It was mid winter. Why was she doing it? Shorts seemed ridiculous - you just didn't wear such things in mid winter.
Her hare legs (sand paper felt smoother) felt particularly vulnerable. Two purply scratched and frozen blocks - damn that gorse, flax bush, whatever - She couldn't really remember. They all scratched, that was all that concerned her.
Now, in the wind and rain, even scratches seemed unimportant. Why wouldn't her nose stop running? She'd be sick if it didn't. Just plain old sick - vomit. It gave her something new to think about.
She'd collapse. Then they'd have to stop. They'd probably have to carry her. Then she'd be a cramper - a crippled tramper hindering other people's progress.
Other people. She stopped.
Prod. Keep going.
Hell. She'd forgotten about him - her unwanted slave driver.
Anyway 'other people' had helped change her thoughts again. She guessed 'they' were all people, even the one behind. He had definitely strongly developed sado-masochistic tendencies - of that she was now certain.
Why should she let him do this to her?
Prod, prod - 'keep going you can't stop'. Shove, shove. He seemed to enjoy himself.
Flapping parka - stupid inadequate garment. Didn't even seem to keep her dry - designed to permit streams to flow down one's neck. As if she hadn't had enough of streams. Especially that last foot-freezeing monstrosity. He'd taken a photo of it.
'And this was the stream we got our feet wet in (as if it was something unusual). Beautiful thing don't you think.' She could imagine him performing thus at a slide evening at home.
'Mmm, ahh, mmm, ahh'- she could just hear them all. At home rugged and warmed praps envious -
'Such scenery, you're so lucky.'
The trouble was that when she got home she felt she was lucky and that the scenery was beautiful.
But not this time. No definitely not this time. This was it. She'd had it - never again. That harness thing on her back was going to be sold, given away, burnt, anything - she was never going to wear it again.
Even as she thought it, she knew it was hopeless. They'd be at the top soon - at another hut. And she knew - sigh, prod ' keep going' - that she wouldn't feel like this anymore. She'd feel pleased and triumphant, would get warm by a fire and put on dry clothes. Winter clothes. She'd eat and then think back. But she'd be different - she'd have forgotten. Another sigh this time for that other girl - the girl who would be doing the same thing tomorrow, next weekend, next year, next...
'Next stop, come on...'