“I am scared!”
“We are both scared, but we must do this!”
The rope around Ayasha tightened as the prisoner climbing in front of her had reached the rope’s limit.
“You must go, Ayasha!” Namid pleaded.
Ayasha touched the rock wall with her fingers, searching for a finger hold. Finally, she stepped out onto the rock wall, her legs shaking. She took a step, hesitated, and then took another step.
“Good, Ayasha! See how easy it is!” Namid said, praising the small girl. “I am right behind you!”
Ayasha took several more steps up the rock wall with Namid climbing closely behind her. Ayasha was almost to the top of the rock wall when she glanced over to her right and spied Chindi, the monstrous waterfall. Ayasha’s muscles froze on the rock wall, under the captivating spell of the waterfall.
This rock climbing event in the book came from my personal experience of rock climbing in college. Even though I was severely scared of high places in college and still do not like high places, I let a group of friends in college convince me to technical rock climb with them. That's one way of getting over your fear of something - a direct attack. Over the course of two years of climbing, I thought I had cured my fear of heights.
On one particular climb, my friend and I climbed up a vertical crack in the granite rock face to about one hundred feet above the ground. There, the vertical crack disappeared and directly above us the rock face overhung like a massive granite ceiling. We knew we were not skilled enough to climb the overhang and the only way out of the predicament was to find a way around the overhang. To our right was a steep featureless rock wall that wrapped around the side of the overhang. This was our only chance. Our dilemma was that this rock wall was as smooth as glass with only a few small rock crystals to put our boots or fingers on and there was no way to protect ourselves against a long fall (we did not bring any rock bolts on the climb). Climbing across the rock wall and slipping meant a very long free fall for one of us.
Figure three above is what I envisioned the river looked like from the rock wall that Ayasha and Namid climbed in the above passage from SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL. This is not exactly a reassuring sight, even if you are not the one climbing it.
I hope you read SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL and share your thoughts and comments with me and others. SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL and the rest of the TRILOGY are available in paperback and e book at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and many other booksellers.
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