Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta snow. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta snow. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 30 de agosto de 2016

A single moment

   The very next day, the garden was covered with a very fine layer of snow covering everything. The most beautiful flowers and the largest plants were all covered in white, giving everything a “frozen in time” appearance. The house inhabitants had never seen snow, so when the first workers saw it that morning, they didn’t really know what to think. The low temperatures that winter were something they had never seen either so it was a very particular season for everyone.

 The first person to see the garden covered in snow was Mrs. Ross, the cook of the house. She had been living there for so many years but had never seen anything quite like that. She was so surprised that breakfast that morning was not ready on time and some people and the family had to wait or go hungry for a couple of extra hours.

As curious as everyone was for what was happening, every person coming late to work, showing up minutes later for a date or simply not coming because they had seen snow, were all excused as if it was the most normal thing. The snowfall lasted for about a week and then it disappeared. People were very disappointed when snow melted and everything they had thought was so magical was now covered in this very thick layer of mud that was nowhere near as attractive as snow. People returned to their normal lives and the winter experience was soon a thing of stories.

 The house were the garden had been covered suffered severe transformations between the first snowfall ever and the following one, which took place fifty years later. Some of the people that had seen it the first time as kids were still alive and they didn’t get tired of telling the story once and again, as if people were not living through it. It was possibly because of the excitement and because not a lot of things happened around there.

 The garden of the house was still there but the place was no longer a private place. It had been converted not so long ago into a museum after the family that had lived there for generations had decided to sell to the best bidder because every single part of their business, now related to the technology industry, was located nowadays in the city and having such a grand state in the countryside was very expensive to maintain.

 So the building had become a place where people could learn about the past but also where they could remember and experience in a very special way the two times snow had fallen in the region. There were pictures and poems and various others artistic manifestations, remembering what had happened in a variety of ways.

 There was even a picture of the cook that had been the first one to see snow. Her descendants came for the opening day of the museum and were very happy to see their relative love forever in such a fabulous space. More pictures, drawings and so on were placed all over the house, which had been decorated in a way it had never probably been decorated before. The museum had disguised the house as something it wasn’t, trying to get more and more people to come and enjoy the place.

 Soon, that wasn’t enough so they had to integrate the various areas surrounding the house, in other words the rest of the state that was still being exploited by a private company. Some parts of the land were used to grow various organic vegetables and others had fruit with the largest portion been dedicated to grapes and a small processing plant where the best grapes were chosen to be sent to another place where they were turned into a very decent wine. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t bad either.

 The people who ran the museum decided to make it all part of the daily walks around the house. They wanted to show the visitors how farming worked in the region so they also created a small petting zoo and worked with a foreign company in order to use the grapes in the farm to make their own brand of wine. Of course, the first few bottles wouldn’t be very good but with time they could end up having one of the best products because of the experts they were hiring to ensure that everything was as good as it could be.

 People really enjoyed the new additions to the museum. Now it was a more complete experience and many visitors didn’t even care to enter the museum, the enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the fields and with the animals. Various vegetables and fruits were added to the crop selection and the wine started being sold to supermarkets in the city with a very special sticker that invited everyone to witness the creation process of the beverage.

 That proved to be a very good move and visits increased once again. The bad thing was that the museum was not being visited as much as it had been before. The situation was so bad for the house as it was that they decided to make it a free entrance if you cared to buy a pass for all the rest of the attraction in the state. That helped the snowfall story become well known once again.

 The place was renamed Snowfall Fun Park and they dedicated themselves to find new ways to attract more customers each year. After the name change, they were able to convert a small yard that had only been used for maintenance into a small food court selling various foods from around the world. The place was packed daily.

 The biggest news coming from the park was the announcement that they had bought the whole neighboring terrain, which was almost as large as the one they were operating in currently. They would use all that land to build an area for rides and overall entertainment. Every single thing would be themed around snow and winter sports. The main attraction would be a huge roller coaster named the Yeti, which had almost no relation with the region except for the fact that those fantastic creatures allegedly lived in the snow.

 The construction of that area was halted when they discovered some bones and rock alignments that seemed to be very interesting to the scientific community. As it turns out, it had been forgotten that the area had been the place for the old homes of the main house workers were located. The famous cook had lived right there and it was her bones that the machines almost crushed to dust.

 When her DNA was picked up from them, traditionalists in the region were appalled that such a beloved person would have been died in a place no one knew about and now they had discovered she had never been properly buried anywhere. Many signed a petition to have her remains be buried in the garden of the main house, as a gesture of respect to her legacy and the lives of all the other workers and farmers of the region.  After all, she had been a very humble woman, not wealthy or anything like that.

 Some even argued that the remains of the houses should not be moved and should be integrated in the project, in order to bring back the main interest why people would go to that place. The company that operated the park was at first very reluctant to make any changes because of the investors but they eventually saw a way they could win with it.

 The excavations of the remains of the houses were left alone. The design of the roller coaster was changed in order to not have any negative effects over any of the older structures in the park. Every other building stayed the same as in the original expansion plans except for an area where they would have meet and greets with actual farmers and have classes for interested visitors. That was moved to the farm area in order to surround the exaction area with a low fence and feature it as an attraction.

 Five years later, the third snowfall was registered in the region. It had been so many years since the last one that people were happy to have their museum in order to remember the story. Parties and festivals were organized and the legacy of a single moment in history kept on living on the minds and hearts of the people.

martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015

The frozen forest

   Blood slowly dripped from the top of the tallest tree surrounding the clearing. It glistened again the moonlight and didn’t stop until it hit the frozen forest soil. Something had happened up there, something that no creature in the forest was willing to explain or understand. The blood on the tree froze and remained there forever, working as reminder to every single creature to be very careful on this part of the world.

 A long time after that, a woman dedicated to washing the clothes of others got lost in the forest. She had been washing sheets and dirty underwear in the cold water of the river but she had lost her way because of the snow, that had begun to fall very slowly, changing every single aspect of the forest in the process.

 Unknown to the woman, she was being watched by various creatures but not because they wanted her out of because they feared her. They just wanted her to leave forever and never return. They knew that the frozen trail of blood on the tallest tree was from human origin and that, in simple words, meant that humans were better off very far from the forest.

 However, the laundry lady had gotten lost. She was not a young woman, rather having a lot of experience in what she did, as she had been doing it for the past thirty years, at least. It had been her mother who taught her everything “ a woman should know”. And she learned everything because women could learn so little that it was better for her to get every piece of information available, instead of suffering for what wasn’t true.

 She had dreamed, long ago, to marry a handsome man and have beautiful children and leave the rest of her days as the best housewife in town. Her little corner of the world was so peaceful and small, that she never thought thinking what she thought was asking too much. After all, every other girl had exactly the same luck, with various results but at least they got to have a proper family.

 Her name was Irene, after her mother, and no one had ever asked her to marry. She knew she wasn’t the prettiest girl in town but she was one of few girls available. And, as uncommon as it was, there were more single men in town than single women. And even so, she remained a spinster for the rest of her life. As old as she was now, she knew she wasn’t going to have any chance of having the life she had always wanted. Instead, she found herself a nice little cottage and people came over to leave their dirty laundry for her to wash. It was a simple and sad life.

 When she got lost, she didn’t really got scared. Her life was so full of the same always, that a little bit of excitement wasn’t unwelcomed. Irene had a big bag on her back, carrying everything she had been washing and realized she needed to head back fast or frost will begin to form on the wet parts of the sheets and defrosting them would be even harder inside of her house. She used her chimney fire to dry the clothes and other items but if frost was involved, it would take much longer and the payment would also take longer to reach her.

 She walked and walked, first with no worry but as the sun began to fold, she accelerated her steps. Suddenly, Irene arrived to the clearing were the tall tree stood but because of the snow, she didn’t notice the frozen blood or the large amount of birds watching her from above. She stopped walking and started yelling “Hello!” to no avail. The truth was, and she had no way of knowing it, that she had walked farther and farther away from town instead of getting closer to it.

 No one ever reached the clearing, not even in the summer. It was a private place the forest revealed only in special occasions and, apparently, Irene was special enough to get there. But that, somehow, wasn’t a good thing. Snow was pilling up and the forest was slowly getting darker. The woman, now desperate, turned around and ran into the forest but it was too late. The trees had suddenly decided to be closer that they had been before, so walking between them was now very difficult. The lack of light made it hard for Irene to see that she was slowly making a circle.

 After a while, she got back into the clearing and it was then when she dropped her bag, fell to her knees and started to cry and to beg for help. She yelled and cried very loudly in order to be heard and she actually managed to do that but that person, a hunter returning home, confused her voice with the sounds in the wind. To put it simply, he thought he had been too long out in the woods and that he needed food and the warmth of his home and family.

 Irene stopped yelling, she also stopped punching the frozen soil, which made her hands hurt because it was like punching steel. She cried but it hurt too badly so she stopped fast. She looked around and realized that, despite being night, there was some kind of light illuminating the clearing. She looked everywhere for the source and realized someone was coming. She stood up fast, thinking help was on the way.

 But it wasn’t a helping hand. It was a figure wearing a cloak, revealing no human attributes except the shape. It didn’t seem to be walking like normal people did, instead floating around, as it happened to be some sort of ghost. Irene’s hope vanished and tried to get back to the forest but everything behind her was black, she couldn’t see trees or anything else. There appeared to be a very black wall there and she just couldn’t run anywhere. Anyway, her feet were unresponsive and once she tried to walk, she fell to the ground.

 The figure then stood in front of her and appeared to wait there. It was unclear what it was waiting for, if it needed Irene to speak first or if it was there for other matters and was completely ignoring the fact that Irene was there.

 Then, the creature started to transform. It grew a bit larger and Irene could see feet and hand emerge from the bright cloak that had been floating in front of her before. As the feet touched the ground, the hands pulled back the cloak’s hood and revealed the head of a woman. In appearance, it did look like a woman but she wasn’t like Irene. The laundry lady was older, had pale skin and blue eyes. She was taller than many women and her nose was bigger too.

 The figure, or rather, the woman beneath the cloak, was smaller even as it had grown larger, had bronze skin and big hazelnut eyes. Her skin seemed to be really soft and her ears and nose were very delicate. She looked patiently at Irene, and then spoke.

      - You are alone. – She said.

Irene started crying again, but this time she didn’t care about how much it hurt to do that in a frozen forest. Slowly, she nodded to accept the spirit’s statement. She then noticed the women that had appeared before her had some sort of drawing on her faces, very subtle and beautiful.

      - You don’t have to.

And she raised one hand and offered it to Irene. The villager had no idea what to do. Something, a voice in her head, told her to hold that hand. But her inner voice, the one that was actually hers, was afraid of what might happen. She was afraid that this apparition had something to do with death and, she had known this for a while, she wasn’t ready to die.

      - I’m not ready to die.

It escaped her lips as she had thought about it. Surprisingly, the spirit kept its hand stretched towards Irene and, suddenly, she smiled. And then Irene’s hand just decided, almost by itself, to grab the hand of the spirit. Then it was all engulfed in white light and the older woman thought her moment had finally come.

 But that wasn’t the case. Irene was again at the edge of the river and it was still day. The sheets were on the bag and she had to get going. She could see the smoke of a house and knew that was the way towards the town. As she walked to her home, she wondered about the spirit and asked herself if she had dreamt the whole thing. It was only when she got home and found a person knocking on her door, that she realized she hadn’t dreamt anything.


 The girl with hazelnut eyes, bronze skin and beautiful nose, was knocking on her door.

sábado, 18 de abril de 2015

Strange Antarctica

   Someone had killed Doctor Pong. And however it was, had not cared about cleaning afterwards. The blood coming from the good doctor’s body had already frozen, formed a pretty disturbing picture for anyone who went into the storage room. He was lying there, eyes open, against the wall opposite to the door. It was windowless room and the killer had known that. It was obvious he had known where to look for the doctor, who was probably hiding, as the storage room was fool of brooms and buckets, not really what he used in his experiments.

 The strangest part of it all was the method the killer had used: an arrow. He had pointed it right between the eyebrows and had nailed just that spot. Of course, the distance was quite short so the shot may have not been that difficult to do but it looked scary all the same. The arrow was long and had pierced the skull all the way to the back, touching the wall behind the head with the metal tip. The body still had the expression of fear the doctor had experienced in his last moments and the weather helped it to get preserved for a long time, which made the job of checking the scene, much more ominous than usual.

 The crime had occurred in what it’s known as Queen Maud Land. Although Antarctica is in the practice a free land, Norway claims this portion of the continent. The mountains look like razor blades and the snow appears to be whiter than in any other part of this land. And there, in Troll station, Mr. Georg Pong had died from an arrow to the head. The media, of course, had a feast with the whole “murder on Antartica” story. And to be frank, it did seem ridiculous than someone had been so skilled to kill someone and then escape without a lot of means to do it. And they hadn’t been able to catch him or her.

 Norway’s government took almost a week to send two detectives: Nora Fröm and Erik Stavanger. They were both specialized in strange crime scenes but this one was by far the strangest one. On the boat from South Africa, both agents discussed how they were going to approach the investigation. They had seen several pictures taken by the scientist that had found Dr. Pong and they all pointed out to a chase inside and outside the complex. They were only a few buildings in the small compound so it wasn’t going to take very long.

 At arrival, they had to join a group of scientists that greeted them on to some snowmobiles. The journey to the facility was long and cold, during which the scientists discussed the real utility of being there. The man was already dead and the attackers had to be really far by now, if not dead. The government had wanted to show action but what the two detectives could actually do about the case wasn’t much. They had agreed that their prime concern would be to know everything about how it happened more than trying to actually catch someone. That was very difficult and, anyway, if they tracked the killer’s first steps, maybe they could investigate where he or she came from.

 The station was a small group of red containers overlooking the continental ice sheet. It was very small and not many people lived there during the year. The normal number was around nine but Dr. Pong had been alone the day he died. Ellie Warren, a friend and fellow scientist, was waiting there for them. She gave them a tour of the facility and led them to the storage room where the doctor’s body was still laying. She told them that no one had spent a night since the day of the events, in order to avoid contaminating the scene. Only the group that found him had touched some things but they had been kind enough to point everything out in a report.

 When entering the storage room, both Nora and Erik trembled. The man’s was looking at them, there on the frame of the door. It was strange how an empty body could seem so alive. They then started taking pictures with a special camera and asked Ellie to tell everyone they were going to comb the scene so they needed the station to be closed to any visitors. She nodded and disappeared, talking to a walkie-talkie. The duo took pictures of every single centimeter of the body. They didn’t dare to move it, afraid that the action would break the stream of frozen blood coming out of his forehead.

 It was an eerie sight, to see such brutality but at the same time, realizing how careful the killer actually was. They found no hairs around the body, nor the killer’s weapon. Only the arrow was still inside the doctor’s skull and they decided it was best to remove it only when they had finished doing everything else. The corpse was wearing the jacket normally used for the outside, so that indicated the doctor was outside when he was attacked or that he went out during a persecution. That wasn’t clear but he must have been outside at some point that day.

 When they checked the records of the day, doctor Pong had noted several things on his log. He had apparently been working on some ice sheet tubes they had extracted earlier that month from a field not very far from the station. The detectives, of course, had no idea what it all meant, but they realized he had worked on that during the day. The last thing he noted though was far more interesting than everything else: he had written, “The heating system seems to be malfunctioning. It’s freezing inside. I have to go out and check the heater”.

 The detectives put on their jackets and asked Ellie about the heather and she joined them to it. It was located in a shed outside, about ten meters from the main entrance. There, they found that the door to the shed was open but nothing else pointed to the murder. Ellie checked the heater and told them everything was ok, which they already knew because the temperature inside the station was very pleasant. When back inside, Ellie told them she had to leave because she was needed in another station but that she would be back in a few hours. She reminded the detectives that it was summer in Antarctica, so eternal daylight was the norm. She showed them a couple of bed they could sleep if they needed to. She said goodbye and left in her snowmobile.

 The duo continued the investigations but, as expected, they weren’t going anywhere with all of it. They had found hairs in the lab and other rooms but that was probably Ellie’s or some other scientist that had been there before. She explained the doctor was alone when he was killed because all the other scientists had been called to another base as a great discovery had been made and the transmission from a Russian base could only be received in the other station. He decided to stay behind for a day and just wait for them to return and tell them the news.

 After checking every single part of the base, which was the size a of a single person’s apartment, they decided to eat something. The food looked like the ones they gave to astronauts and it taste just as they expected it to taste, so they continued their work rather fast. As Nora checked the doctor’s computer, Erik checked the storage room and the body once more.

 Some hours had pass when Nora called Erik, saying she had found something. Many of the other cases they had solved were all about love and envy and how to combine that with the thirst for revenge and so on. She builds up on that and decided to look for secret folders or hidden archives in the doctor’s computer and Norma had found just that. It was an invisible folder and had only five pictures. When the couple saw them, they couldn’t help feeling surprised at them.

 Each and every one of those pictures showed a younger Ellie Warren, with longer hair and a certain glow to her, fully naked on five different poses. It was obvious she was aware of the photographer but the pictures were certainly not new as the women in the pictures looked in her twenties, or even younger, and doctor Warren was at least fifty years old. Why would Pong have those pictures in his laptop? Had he known her before she became a scientist? Was he the photographer? Both Nora and Erik were baffled at the pictures but couldn’t make sense of them. Where them even meaningful to they investigation?

 Then, an explosion was heard outside the station. Nora and Erik ran out to see the heater shed had burst into flames and some of the pieces were burning on the snow, others already freezing. Why had that happened? And then Nora grabbed Erik’s arm. She knew exactly what had happened. It was Ellie. She had been the only one of them to actually enter the shed. It had been working fine with them but it had failed when Pong had been killed. And now it had exploded.

 Their conclusion was that Ellie had done the same thing that day. They decided to check with the nearest station, where the scientists had gone to check on the news. The radio wasn’t working very well but it was confirmed Ellie had not been there with them. According to the person in charge, she had stayed behind with Pong. So there.... It had to be her. She was the killer. But why? And where was she now. The man said she wasn’t there today either.

 Nora was looking at the screen and then noticed Erik wasn’t talking. And he actually wasn’t breathing anymore. He fell to the floor, with an arrow on his head. Nora had no time to be scared as she saw Ellie holding a crossbow.


- Couldn’t leave you here with the evidence. Sorry.

miércoles, 22 de octubre de 2014

The Crossing

My family was very tired, they couldn't walk any more. We all helped putting up a bit tent beneath a rocky formation, in order to spend the night there. We had walked over twenty kilometres today and that was a lot for some of us.

Grandma was the most tired. Mom had to massage her legs for her to be able to sleep. Dad and I agreed to carry grandma on our backs if it was necessary.

Dad, mom, my sister, her husband and I decided to check the map on our mobile device, as grandma and my niece slept in a corner of the tent. According to the map, we were only a few kilometers from the border that passed over the highest peak. If we passed it, we would be safe, at least for a couple more months.

The war had suddenly erupted and, even if we recognized it or not, it was our fault. Many of us helped that mad man with our votes and now he was the only ruler. Many had been killed and he had decided to cleanse the nation of people he deemed "dangerous".

And that's what we, apparently, were. We didn't even now why but we realized it when the police raided our home and wanted to arrest us. They actually took grandpa and, in part, that was the real pain grandma was suffering. They were my father's parents. My mother's parents had been killed in the first wave of the war, as they lived in another city.

We escaped thanks to my sister's husband, a former member of the military, and now we were all on the run, trying to get to the border over the mountains. We couldn't afford any other way of escape as boats and planes had been forbidden, except for those used by the armed forces.

I turned off my phone fast. We had four phones but used only one at a time in order to preserve the batteries. The communications were cut off but somehow some of the apps still work, such as the map.

We slept on the ground, covering ourselves with a few blankets my sister's husband had stolen from the barracks. They were really warm and cozy blankets and we were all grateful for them. Still, I couldn't get any sleep, thinking of the next day. Without a doubt, it would be a very important day: we would cross the most dangerous part of the mountain and then get to a country that no one knew if it would be welcoming.

I woke everyone up at the first light of the following day. Grandma complained and my little niece was happy as some snow had fallen overnight.

We tore down our tent, we put it on the biggest backpack and started walking. Snow made our ascent mucho more slow than I had imagined. We had to pull out the blankets and cover ourselves with them as our clothes were not made for cold weather.

We didn't stop for lunch: we ate in motion, being very careful with the food as it wasn't necessary to lure animals or anyone to our position.

Sunset arrived and I checked my phone: if we walked fifteen more minutes, we would pass the border. I told everyone and insisted on walking in the dark if it was necessary: we were too close to stop now.

What I didn't expect was for the wind to be so strong and chilly, freezing our faces and bodies to the bone. Grandma fainted and we had to stop. After putting up the tent and putting the elderly woman inside, I checked my phone again. With the last remaining battery power, I could see the border was only 700 hundred meters away. The phone died. When I told the news to the others they seemed relieved and we agreed to wake up early to walk to the border and then down the mountain.

There was apparently a town nearby and that was their goal. We knew many people had fled to the neighboring nation and that it might be problem to get in as such, but that was a problem for tomorrow. Now we felt a bit more at ease and and I even slept a couple of hours before been awoken by a rumble, a horrible sound in the distance.

All the family woke up and, although we did not day, we were scared. We packed up again and started walking. The wind had calmed down and the sky seemed cloudless.

After some minutes, we finally arrived at the top, to the border. My mom gave me her phone so I could locate the town. As it was very early still and the sky wasn't properly lit, we may have seen the town from there.

A horrible sound again. But now it was a rumble but something like an engine... an airplane. We all stared at the sky and saw the shadow of a large aircraft. The first light of the day let us see what was happening: in the valley below was the town we were looking for. And the airplane was heading there but not with refugees or food. They were bombing.

We hadn't seen lights because it had been cut off. From our vantage point, we could see at least five more planes descending into the valley and drop dozens maybe hundreds of bombs. The city was on fire.

From our tiny spot in the mountain we were witnesses of an invasion, the first of many. Our future was now even bleaker.

sábado, 20 de septiembre de 2014

The Summit

They were almost there. Raul, the guide, had said it was only a hundred meters or so to the tallest point. Or so they thought he had said. Hearing wasn't an easy task, as the wind blew stronger in the altitudes Breathing was also difficult and the freezing cold made it even harder.

It was the first time any of them, except Raul, had attempted to hike such a tall mountain. It had been called Ritacuba Blanco and the name was fitting: the place was covered in a think layer of snow, that confused every sense and the mind.

Again, Raul, who was the first in the line to the top, yelled something but this time no one heard him. The wind appeared to be muting all of the members of the team on purpose, although that was obviously preposterous.

They walked another fifty meters and then they understood what Raul had said. Laura, the scientist from Pasto, fell in a crevasse and pulled everyone else into it. Luckily, Raul and Juan had their tools ready and held strongly on the white floor. Fast, the others helped Laura getting out and avoided the crevasse. Franco put a red flag by the gap on the floor, pierced the snow with all his strength.

They continued for a few minutes until they made it to the top. Raul warned them, breathing with difficulty, that they could only stay for a few minutes. As they had no oxygen tanks, staying more than necessary could mean dying there or on the way down.

There were six explorers, seven with Raul. They all sat on some rocks that overlooked the cliff, on which the tallest point was located.

Juan, as experienced as he was, took just one moment to see the scenery and then went back to Raul and started talking about the descent. It wasn't that he took it all for granted, not at all. Juan was just thinking of so many things at same time and seeing mountains from the top of another mountain didn't do anything for him. He had a wife and a baby girl to think of. At the cost of loosing what he loved most, he had to choose either a well paid job or loosing them both.

Laura, however, sat on a rock and filled her lungs with the purest air she might ever breath. It was true that oxygen was scarce, was somehow it felt cleaner and better than anything else. She loved how the mountains looked and how beautiful the world looked like this, just peaceful. It was different of what she had known her whole life, and the fact that this beautiful place existed not that far from home, was overwhelming to her.

Luis, an mature hiker with a thick beard, inhaled too but many more times, as if he defied the world. Only Raul knew that Luis was dying of cancer in the blood and this journey was a way of saying to life "you can't beat me up". The mountains and what he saw weren't as beautiful to him as the fact of having being able to do it all on his own, this last few months. He was going to die, true. But he wanted to imprint his mark on the world.

Veronica, a geology student, had come with a camera and started taking pictures as soon as they had reached the summit. She was a cheerful photographer, having documented her life and her family's life in huge amounts of pictures. Digital or analog, she didn't care. She only cared about keeping memories alive forever and this was her way of doing so. She had lost her father recently, and he had promised to go hiking with him. She wanted to take the most beautiful pictures to honor her father's memory.

Marcos and Tomás thought of each other as brothers. They admired the view, never kneeling or crouching or sitting but standing up to it, taking it all in as if it was a gift that one couldn't just let pass by. Both men, still young but already working through life, had decided to take this trip to defy their bodies and test, once more, the limits of their friendship. Marcos and Tomás were not real brothers, not relatives by blood. They had lived together from a young age as orphans, on the streets and under the care of others. But they never let each other go.

The six visitors came to the mountain, each one with a kind of mission. Some of them were successful, others not so much. But what was valuable wasn't the physical prowess as such. It was the fact that they had decided to take a challenge in order to honor something, to be true to themselves.

As they returned to the base camp, near a beautiful blue lake, their lives seemed to have improved, at least a little, even for a tiny space of time. They had learned no one defies a mountain out of courage or for the need of glory. All who do it, do it just for the urge, the need to define who they are.