A New Beginning

Prompt: Write a scene inspired by the colour yellow.

The sun beats down on our backs as we trek up the mountain. My legs ache and each breath seems harder to catch, but we must press on. We don’t have a choice.

My mother is growing frail with each passing year, but she is the most enthusiastic of all of us, apart from my youngest nephew. She’s the only one who remembers winter. The rest of us have been raised in the dark, on stories of cool weather and snow and storms. But she lived before the Great Summer began, and she misses the cold.

It was her idea to trek up the mountain.

She claims that at the top, whether it’s summer or winter, there’s snow. She says she    hates the dark, humid, underground city we call home, and if she dies, she’ll die surrounded by snow.

“We’re getting close,” my mother calls from ahead.

“How can you tell?” asks my sister. She looks exhausted. We all do. We haven’t been exposed to this much sun in… well, ever.

My mother turns back, and she looks more excited than I’ve ever seen her. Her eyes sparkle and she extends her arms wide. “I can feel it in the air,” she breathes. “It’s getting cooler.”

“What will that do about the sun?” my brother-in-law grumbles. He’s dripping with sweat.

“The sun won’t feel so hot when the air is cold.”

He looks skeptical, but we press on.

I’m not sure the exact moment I feel the change, but all of a sudden, it’s different. I no longer feel the sun, warming my skin. Air passes through my hair, sending it flying into my face. My skin prickles and I gasp.

My mother laughs, delighted. “Wind!” she cries. “I forgot how much I loved the wind!”

My nephew giggles as she takes his tiny hand and begins running. I glance at my sister and her husband, then take off after them. 

We run. All of us, all together, taking step after step, breath after breath, until the wind seems to be carrying us to the peak. Up here, I can almost forget the dry discomfort of heat. It’s freeing; the feeling of cold, the way my lungs struggle to adjust, the dimming ache of my legs. 

When we reach the top, it’s brighter and greener than anything I’ve seen before. the whole world stretches out below us, cracked like our lips and parched like our throats. But around us, trees stretch up to the sky and what I assume must be frost gathers on the leaves and grass blades. My mother has an unending smile on her face and tears in her eyes. “I never want to go back,” she whispers. 

My sister and her husband stand, hand-in-hand, staring not below, at our past, but all around us, to our future. My nephew is unusually silent, taking everything in. 

“Why would we?” I ask softly. “This is perfect.”

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