The Hero

dadsshoes

PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

He was kind and didn’t laugh at us.

It looked so easy in the guidebooks.  It’s pretty.  Peaceful.

I think we spend $10,000 on gear, yet it is amazing how unprepared we were.  The land didn’t care about our high tech, wicking clothes; the bugs attracted to the repellent.

Mud spatter on his face, his balletic movement helped him navigate the mire as naturally as a dragonfly.

I felt like a hippo with a broken leg.

I remember his boots, mostly duct tape, sitting on crumbling concrete and moss-covered stone.

He wouldn’t accept anything for saving our lives that day.

— —

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

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57 thoughts on “The Hero

  1. jillyfunnell

    A true hero. Do not judge by appearances or anything else for that matter. I never forget the play “Abigail’s Party” where the humble shy girl turns out to be somebody quite different.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Never judge by appearances. I’m unfamiliar with the play, but just Googled it. Sounds interesting. Although it is about class in Britain, I’m sure a lot of it would ring true on this side of the pond, though from the description, part of it is with the accents, which we might miss.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yes, the poor hippo ;) Actually, the story isn’t that sad. Sure, the “hero” is materially poor, but he is rich in other ways. And the narrator, well, the burnt hand teaches best.

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  2. pennygadd51

    Great story, Trent. Your hero had the essentials – after all, those duct taped boots would be waterproof – and the knowledge.
    I loved your sentence “Mud spatter on his face, his balletic movement helped him navigate the mire as naturally as a dragonfly.”

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          It is interesting and I’m not sure why it was my first response. Maybe, for our high body count on most weeks, us Friday Fictioneers are an optimistic lot and like to see the good in everything.

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  3. Nan Mykel

    Mud spatter on his face, his balletic movement helped him navigate the mire as naturally as a dragonfly.

    I felt like a hippo with a broken leg.
    Hey, you’re good!

    Wish I could follow, but I can’t handle the e-mail.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! I get it with the email. If you use Word Press, you can go to the reader, click “Manage, and turn off email notifications. I do that with all but a handful of sites I follow. So yes, I’m one of those odd people that skim through the Reader to find posts to read.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Exactly. Every time someone puts themselves in harm’s way to protect others they always tell the news reporters, “I’m not a hero, I was just doing what had to be done.”

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Being an East Coast person I had to Google it. That is one pretty trail! It might have been. When I put “PCT hiker” in Google, there was a lot of “lost PCT hiker” and “missing PCT hiker” entires, so I’m assuming a place where some people bite off more than they can chew.

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      1. NorCal Zen

        I am assuming it would be very strenuous to do the whole thing, from Mexico to Canada. I’d like to do it one day. I had actually planned a start date in spring of 2012, but I had to postpone it for a while since I got pregnant. I’ve done parts of the trail, here and there. there’s some very secluded wilderness areas.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          On my coast, I’ve done hikes on bits and pieces of the Appalachian Trail, but I don’t know if I would do that whole thing. In ways I would love to do a mega trail like that, but it is such a huge chunk of time out of your life!

          As to secluded areas, I’m sure there are – the West Coast has so much more open space than the East. That is the type of area I was thinking about in the story. Miles and miles from any roads or hope of rescue.

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          1. NorCal Zen

            I would love to hike the Appalachian trail. I haven’t seen that much of the East Coast. I’ve spent a lot of time in remote area, in California, and Nevada. Lived and worked one year at a 7000 acres ranch, in Nevada’s desert. Kind of put your life in perspective. I needed it.

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              Is that were you learned so much about horses?

              I have mixed feelings. Part of me would love to take the year off to do those extreme hikes, while the other half feels, like I said before, that is a big chunk of life to commit.

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              1. NorCal Zen

                I can relate to what you feel. To put your life “on hold” for a long time, that has to be at the exact right time. If, it would happen. I feel less of a surge inside of me to do them now, than I did five years ago. I am rather happy with day/weekend hikes. So much easier to plan, and enjoy. Those kind of hikes adds to my life. I’m pretty sure both literally, and mentally.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Friday Fictioneers is usually such a murderous bunch, killing so many characters, that I guess it’s good we’ve found a hero in those boots. I think it is part “don’t judge…” but also a bit of “the person who wore those boots might not have much, but is resourceful and has probably seen a thing or two”. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Varad

    I’ve been on quite a few treks and I get you are saying, All the gadgets and gear are good only for the instagram and Facebook updates, provided they get back in one piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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      1. pennygadd51

        Sorry, no, I’ve got to disagree there. If you’re venturing into a wilderness area – even quite a tame one – you really, really must have windproof and weatherproof kit – including boots! And you need map, compass, cell phone and whistle. But you’re quite right to stress the need for knowledge too!

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I agree and disagree – the latest high tech gear helps, and I sure wouldn’t be on a rugged mountain without supportive boots or in a swamp without waterproof boots (I used to hike in the mountains wearing beat up sneakers and never hurt myself, but I hope I’m smarter now…). On the other hand, I would give the person who grew up there and knew the land a much higher chance wearing their every day clothes than a newbie with $10,000 of high tech gear.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      With our smart phones and smart fabrics I think we often forget what real “smarts” are. Often those practicing the “old ways”, those close to the land, have a wisdom that can never be bought in a catalog or learned in a book. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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