could never abandon the mother of my children to the criminals’ promised revenge. I’d pay anything to get her back, then we both could resume the life we’d forged into an acceptable mutual compromise.

The roar of a waterfall came from around the next bend. As I pushed up the canyon against the creek’s increased flow, a sudden light from above startled me. Looking up, I saw Jennine, dangling from a rope. I had a moment of black panic until I saw that she was wearing a harness.

“Jennine!” I yelled.

“Just give him the money!” she called down to me, her eyes wide with fear.

A man stepped from behind a large stone, reaching for my backpack. I struggled out of it as quickly as I could. He clipped it to a carabineer at his waist, then tugged at a rope above his head. As he rose upwards, I shouted, “Give me my wife! Give me Jennine!”

But she was rising too, smiling at me. She didn’t look afraid any longer.

1 Comment

  1. 16/12/2012

    Clever, Amber. How you can come up with these snappy trick endings in so few words…I babble along for thousands without achieving anything so adroit. But then you’ve paid your dues and I haven’t.

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