scaling rock walls

You know, people love to say that opposites attract. And maybe that’s why I tried so hard to make us work. The girl who measures two teaspoons of sugar to put in her tea and the boy with calloused palms, climbing every mountain he can because he likes the way the stars look when nothing is in their way. Frothy milk and adrenaline. We looked like idiots together. You at my charity dinners in a poorly tailored sport coat. Five o'clock shadow. Bad jokes. And me scaling the rock climbing wall with slippery hands. Two feet above ground. A loose cotton dress. But laughing. Both of us always laughing. At me and you and this stupid world for working in a way that let the two of us need each other so desperately. Opposites. You’re damn right they attract. But attraction and commitment were never the same thing. Maybe you always knew that. And that’s why you laughed. Because you knew that one day, your girl would stand on Everest. Scream to the stars. Drink her coffee black. But me, I’m still learning. Learning as you tell we want different things. Learning when you drop off every piece of myself I’ve left at your place, nothing folded, the toothbrush tangled with hairs. Learning while I sit here writing about the boy who bounced from cliff tops to see the stars and the girl whose feet never left the ground, whose eyes only ever knew how to watch him walk into clouds and disappear altogether.
—  excerpt from a book I’ll never write

Artemis, wondrous goddess of the forest,
I call upon you, sweet huntress!
I beckon you to this place so that I may fill my lungs with praise,
And exhale loving words meant for your divine ears.

Scaling rock walls like a spider,
Mounting great trees and hillsides,
You are a piece of the woods,
A queen of beast in disguise.
In your curly, untameable hair there sits a crown of twigs,
In your hand resides a staff made of laurel.
No path is unknown to you in those bleary forest areas,
Your kingdom is yours,
And it is beloved.

Young girls lie in your lap,
Their hair sprawled out over your knees.
You braid it, putting flowers into their locks like the huntresses do to yours.
They smile and giggle,
Holding your hands in their own,
And you sigh, knowing that you will protect these girls,
And eventually release them to Hermes.

An Archer stands at a target, their eyes smoldering.
You reach over and pull their arm back,
Tilt the bow just right,
And release as they breathe out.
The mark is found,
A perfect shot,
And they know their prayer has been answered.
They scream out praise to you,
Promising an offering,
And you grin knowing your child has succeeded.

Gracious Artemis,
I leave my love for you at your feet.
May we be brought together by offerings each day,
And build kharis over the years.
I shall remember you in another song, too.

— 

Amarantos Argyris 

Hymn to Artemis 

2

“You really think Josh can make that climb in his state?” Mike asked Sam who had just suggested scaling the rock wall to get out of the mine. “Alright, then (y/n) and I’ll go and we’ll meet with the two of you back at the cabin.” Sam said. 

“No, I’m not leaving Josh. I’ll go back with him through the mines, Mike you can go with Sam up the wall.” You said as you tightened your grip on Josh’s hand. “Don’t be stupid (y/n) go back with her, I don’t want you getting hurt because of me.” Josh said as he tried to get free from your grip. “Listen to him (y/n). I’ll get him back to the cabin safely.” Mike added. You glared at both of them. “Freedom of choice, I’m staying here so you’re just going to have to put up with me. Mike you can go with Sam or with us, I don’t care.” You said before grabbing Josh’s hand and pulling him out of the small cavern. 

“You don’t have to do this. You’re putting yourself at risk because of me. I just don’t want you to get hurt.” He said. “Josh, I’m not leaving you again, Mike doesn’t know how to take care of you like I do. I want  to stay here with you, I’m going to make sure you’re safe.” You said as you stopped in front of the lake. 

“Why? I don’t deserve you.” He said. “Josh, I love you, after all the time it took for me to realize it I’m not going to abandon you. I can’t lose you. I don’t care if you’re sick, I don’t care if you don’t think you deserve me or not, I love you.” You said placing a gentle kiss on his lips. 

“So, we getting out of here or what?” Mike asked as he walked out of the room. “Alright, come on.” You said as you released Josh’s hand and lowered yourself into the water. Josh followed after and then came Mike who made his way to the front of the group and took the lead. 

Something didn’t feel right about this, it was all too easy, but then again maybe you shouldn’t tempt fate. 

You were wading in the water trying to figure out a way to tell Josh about everything that had happened since you’d woken up. Was there every really a good way to tell someone their sister and your other sister for survival? Before you could say anything Mike went under. You quickly moved Josh behind you, looking around to see where the creature would emerge from. 

“What was that?!” Josh asked worried. “Just stay calm and whatever happens don’t move until I tell you to, okay.” You ordered. You felt something grab onto your ankle, something cold with long claws and then before you could scream you were submerged in ice water. Then just as quickly as you were pulled under you were released. You gabbed a rock from the bottom of the lake hoping to attack the wendigo–not that a rock would do much good–and quickly swam back up to the surface. 

You breached the surface next to Mike who quickly got you and pulled you behind a boulder–out of the creatures sight. “Shh.” He said placing his hand over your mouth. “Where’s Josh?” You asked. “The thing took him while you were under.” He explained quietly. You heart started racing. “What?” You hissed. “No.” He grabbed you roughly by the shoulder pulling you back behind the boulder. “There’s no use in all of us dying. Let’s just say a prayer because we’re still alive and beat it.” Mike said. “No. I’m going back for him and you’re going to help me.” You told him firmly. “Fine. But what are you planning?” 
____
You pulled yourself out of the lake, heading back to where you’d just found Josh, you assumed that was where the thing would take him since that was where it’d gone the first time. Mike followed unwillingly.

He stayed behind the wooden panels–near the severed head–like you’d asked him too. Mike had his instructions, now you just hoped he’d follow them. 

You walked into the previous room cautiously, you were worried that the wendigo would see you before you could see it and you’d dead before you could be any help. 

“Hannah, Hannah, it’s Hannah, it’s Hannah….” You heard Josh’s chanting from across the cavern, he was bent down, hunched over, hands on his head, rocking back and forth. “Hey, Josh. Come on, let’s get out of here.” You said as you gently placed a hand on his shoulder. His head snapped up to look at you. “It’s Hannah.” He said looking at you through wide eyes, you knew he’d realized what you had been trying to keep from him. “No, it’s not Hannah anymore. Hannah died last year. This is something else, come on, let’s get you out of here.” You said as you offered him your hand. 

You pulled him up and the two of you walked towards the exit. You were pushed away from Josh forcefully landing on the ground a few feet away. The wendigo was standing over Josh and you quickly picked yourself up. “Hey!” You shouted capturing it’s attention. It made it’s way towards you. “Mike, now!” You shouted from behind the wendigo you saw Mike run and in pull Josh out of the room. He stayed looking at you–he didn’t want to go through with the plan. “Go!” You shouted backing away as the wendigo kept advancing. 

Mike gave you one last look, a look that was both pity and anger; he hated you for making him do this. He quickly ran off dragging Josh behind him; you could hear Josh screaming for them to turn back for you, that they couldn’t leave you and your heart hurt, you’d just realized you loved him and now you wouldn’t be able to be together. 

Your back hit the rock wall and you looked at the wendigo, maintaining eye contact. You lowered your eyes for a second to focus on the butterfly tattoo on it’s shoulder. “Hannah.” You whispered. “I’m so sorry this happened to you.” You said as a tear slid down your cheek. The creature hissed and flung you across the room. Your head hit the wall sending a loud crack echoing across the room, you weren’t able to register the pain, everything went dark and your eyes slipped shut. 

It was over.

Alright, so this could be the ending if I get lazy, I kinda like it, but tell me what you guys think. I love hearing from you!