— Ronak Soni
The man sliding down the cliff face finally regained enough sensibility to drive his pick-axe into the ice; he needed to pee.
“My various schizophrenias,” he thought, “they don’t exist.” He got a handhold and drove his pick-axe in a step higher. “They are merely constructions, mere smoke and mirror assemblies in the echoing chamber of my head.”
With that again, a step. Now he could see his friends; when he’d begun his slide they’d tried calling out to him to save himself, but the only sound he could really pay attention to in that haze of depression had been the face of the lotus and the echo of his own screaming and his wish to sleep, and he’d shouted back saying that he had no interest in returning to them; now, they were slowly starting to shuffle along, having given up on ever seeing him again.
Except, there was one, the one he’d loved the most and the one he’d accused of pushing him down, still coming back to the cliff-face. Looking over, hoping against hope. Presently, he was seen, and there was doubt about whether to rejoice.
“No,” he figured, “not smoke and mirrors, not so immaterial: it was words, words and convictions.”
And with that the ice under his axe cracked.