Heights and the Haughty

The path hugged the side of the cliff, a narrow strip just wide enough for one person, bordered by solid rock on one side and open air on the other, and provided a clear bird’s eye view of the village in the valley.

Vandra was forced to admit to herself that having an affinity for heights in the forest and being comfortable climbing the tall oaks of her hometown did not directly translate into being comfortable on a rocky ledge in unfamiliar territory; although she could adeptly perceive whether a thin branch was sturdy enough to hold her weight, she could not identity what was soft or hard rock, and whether the edge would crumble if she stepped too forcefully on it, a concern that was bolstered by chunks of hard dirt cascading down the cliff face from up above.

She froze in fear, uncertain if the path had just become dangerous, trying to clutch at the smooth rock wall beside her for support, and wished that she had not scoffed at the idea of having a dwarven guide lead her across this treacherous path, even if her elvish pride was loath to admit it.

It wasn’t much further to the end of the ledge where the path broadened out and where there were even some small trees between the path and the precipice – a mere few steps separated her from where she would feel secure again, but they were steps she’d have to make carefully to avoid slipping on the loose dirt that now dusted the ledge.

If she could deftly cross a mossy fallen tree trunk, damp and slippery from the spray from a waterfall below, across a chasm, she should have the balance to cross this ledge, and the dexterity to deal with any adjustments she’d be forced to make to prevent her from falling, so she would count down from three and then…

A hill dwarf ambled down the section of path she was headed towards, waited expectedly for a moment, then nonchalantly strode onto the narrow ledge, grasped her hand and lead her off it while muttering, “It’s not good manners to block the path,” to her deep chagrin.


This story was written in response to GirlieOnTheEdges’s Six Sentence Story promptlead


24 thoughts on “Heights and the Haughty

    1. Thanks, Dora 🙂
      The hill dwarfs who live at these heights know the stone really well and can tell whether it’s safe or crumbling without needing to put their weight on it. It’s their knowledge of the stone that gives them their confidence. The mountain dwarfs who live inside the mountain caverns wouldn’t be so comfortable up there.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Elderberry Tea and this story…they match so well, like a Hobbit smoking Halfling’s Leaf from Shire!
    Which is another way to say, Nicole, that your sculpting of the words really shines out, the storytelling is enchanting and the humor is ever present.
    What more can anyone ask?
    Intrigued to read your future publications.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And I’ll bet that dwarf was keeping an eye on her all the time, before stepping in with a grumpy but needed assist.
    Nice comic flip at the end of a delightfully intense scene!

    Liked by 1 person

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