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With ease, the man climbed up one of the last steps of the mountain. Howard's hands were covered in dirt along with his clothes. He stopped for a minute to dust it off before reaching into his backpack. He pulled out a bottle of water then brought it to his lips. The flow of clean liquid down his dry throat felt calming.
Looking around, Howard took in the view around him. After a morning of climbing he was right below the small plain atop the wide mountain. It wasn't very high, but the area around looked fantastic in the afternoon sun. But this wasn't even close to how good the view could get! Howard had seen pictures of the small forest on the flat top of the mountain. It would be an excellent place to camp with plenty of life.
Continuing, he found a small path that would lead him to the top. He slowly went up the winding trail, loving the quietness and beauty of the area. A bird flew down from the mountain and into the forest below, emitting a small chirping sound. A river could be heard flowing not too far away over the small chatter of miscellaneous forest animals.
"There!" Howard thought, looking above a rocky edge. He had made it to the top of the mountain and hurriedly jogged up the last few feet of the path. The environment was breathing taking! A few types of scattered, awe inspiring trees could be seen that formed into a forest. Tall, bright green grass was seen everywhere like a sea of green. Lastly, all kinds of small plant life covered the ground, giving it a varied, tropical color. Standing there, jaw practically dropping, the man started heading deeper into the heavenly place. It was a complete haven to Howard! Hurriedly, he began looking for a place to set up camp.
After a few minutes of searching he found a clearing in the woods. It was a perfect location, right next to the glorious river and near a few groves of berries. Putting down his tent, the man was in complete happiness as his temporary home began to come into shape. In about a half hour Howard had tent, fireplace, chair and a small fort of supplies set up.
Though, as he sat relaxed in his chair, night started approaching. He dropped a last dose of logs into the fire and closed his tent flap as he began getting ready for bed. Soon Howard was completely ready for bed. But as the man began to drift off into sleep he heard a noise.
Opening the tent flap he peered out into the dark, where only the sound of crickets was heard. Glancing over to the fireplace, he saw one of the pieces of firewood had probably just moved and emitted a cracking sound. Disregarding what had happened, he hurried into bed.
The next day was just as beautiful as the previous. The Sun shone brightly in the sky with the occasional cloud and some slight wind. For breakfast, all Howard had were berries before he went his chair.
He just sat thinking, not doing anything special as he watched the clouds move and the occasional wildlife around him. Eventually he decided to take a walk down to the river and maybe take a long swim before nightfall.
Upon reaching the river, small drops of liquid hit his face as he peered into it. The water was clear and slow moving as it traveled towards the edge of the mountain. The man sat down, letting his legs dip in as he continued thinking about the subject from back when he was at the camp.
Though, a large splash was heard that startled him, abruptly ending his daydreaming. Before he could see what it was, he was suddenly thrown into the water.
Trying to scramble and get out, Howard began panicking as his air was drained away and replaced with water. He could also feel himself slowly but surely drifting downstream which only worried him even more. Scrambling, trying to get out of the water Howard thought he was finished. As his body started going limp something caught his shirt and flipped him out of the water. Nonetheless, Howard blacked out.
What must have been over an hour later the man finally woke up. His clothes were still waterlogged and slight traces of water were still visible on his body. Surprised to be alive, Howard quickly started heading back to his camp for safety as the sun started going down.
That night he went to bed as soon as possible. Despite being immensely tired due to what had happened to him, it took forever for him to fall asleep. His mind was awhile with what had happened and he was very worried something would go wrong during his camping trip. Eventually Howard just sighed and forced himself to sleep.
He slept until a little after noon the next day and was disappointed with the small amount of time he had to do things before going back to sleep.
Taking a stroll through the woods, he stopped when he heard the sound of crunching leaves behind him. Curious of what had made the sound; he turned before his facial expression terribly changed. Emitting a small yell he went flying into a tree. Howard immediately got up and started running away, feeling like the evil entity was right behind him. Again, with a loud crunch of bones and wood he hit a tree.
Now the man was bleeding terribly and dizzy. Confusion and fear flowed through his body as again he started standing up, only for his head to be smacked repeatedly into the tough bark. Flesh missing now as his face became covered in blood, snot and gore.
Once more he scrambled around onto his feet, prevailing this time. In a flurry of movement he went as fast as he could, being forced to limp due to one of his legs having gotten injured. He couldn't help but feel that fate was chasing him and soon he would meet his. Though the man didn't turn back and knew he needed to keep running.
Soon Howard was at the edge of the mountain and only then he stopped. There was nowhere else to go, this was the only way. Nervously he took a step back and looked into the woods. Despite its beauty he finally thought it seemed ugly along with the rest of the world as he was approached. Gulping he took a step back. Next he forcefully took another one. Almost instantly he felt his clothes start turning up and he screamed. With the speed he was going Howard would soon meet his demise. After what had felt like an eternity, the man landed.
What had once been a tall, thin and sinewy body was now only pieces of flesh and bone scattered around rocks. A few fingers had been torn off and lay on small ledges across the mountains face. His head had been opened into two; no three pieces and lay across the ground. A leg had bounced and fell even further while an arm ironically hung over the side of the edge like it was trying to hold onto its life. It was not long until the majority of his body was taken away by scavengers.
It was not too long until Howard's remains were found and an article had been published in a newspaper that read;
"Recently, a man at the age of forty-three was found, dead, on the side of a mountain. It appeared he had fallen from the top of the mountain and a small group of policemen were sent to investigate. What they found at first confused them, while later deserting them. In the middle of the mountains forest an abandoned camp site was found that was later confirmed to be the camp of the man.
Officers found that in the fire, a large amount of food had been burned from what seemed to be about the same time. Though the major piece of evidence they found was a journal in the tent. The most important parts are below-
"Last night I tried attempt number one. I burned all my food. I knew it wasn't going to work but now I at least have more reason to go through with this." Yes the man himself had burned his food to accomplish some sort of goal.
"Oh god I can't ****ing do it. I JUST CAN'T! I went down to the river and thought it would be peaceful but I was terribly wrong. After scrambling for air and panicking I eventually gave up and made it to the surface. It was too terrible to finish." It sounded like the man felt guilty of a crime, which sounded like drowning someone. Though the officers knew this wasn't the case as no one else had been there. The next excerpt has tear marks scattered around it.
"Alright. I give up. Today... Today is the day. I don't even deserve this anymore after my cowardice and hope for it to be quick but painful. If I don't go through with even this, I-I... I'll jump and be gone forever. Goodbye. -Howard" Yes the man had indeed committed suicide. It was collected that burning the food was an attempt to starve himself while he had tried to drown himself in the river. As for the last attempt most can guess he wasn't able to complete the act and jumped. The man's neighbor had something to say below, "I... I never imagined it would come to this. Howard was a nice man but always depressed. He had no job and no money. Though I feel what pushed him over the edge is that his wife died only a few weeks ago. But still... I can't believe Howard committed suicide. I guess he had to face his inner demons and lost..."