Rainbow Snippets climb a mountain

A change of focus for this week’s Rainbow Snippets. This week’s snippet is from a short story, The Dark of the Sun, which is included in DSP Publications’ anthology 7&7. The anthology is coming out on 10th May and can be downloaded for free from the DSP Publications website. It’s a showcase of genre writing, not necessarily with romantic elements, and each story takes on one of the traditional sins and virtues. My story addresses Faith, through the story of a priest who has lost his after the death of his husband. As he leads a party of pilgrims up a very high mountain to witness an eclipse, he is forced to face his own doubts and fears.

Here’s a bit of the climb.

Today’s climb was harder, even with a shirtless Amra encouraging them all along the way. He lost the monkey’s company not long before they climbed past the tree line, which was also when several of the party began to feel dizzy and queasy. For most of them the symptoms passed quickly, but one of the priests continued to vomit beside the path every few steps, and Meru Tanicius struggled to catch his breath even when they stopped. The path rose and fell, scrambling up a succession of ridges, first through the trees and then across scrubby heathland thick with spiky, flower-bright bushes. There were few animals up here except for the striped mice scrabbling through the undergrowth, but birds sang freely in low nests and eagles drifted overhead.
By the time they reached the camping spot, Tomal was worried about most of the party.

And, since the spring is still blooming madly, here’s some more pretty pictures of the local woods. I work in a small village ten minutes drive from the local town. Usually I catch a bus or get a lift to the station, but in summer I sometimes walk a rambling route back along foothapths and bridleways. It’s a good seven miles and takes a few hours, so I only ever do it on Fridays but I never regret it and this week I was rewarded with even more bluebells.

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Rainbow Snippets is a wonderful little Facebook group in which writers gather every weekend to post a six-sentence peek at one of their works. All genres are included but the snippets must be from books with a LGBTQIA+ protagonist.

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22 Responses to Rainbow Snippets climb a mountain

  1. Wonderful descriptions! (And lovely bluebells) 🙂

  2. P.T. Wyant says:

    Lovely description of the area they are traveling through. I’d be worried about the members of the party, too! Sounds like they’re not up to the journey.

    • amyraenbow says:

      Thank you. Some of my work friends climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago and a lot of this story was inspired by the tales they came back with, including those about altitude sickness.

  3. Michelle says:

    I’ve really been looking forward to 7&7, and after reading this snippet, I’m even more excited.

    And once again, WOW, those pictures are gorgeous.

    • amyraenbow says:

      It looks like a really fun anthology. Some of the blurbs have really caught my eye.

      This is one of my favourite times of year. I love bluebells and blossom and all the rush of everything springing back into life.

  4. velvetpanic says:

    Vivid description–ah, I remember this well on a trip to Keystone–blech! Good job 🙂

    • amyraenbow says:

      I’ve never encountered it myself but the stories I’ve heard sound terrible, and it’s something I don’t ever remember seeing in a fantasy story, so I thought it would be interesting.

  5. Good luck with the new release. I look forward to reading your story 🙂

  6. AM says:

    Oh, I love the sounds of a story about struggling with one’s faith. This looks like a really interesting read.

    • amyraenbow says:

      It was an interesting one to write. I’d just finished a whole book from the pov of a god, and I still had aspects of the theme I wanted to get my teeth into. Coming at it from a different angle was very satisfying.

  7. Ugh, I feel nauseous empathy, just thinking about everyone vomiting, with Tomal too worried to be able to appreciate the lovely setting. I’ve actually done a few hikes like this. Excellently written, it really draws the reader into the anxiety and the stomach pains! 🙂

    • amyraenbow says:

      I’ve never been that high myself, but I’ve heard stories and they all got stored away in the back of my brain to use in a story later. Tomal has been up here many times before. There’s a shrine up there which attracts pilgrims and as the local priest he’s responsible for its upkeep and for making sure the shelters along the route are maintained. This time, unfortunately for him, he’s trying to manage a rag-tag group of pilgrims, priests and astronomers who don’t what to take it slowly in case they miss the eclipse.

  8. Jana Denardo says:

    Sounds like some of them have altitude sickness, I’d be worried too. Lovely bluebells.

    • amyraenbow says:

      *nods* I wanted to show how tough it was, and it’s not something I’ve seen enough in fantasy settings.

      Thank you. The woods are so pretty at this time of year.

  9. louiselyons013 says:

    Wonderful description, I felt like I was there on the mountain. Gorgeous bluebells too.

  10. Alexa Milne says:

    Lovely description. Reminded me of climbing up St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.

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