My run at Jeff's writing prompt for today, describing a slow motion moment that happens over ten seconds.... in many more words. Way harder than I expected, not in love with it, but it came out nonetheless.
As Julie reached up extra high to place her climbing pick, the sound all deep winter climbers don't want to hear in their lifetimes ricocheted through the valley. THWACK, and the gut wrenching cracking that followed: a cobweb of cracks spread across the rockface, moments before it all broke free, her rope slipping through the eyelet at the top of the mountain, setting her loose.
The rockface shattered into a million, finite pieces, Julie had only moments to slow down what would turn into a lethal chain of events. As she accelerated, sliding down the rough incline, across rocks and mud, she thrust her only remaining pick at the wall wildly. Nothing worked, and she began to slide onto the icy sheet that led to the edge of the sheer drop on the other side.
Grasping at nothing as she continued to slide, with moments left before what would become the end of her story, Julie's body rushed with adrenaline. Thrust through her veins, it turned panic into animal instinct for survival. Ripping an all-purpose knife from her climbing belt, she took to stabbing the wall with all of her might: it took hold, then slipped, resuming the slide toward the abyss.
Again, she thrust, and it held for a miniscule moment, but just long enough to provide time to throw her other hand, which held the last remaining climbing pick, as hard as she could into the tiny crack in the ice. It held steady, her weight pulling against her arm as the ice and rock slid around her, every neuron in her brain screaming that the hold was too weak... but it held, despite the odds, just centimeters from what would have certainly been her last climb.
"Are you down there" screamed a voice in the distance. "We're getting a rope, the whole wall's gone."