Colorado backcountry. Mountain air. Ungodly early, dark skies. Sore back. Cold toes. Shallow breaths under rattling polyester. Eye lashes flutter open, revealing only silhouette.

My cousin lays next to me, motionless. On her back. Suddenly, she whispers.

“Michelle, are you awake?”

I pause.

There is no air.

Only adrenaline-fueled electricity and static.


Outside our tent I hear crackling branches. Softened footsteps and gentle thuds. I clench my eyes. Every breath is an act of faith.

“Do you hear that?”

Vibrations travel down my ribcage, play them like chimes. My heart sprints backwards, with nowhere to go. I answer.


The tent is still.

Leaves rustle.

It is not quiet.

-Quiet, a daily prompt for the #hopewriterlife writing challenge. 💛

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