AS I WAS WALKING through the city earlier today, something in the distance caught my attention. I slowly turned to face what I had seen from the corner of my eye. There it was—across the lake, past the hill front houses and beyond the forested mountaintop. Sitting on top of the peak shrouded in a thin veil of white cloud was what appeared to be a house. What would a house be doing on top of a mountain, of all places? What was it for? Was there a secret there—maybe treasure? A curiosity welled up inside of me, and I knew right then and there that I had to find out lay at the top!
I mustered the courage to walk towards the base of the tall mountain. From there I could still make out the white house at the top, but the fog made it difficult to see any detail. There appeared to be no straight path or road to the peak, as if forbidding my welcome. The only paths accessible were steep and winding, some worn and others stained with mud. What if I got lost? The ground was wet and smelled of earth of damp wood. The sides of the path were void of any spring life, and when I did see something, it looked completely alien to me. Did I really want to know what else the mountain had in store for me?
The further I climbed, the less people I began to see. The air felt humid and thick, and sweat trickled down my face as the air appeared to waver in front of me. Tall trees on each side of the path stood lifeless, bearing no green leaves. Thick green patches of moss clung to the rocks on side of the path and detritus littered the forest floor, as if resembling an autumnal prelude to a bleak winter. The path trailed farther than what my eyes could see—I began to wonder to myself—had I made the right decision in climbing this mountain? Whatever was at the top had to be something important!
The higher I climbed, the thicker the fog became. I saw no more flowers, and strange noises began to whistle and echo through the trees. Water trickled from nearby rocks and thick patches of moss covered the earth, as if trying to smother life itself. A nearby tree stump caught my attention, and I walked over towards it, curious. My eyes became wide in fright as I saw tiny brown tendrils rising out from the strands of moss. At the tip of each little wire was a bulge: they looked like miniature alien heads. A horror filled up inside of me as I felt like I was standing on a new planet, alone and unable to return home. Nerves raced through me as I thought that I had made the wrong choice, but I knew there was no turning back now. I had to be close to the top now, I was sure of it!
After what felt like an eternity, the steep winding path began to flatten out. I felt like I was closing in on this house I had seen so long ago, and I began to wonder what treasures it had in store. The path was still shrouded by a dense layer of fog, as if trying to hide the mountaintop’s secret. A fallen pine tree lay ahead, still and broken. Had it fallen to stop those who had gone before me? There was not a single soul in sight, so I felt like I would never know the answer. All I knew was that I had to keep on going, despite all odds.
At last! The path opened up as the thick fog began to abate. I could see ahead and even down the steep mountainside, where the city centre stood. Small dots resembled buildings and I could even make out bustling people who looked like ants. I could even spot where I had stood when I first saw the house! Could anybody else down there see me? The house! The sights down below had distracted me, but I something inside told me that it lay just around that corner of trees ahead and…
There it was, the building! It was white, exactly how I had seen it. Vertical strips of painted wood formed the outside walls and strange, mythical items stood by its entrance. Two brown doors stood firmly in place and one of them was wide open, as if inviting newcomers to explore its interior. A warm yellow light glowed from inside and my body was pulled towards it. The treasure! I walked inside, and turned right. I approached the item hanging on the wall as my eyes glowed with a fierce sense of desire. Finally—I found the treasure I had been seeking!