One Thousand Word Challenge 83: Path Down

All on a descent down a steep hill, so it needs to be taken slowly, yet surely. There needs to be careful consideration for the next step and all preparation must not go to waste. That is how it goes sometimes and sometimes that is the best way of approaching a situation.

It was a steep hill, but not the worst. Truth be told, the pathway down was fairly even. There were some stumbling blocks, but it snaked down slowly enough to make the trek easy… if you wanted to take your time. The direct route also took time, but not nearly as much and as such it was much faster getting down, assuming you didn’t injure yourself, of course.

Plenty of people did and some didn’t. That was just the way it went. There were plenty who didn’t think precaution was the best approach, for the hill’s gradient could be deceptive in that it often was hidden quite well. Vegetation, whilst low – there were few trees around, and certainly not enough to obscure views or create enough darkness on the hillside – still grew tall and as such it could be difficult to discern where the ground was at times. This could easily lead to a misstep which in turn could mean you’d be rolling suddenly and rather fast. It could also mean that you suddenly staggered and twisted a limb. There were plenty of things that it could mean and few, if any were pleasant.

The direct route generally was not recommended as it involved going directly down the hill’s face. Of course you’d have a few breaks by crossing over the slow path, but still, there were better things that you could do with your time and energy than risk hurting yourself in a rather severe manner… unless you knew that you had to be cautious when going down the direct route. Even then, it was not a guarantee that you would be safe unless you knew the way down well, and even then there was always risk. Of course, listening to those who had been down the direct route helped with diminishing the chances of injury, but not everyone listens all the time.

The safe path had not always been there, and in fact only started its development after one too many a people went down the hill as quickly as they could. Of course there were some individuals who did it and some of those individuals came out okay, but when a large group of people decided it would be a good thing to do instead of not doing so and all hurt themselves in rather unfortunate ways that it was decided that if people were going to keep on going down the hill instead of taking the longer, but significantly safer pathway that went down a gentler incline about a kilometre away from the hill, then they should at the very least create a meandering path on the hill’s face so as to make sure that people were getting down more safely.

And so the work went into developing the path which took a fair bit of time due to the gradient and the need to try and not damage the hill as much as possible. It took time and at times it was dangerous work. During this time the hill was blocked off as much as possible, but people kept on going down it directly, causing no end of stress for people in the area.

Even though the common use of the direct way down was to get to the bottom of the hill sooner, some went down seeking some sort of thrill from the danger and mystery of it all, but it was a silly thing to seek when the hill was blocked off as well as it could be whilst the path was being built.

Eventually the path was finished and whilst it was developed in a way to minimise impact, it broke the flow of the hill. More people started using it, however, and of course it meant that there was an easier way to get up the top, though whether it saved time or not compared to the longer path was up for debate, as even though the path was meandering, it still was a bit of a slog to walk back up.

For those who wanted to keep the hillside as “smooth” as possible, it was a sense of defeat, for they could no longer get down at a “blistering” speed without a greater risk of injury, though of course this did not deter them.

For those who just wanted to get down as quickly as possible, they appreciated the breaks in between as it gave a moment for pause. It meant that they could more easily consider their path down and stop altogether if they felt the risk was not worth it, so for them whilst it slowed their descent, they appreciated the additional safety.

There were some who preferred to climb up the face of the hill and they too appreciated the breaks the new path created. It meant that they could pause and relax if need be, but this was more due to the tiring nature of climbing up the hill than anything else, for whilst there did need to be planning, it was much safer to climb up than it was to speed down.

The other upside of the path was that it allowed the neat view to be better appreciated for those who wanted to take their time. For them, they now had something that allowed them to see far off into the distance as they took a semi-leisurely stroll down to a lower point.

There was another group of people who didn’t care for the path, nor the people who patronised the hill, for they thought the whole thing was a fool’s errand when the longer and much more safe path was already in existence and thus readily available for use.

Their loss.

The time it took to write one thousand words: 16:06:25

I don’t know what I was going for here.
I think there are parts that would be interesting to explore, but this is just a flat thing, I think.

Written at home.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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