An original fiction, featuring a young man, inspired by his great grandfather's free-spirit and bravery, endures a life-risking journey that his great grandfather was unable to complete. He sets off to avenge the death of his great grandfather but is faced with a serious problem.
It had always been a dream of mine to conquer the great Mount Everest. Ever since I was seven years old, I knew that was what I wanted to do before I died. Doing this meant so much to me because it was the last thing my great grandfather did. I knew there would be challenges along the way, but I had no idea what treacherous events lay ahead of me.
My great grandfather's name was Henry. My parents told me that I met him, but it was when I was just a baby. So, I didn't know him personally. Although, I have seen pictures of him. He was six foot two inches tall with a smile that glistened like diamonds. His hair was a deep black with a dusting of old age. My mother always said that I have his "Pretty blue eyes".
I remember the stories that were passed down about Henry. Stories like how he was always on the move to different countries and doing fun and amazing things. How he wasn't afraid of anything and was willing to do everything. He had always had great health and a brave soul. There is one story that I will never forget about that man. It is the story of my great grandfather climbing Mount Everest. Unfortunately, the story ends with that mountain taking my great grandfather's life during an unexpected avalanche. Henry's great efforts and incomplete mission inspired me to climb Mount Everest.
Growing up, all I did was talk about that mountain. After seeing my strong passion, my parents decided to create what they called, "The Everest Fund". They saved up money for most of my life for me to one day fulfill my dream. After many years of anticipation and saving enough money, it was finally time for me to finish what my great grandfather could not. Before I knew it, I had landed at Tenzing-Hillary Airport on the Everest Base Camp in Nepal, the closest airport to Mount Everest.
It was late when I arrived, and I was exhausted from the international flight. I retrieved my bags and eventually made it to my hotel room. I spent the next couple of days getting much-needed rest and making sure I ate enough and stayed hydrated.
After impatiently waiting, the day had finally come. I was face-to-face with the very thing I longed for and I was ready to conquer it. As I stood at the base of the mountain, I thought to myself, "This may be the very same spot where Henry started his ascension". I was with a group of seven other ambitious climbers and my "heart of stone" tour guide. He had a long beard that waved in the wind as if it were wishing farewell to our safe and secure level ground, that we would soon abandon. We began our hike up the south side of the world's tallest mountain. The icy ground made muffled crunching sounds as we trekked through it. I remember looking around me and seeing miles upon miles of the beautiful snow-covered landscape. Along the way, I would think about many things. One of which was how I would make the younger me so proud if he could see me now.
While hiking the unforgiving wet trails and being pelted with small pieces of ice that were being thrown by the whirling wind, my group and I came upon a problem. We heard crashing sounds in the distance above us that I could not identify. I looked to my left where my tour guide stood. He had stopped walking and had his hand to his ear. He was listening to the unknown sound. We all stood there in the seven-degree weather waiting for further instruction. My breaths grew heavier as the suspense thickened. After a few seconds, he quickly turned and faced the group. In a deep and alarming voice, he said the words that no climber ever wants to hear. "It's an avalanche!". We all looked up and could not see anything due to the heavy low-hanging clouds. I thought to myself, "We are a couple of days away from base camp. There's no way of running from this". The sound grew louder as the murderous killer was on its way toward us. Our guide quickly pulled out his radio that transmitted to our base camp. With a voice that was calm and collected, he told the safety team our altitude on the mountain. With fear and regret beaming from his eyes he yelled, "Run to those trees!" I remembered what to do from the survival class I took before climbing. Clouds of steam rushed from our lungs as we shuffled through the gripping snow. I looked to my right and there it was. It was like a wall coming right to us. We made it to the trees just in time. At least, that's what I thought.
The awful sound had ceased. I had one arm wrapped around a pine tree for support and the other was sticking out of the snow. I had snow up to my chin but remembered to stay calm. I was stuck there for roughly 4 hours. I had lost feeling in my legs and fingertips and my arms were following suit. The chattering from my teeth sounded like machine guns. The whole time, I tried calling out to my group but got no response.
In the distance, I heard another noise approaching me. I prayed that it wasn't another avalanche. The overhead sound was approaching from the south side of the mountain and got closer with every prayer that I made. To my delight, it was the safety team that my guide had called! I used my surfaced hand to flag the helicopter. I still wonder how they saw my barely-visible body. They were unable to land due to the steepness and uncertainty of the mountain. A long ladder made of rope and frosted metal was lowered to where I was held captive. I managed to grab it and was freed from the jaws of the packed snow.
After the lifesaving helicopter ride, I made it back to my base camp. I was checked by a paramedic and he gave me the "All clear". I later got the news that I was the only survivor of my group. A feeling that chilled me to the bones consumed my body. I was devastated. The only thing that I could think about was my great grandfather. "Was it him that protected me or was it just by chance?". I like to think it was him. Although I didn't reach the peak, I did my best and I know that Henry would be proud of me.