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Fiction Writers Group Flash 191215

This is my FWG flash fiction entry for thus prompt:

Tran looked up at the mountain top, perpetually shrouded in clouds. After barely surviving his last ascent attempt, he had sworn never to challenge its heights again. But now he knew in his heart that he had no choice.


“You owe me.”

Her voice was subdued, yet impossible to ignore.

“Excuse me?”

Tran was bleary-eyed and couldn’t remember entering the bar. Through the booze and gathering headache, he could see she was determined. Determined to disturb his sulk. Determined to demand his attention. Determined to collect whatever he owed her.

“I said you owe me.”

“I don’t even know you.”

He actually wasn’t sure about that. The last few months were mostly a blur of booze and hookers. It was possible she was one of the latter, though a second look convinced him otherwise. She was attractive enough. Shoulder-length blondish hair, round face with a sprinkling of freckles high on her cheeks. Attractive, but definitely not his type.

He lifted his shot glass before realizing it was empty. Undeterred, he dropped it on the bar and lifted his beer glass instead.

“Will a beer cover it?” He signaled to the bartender.

“It’s a start.” She wasn’t going away.

“What else, then?” He definitely didn’t like where this was headed.

“An ascent up Cloud Mountain.”

The glass froze halfway to his mouth. A shiver, unrelated to the warmth of the bar, ran through him. He finished raising his glass and took a mouthful to recover his voice.

“I don’t do that anymore,” was all he could manage.

“I know. Not since you left my brother up there.”

The glass tipped over when it slipped from his fingers. She slid her full, untouched one over to him.

“I need him –” her voice faltered. “Or at least his body – back.”

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