Stories

Averbroke Mountain (Time Glitch Shuffle) – Jai Knight

As the sun breaks over Averbroke a lone figure slopes away from the wagon circle.
The towering mountain dwarfs the grassy plains and their grazing herds.
Sun shines, speckled, azure sky.

I arrive back at our barn.
My brothers have been keeping themselves amused by repeating the same kind of day for the last three days.
Brawling and roughhousing. Filling the latrine with overflow.
The scene had evidently got ugly. V ugly.

Now they are still at slumber. I take my washcloth and head to the river to bathe.

It skipped.

Remembering those once quiet breakfasts beneath the mountain.
Red and Bethany swim, foraged seafoods in their nets.
Blue stokes the fire and I watch from the hill.
This blade feels cold strapped to my thigh.

Red and Bethany have blades too.
I must be aware of that.
I see them approach.
2 swimmers
2 waders 
2 walkers

and it skips.

Averbroke Woods.
Morning sunlight glints on the forest outskirts and trails into the deep woods.

Our Cut Throat Crew holds a strong hideaway post, secluded and cool in the shade.
There is no other living species of note here except for the rabbits and fowls we hunt.
This is the only mountain pathway to and from the ocean, it’s very wild and supposedly haunted. Most travellers avoid it.
If a robbable vehicle does pass through The Spotter will unleash a signal bird, then it’s action stations!

We are a simple-minded and mischievous lot.
A motley looking collective who would seem almost inhuman in “norm” society.
Of course, soon we will split and dissolve.
I wake twitching.
The dogs are roused and shushed to keep quiet as we make our way on foot to the traps.

It skips.

Packing heat.
Male escort runaways.
A.M.

All the other escorts follow heathen gods that I’m not in anyway interested in being a part of. I don’t understand their mumblings.
I do understand though, that they are routinely casting spells throughout the day.
In truth, I don’t want to acknowledge to myself the dark arts of my company.

Eventually we make it to the end of Fang Point Pass.
Past Averbroke’s dangerous drops and past the imposing metal screens, jutting out from the midsection of the mountain.
Further on up and the wind whistles hard. 
Our breathing apparatus automatically adjust to the amount of oxygen needed.

Then it skips.

Hillside Mountain Lodge. End of the evening shift.
Packing his work clothes into his bag, Gael heads and waits.
Luca arrives 02:48 minutes later.
I jump into the car. A slow beat is playing.
“Hey. You all good bro?” Luca says.
I nod, put the bag on my knees, “Am now.” I say. “You good?”
Luca drops Gael off at his building.

It skips again.