Chapter Six

Craggy had almost turned to ice by the time next Thursday had reached. Sable stood waiting outside the coffee store; the neighbouring stores had been trashed until they were almost unrecognizable the week before. Sable and Seth had been drowning in the worry that it led. Each day they woke up wondering if they had a job to go to the next day, and the effects it took on the residents of the east had been even more draining. The lack of customers would mean the store would have to close temporarily. The streets were already lifeless before and now they had become even more like a ghost town. Windows were boarded with slates of wood and barricaded doors had become the new trend amongst the people. It was rare to pass by signs of the living or moving. People had stocked up as much as they could from the remaining grocery and corner stores to allow themselves to stay inside until they needed more. It was no way to live. Despite it all, there was Sable, waiting outside the store for a privileged girl from the outside world. He had filled two flasks with coffee and conversed with Seth just minutes before, who wished him luck for his date, which finally made Sable laugh, genuinely for the first time in a while. Could he call it that?

He had attempted to try in his appearance that day. Maybe he was already subconsciously calling it that, a date, though he wasn’t sure if she concluded the same. He had put on his favourite yellow jacket and it’s hood was up, covering most of the black woollen hat he had on top of his head. At least it helped in concealing the moth bites it had been accumulating over the year. He was wearing black trouser pants which he had purchased from the little choice of clothing stores the East had. To cover his torso, he wore a thick pine green cotton jumper with a long verdant scarf twirled around his neck and his rucksack was firmly under his arms to stay in place on his back. He held the flasks of coffee tightly in his hands to contain some warmth in them, he could see the heat of his breath as he breathed exiting his mouth and nose like a dragon breathing fire. He had waited around five minutes for Prue until he saw her darting towards him, with caution as the hail had developed thick on the ground like ice.

She was wearing a dense fur coat patterned like a husky and long white and grey snow boots to match. She boasted a thick, oversized, black turtleneck sweater and a grand white and grey striped scarf was draped loosely around her neck. Her black trousers were tucked into the top of her boots and a black leather handbag fell across her shoulder down to her thigh.

As soon as she reached him, he greeted her and extended a hand to present her a flask of the coffee.

“Are you ready to adventure?” He asked.

She nodded eagerly and grinned, the cold air making her teeth sensitive.

“Yes! Are you?”

He inclined his head in agreement and smiled. They turning towards the mountains together, their coats creating gentle frictions against each other as they ventured.

Sable lead her to the right side of the old, steep, glacial mountain, usually he routed down from the left but he was embarrassed to walk past his feeble home with her, even if she would be none the wiser that he was its humble inhabitant.

The winds were howling ferociously as they clambered cautiously upwards, the weightless weight of it pushing them backwards, perhaps it’s whistling whines were telling them to turn backwards. Still, they pushed onwards. The air was cold and frosty, the rain was gushing down onto them heavier than before. Prue wished she had her trusty wind wipers to help her see clearly through its fog. Halfway through they decided to take a short break. The ground was forming deep puddles but as their clothes were already soaked through, they sat down besides each other where the mountain lay flat and level, shivering and rubbing their wet hands together though its friction didn’t do much to warm them.

“It’s cold,” Prue exclaimed in-between short breaths.

Sable nodded in agreement, “would you like my jacket?” He asked though truthfully reluctant to.

She shook her head no, but she scooted closer towards him to feel the heat radiating from underneath his coat. He placed an arm gently around her and rubbed her shoulder.

“We can create more heat from our body warmth,” She explained though she didn’t need to. He wanted her there, close to him.

He nodded and held her tighter.

“Maybe we should make our way back down now, before you catch your death,” he suggested jokingly. She looked up at him defiantly and shook her head firmly no.

“I want to reach the top,” she told him definatly.

He sighed; it wasn’t the responsible thing to do but it was hard to say no looking into her hazel puppy dog eyes.

They sat in silence for a while, looking down at the efforts they already made. She had moved her head into his shoulder, and he had placed his head down onto hers so she could feel his wet hair brushing against her forehead.

“Are you ready?” She asked after some time.

He wasn’t. It was cold and wet, and he could feel the ice forming crystals in his veins, but it wasn’t what made him hesitate, he wanted to stay there, where he could smell the washed-up smell of her perfume and shampoo, Sable wanted to stay there with her just a little while longer.

“Yes," he lied, moving his arm away from her. He was glad it was raining in ways because he knew his palms were also wet from a nervous sweat. He wiped his hands pointlessly down on his knees and he got up to his feet. She too clambered up towards him and they twisted round to continue their adventure. Suddenly, Prue shrieked loudly. Her feet were unable to catch a grip on the slippery surface and she fell backwards landing sharp onto her elbows, a loud thud following her.

“Ouch!” She yellled. The winds were loud enough to muffle her sound.

Sable turned back hastily; eyes drawn down to her sprawled out on the floor. He extended a hand to help her, and she placed hers into his as he supported her back up onto her feet. Her jacket had scuffed causing a hole at one elbow and she could feel the heat of blood trickling down below it.

“We should really turn back,” he suggested once again.

Still, she shook her head, no, still defiant; “I’m fine,” she assured though it was the least convincing that it was the right thing to do.

He wavered for a moment. They should really turn back he fought with himself. It would be even worse on the way back down. Prue had already started moving upwards away from him. He walked quickly but carefully to reach her side.

“Fine," he spoke, “we’ll go but lean onto me,” he reasoned with her.

She chuckled gently at him; she didn’t want to be thought of as a small, helpless, weak kitten but she also liked the feeling that came with being close to him. She intertwined her arm into his and fought together onwards, up the mountain.

“When was the last time you came up here?” She asked loudly, trying to overtake the noise of the wind. He looked down at her, the hood from her jacket had flown off from on top of her head exposing her woollen hat with a big fluffy pompom on top.

He thought for a moment what was best to say.

“Not that long ago,” he answered, trying to sway as close to the truth as possible.

“I bet the weather wasn’t this bad,” she joked and laughed loudly. He laughed nervously back. In some ways she was right, the weather was getting far worse the closer they reached the top. He thought it was even more reason to turn back but her courageous energy was overpowering. Somehow, he too wanted to reach the top of it desperately, at least he would share the special moment with her as she got there. He predicted it would be around another forty-five minutes before they got to the top but, the weather didn’t seem as fierce and frightening with her warmth radiating besides him.

Close to as Sable had estimated, almost an hour later they had scaled to the beastly mountains peak. Prue raised her arms upwards slowly and yelled a childish “Yippee!” Sable beamed brightly at her, proud of her moment too. “I can’t believe we’ve made it!” She continued.

“Yeah,” he agreed. “that was really something.” He felt pleased with himself too, even though he had been there many times before. The harsh weather had to be an extra achievement though.

“So, how do we get down now?” She teased jokingly, the grin on her face still firmly stuck there.

He laughed, though he scratched his head. He wasn’t entirely sure how to get back down there safely. The way back down was extremely perpendicular, the rain had formed together and was flowing downwards like a small river finding its way into a tunnel. He wished he had some mountain climbing equipment, he knew getting down to safety without them would take much time, care, and vigilance. Luckily, she didn’t seem too concerned about finding her way back too quickly. She had pulled her phone from out her pocket, enclosed in a see-through waterproof bag, and took a photo of down below, which displayed a magnificent view of the whole of Craggy. Then after placing it back into her pocket she had perched herself on top of a flat rock nearby the edge.

He watched her actions quizzically, dumbfounded by just how courageous and naive she was, maybe it could be mistaken for a slight case of craziness. He guessed he was crazy too then, as he roosted beside her. She found her way back into place, in-between his neck and shoulder as they watched the heavenly sight together. Instantaneously she gazed up at him, a better vision sat right beside her. The rainfall was forming their own rivers onto his face, flowing from his hair and forehead, down into his full plump mouth. She couldn’t help but think this moment right then was perfect. Finally, he felt her breath creeping timidly onto the skin beneath his chin and he looked down, so their eyes connected, boosting their adrenaline rush from the climb. He wanted to taste the downpour from in-between her lips and he moved his head in closer, drawn to them, until suddenly a loud, manly holler brought them back to reality.

“Well, well, well. What do we have here then?”

Chapter Seven

The pair had disappeared into the mountain almost forty-five minutes before Jock unwillingly decided to follow them up there. He couldn’t comprehend the fascination Prudence had over that low life, how could she be so crazy to go up there in these insane weather conditions with him? He would have to save her from his grasp and cajole some sense into her. A girl cut from a delicate, first-class silk cloth as fine as hers shouldn’t mix in with old, stained, haggardly rags like him.

He trampled upwards through the many trees that entranced the mountain, the wind slamming forcefully and relentlessly across his broad shoulders. His varsity jacket was a feeble defendant to it, he could feel the cold rain seeping through to his skin. He thought that he should’ve dressed smarter, though he had no idea what would become of the day, when he got into his car that morning. He lived across the street from Prue and when he noticed she hadn’t left her house at her usual time to leave for work, he cancelled his plans to watch curiously at her house through his curtained window. Around eleven in the morning he saw her depart, entering her car with a hopeful smile and exiting her driveway. He followed behind, as quickly as he could, dressed in dark ripped jeans and a tan flannel button up shirt. Flinging his favourite lucky, lime green jacket on as he left his house.

Begrudgingly he had ended up there, fighting through the deadly winds on a slippery wet mountain, regretting that he hadn’t flung on an insulated boiler suit instead. He paid attention to his footing as he searched in anguish for the two. Getting to the top would take a lot of hard work and, he didn’t think it possible that they would be that brainless to go that much further up. It would be reckless to do so in these conditions but as he climbed nearer and nearer to the summit, he realized that the store clerk must be even less intelligent than he already seemed. ‘Coffee bean for a brain’ he thought as he continued upwards along the path.


Once he reached the crown of the stone massif, he gaped round with large, expressive sways of his head. He was completely at a loss for breath, but he was a man on a mission, and he was dedicated in finding Prudence. He indulged a split moment to catch his breath, hands placed palm down onto his knees as he arched his back over. He looked up, still in the exact same position, when he finally spied the couple- or that’s what it looked like- sat close together on a colossal stone slab. Jock felt the anger coursing through his bones, overtaking the blood they settled in, he had just paraded up this vast, worthless mountain to be greeted not with a warm welcome, but with a knife jammed deeply into his bowed spine. He got up quickly, pacing over towards them, bravado fuelling his dramatic movements.

“Well, well, well. What have we got here then?” He hollered wildly.

The twosome looked up over at him, fear combining with the shivers from the cold.

No words could escape their mouths, they just gawped, open-mouthed, over at him which only fuelled his frustrations further, he could feel a vein protruding outward from in-between his brows. He tromped closer towards them, it felt genuinely possible that the mountains could have shaken and split into two with each of his hard angry thuds as he got closer.

As soon as he reached them, he gripped onto Sable’s soaked through, lemon jacket, clasping the material so firm into his fist that the dampness wringed out of it and Sable was tugged upright onto his feet.

“What is this?” He yelled savagely, so loud that it pierced into his throat and spit mixed in with the rain onto Sable’s face.

Prue had begun to scream too; shock had stuck her firmly in place as if the rain had turned to a thick pool of superglue and she had turned to nothing but a hopeless bystander.

Not a sound could escape from Sable’s mouth and in response to the silence, Jock began beating down onto his face with his spare left hand.

This finally sent Prue springing into action as she hurried to her feet to try to place herself in-between the two.

“Jock would you please just stop it!” She screamed trying to pull Sable backwards, out from his grip. Jock had stopped momentarily to look at her, his anger directed towards her now too. His demonic snarl shook her core.

“What is this, Prudence?” He asked her again, foam spraying from his mouth like a hydrophobic dog.

She was way beyond startled, she couldn’t make sense of anything that was occurring. Not long ago she felt on top of the world, an unbeaten champion and now she had turned so quickly into that poor, hopeless kitten that she was so opposed to being. She didn’t know what to do or what to say. She just wanted to be back at home where it was warm and safe, with a cup of steaming coffee and a great novel to escape into.

It was impossible to retreat from this moment, as Jock had started slamming his fist ferociously down into Sable again until his body thud heavily onto the floor.

“Get up!” Jock demanded as he kicked his foot hard into Sable’s ribs.

“Would you just stop it!” Prue shrieked in panic.

The fear and desperateness of her cries had snapped Jock out of whatever demonic possession that had overtook him a moment ago.

“Would you come back home now Prudence? it’s not safe here,” he asked her, too sweetly, as if he hadn’t just pummelled someone’s face into the ground.

“Are you crazy?” She retorted “home, with you? No! Just leave us alone. It’s not safe here with you."

Her words enraged him, and the crazed look took over his face once more. She sprang into action at the sight of it, standing behind him to grip stiffly onto his shoulders, trying to pull him up off the unrecognizable man lying underneath him on the hard cold floor. As though her touch had repented the evil spirit out from his soul, he moved up off him to genuflect before her.

“Look Prudence,” he started his attempt to defend himself. “It’s dangerous up here, this knuckle head should’ve known,” he finished.

“You’re what’s dangerous,” she hissed back, throwing a fist into his muscular chest she began yelling. “What have you done?” She cried as she crouched down to kneel besides Sable’s barely conscious body.

His hair had become matted, the puddle beneath him stained a faint pink tinge, from the blood that had escaped from the pores on his face. She patted on his face lightly with the palm of her hand until finally he came to, and his eyes blinked open. He rolled onto his side into the recovery position, as he whined from the bruises that had started to develop under the skin of his torso.

“Get up, please Sable,” she begged anxiously. “We need to go home. Now.” Prue had continued to plead.

Sable groaned out in pain, trying to find his way back up to his feet, his hand clenched tightly round hers for support.

“Are you serious?” Jock yelled as Sable reached as close as he possibly could to stability on his feet.

“Prudence we’re going home, without him," he shouted, moving closer towards them.

“No!” She shrieked, an earth stopping shriek, hot tears misted her eyes as she held out an arm towards him to keep him backwards.

Jock stomped closer, not a feeling of animosity in his bones. He hurled himself towards Sable, who had an arm around Prue’s shoulder, leaning his weight against her. Prue was no match for the untamed creature that towered in front of them. The vulture pulled on Sable’s spare arm with a hard tug, Sable’s body moving halfway back to the floor from the action.

“Would you just leave him alone?” Prue desperately beseeched.

Jock laughed like a maniac and pulled Sable upwards so that there was air beneath his feet and started to drag him towards the edge of the mountains cliff. Sable fought back ferociously, as hard as he possibly could, anguished to save himself from what he already knew was soon approaching. His painful death.

His attempts were no match to the giant muscular man as he hurled him off the mountain.

Prue squawked with terror and sheer agony as she watched Sable fall out of sight down the mountain. She ran to its edge to look down at what had become of him, maybe something miraculous had occurred and he would be there, smiling into her eyes the way he did just moments before, before they were suddenly intruded on, but there was no body in sight. Nothing but rocks and the rain.

She yelled out at Jock, her words barely understandable, the sound from the thudding of her heightened heart rate was more noticeable. She did not believe this could be happening; she believed this could not be actuality. She pushed herself into Jock, the incomprehensible words still spilling out from her cracked trachea. He tried containing her and her anger, but she slid back on her foot, twisting it as she fell backwards. Her hair was dangling down the edge of the summit and as she turned on her side, she could see the exact vision her date had just seen, moments before. Jock offered his hand out to help her, but she spat at him.

“I don’t need your help! You murderer!”

With force, she pushed herself upwards with her hands, but her palms felt no grip from the sunken puddle she had just laid in. As she started to move up from her all fours, she felt her foot slipping, the squelching sound that came from her boot sliding on the rocks accompanied. The simple, quiet sound rang through her ears.

She failed to find her strength and stability to balance herself, she slipped forwards and dropped down from off the mountain. She was already dead before she reached the ground.