TITLE: The Sculptor
Halfway down the groomed Harlach Trail, Abby stopped to adjust the buckle on her ski boot. Humming Franz Liszt while she loosened the upper strap, she licked away tiny beads of perspiration that had formed on her upper lip. She was kidding herself with the buckle thing. Really, she was twenty-two years old and fighting to catch her breath, after only making it half-way down the slope. Granted it was one of the steeper descents in Flumserberg, dotted with immense pines, some icy patches, and...she'd had those shots of Jagermeister last night, too.
She halted her pathetic justifications when she caught sight of the sparkling Walensee nearly 2000 meters below. That morning, she'd left behind her grad school classmates, and even the hot, sweet-talking professor she was dating. All of them were sleeping off last night's field trip party in Zurich, but she wanted to imbibe on the fresh Swiss mountain air alone and tackle the double-diamonds that she knew only she could handle. Grateful for the serenity, she lingered over the sight of the brilliant noon sun reflecting off of the lake's blue azure.
She stood and realigned her goggles, determined to swoosh to the next pine grove about 300 meters south. Knees bent, she jammed her poles into the powder, ready to thrust herself forward.
Before she could, the metallic swat of a ski pole across the back of her thighs sent searing bolts of pain up her torso and buckled her legs.
What the hell?