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  • Writer's picturePaige H. Perry

Climbing Thru Interruptions: A short story from our private investigator mysteries

Picture of man standing on a boulder high in the mountains
Bryant sharing his hobby of mountain climbing

Bryant took a deep breath of the fresh mountain air and looked around the parking lot. It was still early, so very few others were out on the trail. His eyes swept across the mountain just to the north, and he savored the surrounding quietness.

After pulling his pack out of the trunk and locking up his car, Bryant trekked from where he’d parked to the base of the mountain. Peering up at it, he assessed the path to the top and planned out his climb in his mind.

He spent a few moments getting his safety gear together, checked his harness and rope, and began his climb. After a few feet, he anchored his rope and continued climbing, relishing the sound of nature and the birds chirping around him.

After about an hour, Bryant paused and looked around. At just over halfway up the mountain, he could see a significant amount of the surrounding landscape. He never tired of looking out around him and seeing nothing but the sky and the tops of the trees.

However, the sound of his cellphone ringing in his pocket broke his serene moment with nature. With a frown, he pulled the offending device out of his pocket and glared at his brother’s picture on the screen.

“What do you want, Joe?” he asked when he answered the line.

“Good morning to you too, Bryant,” his brother returned with a laugh.

“What are you even doing up this early?” Bryant looked at the watch on his arm. “Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping in? It’s Saturday.”

Joe laughed. “It’s 9 o’clock. I don’t sleep in that late.”

“What do you want? I’m kind of in the middle of something, you know.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Joe said. “Mom wanted to know what we want for dinner next weekend.

She said I had to get your input before I got to choose.”

“Oh, that’s right!” Bryant said and shifted his feet a bit to steady himself. “It is my turn to pick, isn’t it?”

“Well, if you’re too busy…”

“You just want to pick,” Bryant laughed. “It’s my turn.”

“How about Italian?”

“How about you’re not picking?”

“Italian is good. And, I’m sure mom will make a chocolate pie if you ask nice enough.”

Bryant laughed again. “Joe, I’m not letting you choose! Stop it!”

“Oh, come on.”

“How about masala? Tell her to make that.”

“Good! MARsala it is!”

“Joe, that’s not what I said,” Bryant argued.

“Marsala and chocolate pie,” Joe said, ignoring Bryant. “I’ll tell her right now so she can buy the stuff when she goes grocery shopping here in a minute.”

“Joe!” Bryant said. “MAsala… not MARsala. Don’t pretend like you can’t hear me!”

“Yep, I’m on it. MARsala.”

Bryant adjusted his feet again and moved the phone to his other ear.


Before he could hear his brother’s reply, the phone slipped out of his hand and cascaded down the mountain.

“I’m going to kill him,” Bryant muttered to himself as he watched his phone fall to the ground 200 feet below.

He flinched when the phone landed with a thud and then shook his head.

“Well, I hope my case really protects against extreme falls like it said it did,” he said aloud.

Moving his eyes from his phone up the side of the mountain, Bryant shrugged and sighed. “I guess it will still be there when I come back down.”

After one more glare at his phone that now lay at the base of the mountain, Bryant turned his attention back to the mountain and continued his climb with renewed vigor.


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