Petronius Jablonski would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Mount Silenus: A Vertical Odyssey of Extraordinary Peril

By Petronius Jablonski All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Adventure

Blurb

When novice climbers Trevor and Gaspar attempt Mount Silenus they discover that inspiration from a famous book makes a poor substitute for experience. Accuracy is important on mountains, especially one darkened by legends of a prehistoric sloth — the Abominable Unau — and the indigenous people who make sacrifices to it. As the text bears less and less resemblance to the terrain, squabbles over its interpretation become a battle of faith vs. reason. Those are best fought on flat surfaces. During a quixotic journey in the general direction of the summit, they join a scientist investigating paranormal activity on one of the plateaus. The book fails to warn about traps set by the mountain people to protect the sacred site from desecration. When they fall into icy catacombs they must confront the source of the legends to survive.

Chapter One

They squeeze between amber stalagmites and squat beside a man whose patience abandoned him before his spirit. An ice axe remains frozen in his hands, its tip slathered with the red lacquer coating his face. The holes in his forehead could be mistaken for spider eyes.

“What was the hurry?” says Trevor. “I heard death by hypothermia is painless.”

“How does anyone know that?” says Gaspar. “Were volunteers assigned different ways to die and asked to rate them?”

Their breath expands and dissipates in the cave, joining frenzied thoughts long ago freed from the ice man’s skull. The flashlight summons forms from the void like a wand brandished by sorcerers. A mushroom of ice towers over them, its oak-thick stem withering below a luminescent rotunda. The shapes on the ground are not rock formations. Not yet.

“Look what some of them are wearing,” says Trevor. “I’ve only seen gear like this in old pictures.”

“They didn’t fall in at the same time. Look what else they have. Does that book look familiar?”

“What an interesting coincidence.”

“I see the beginning of a pattern,” says Gaspar. “I’d say this warrants skepticism of the remaining chapters.”

“What else would they have been reading, a book on beekeeping?”

“They should have. It’s an interesting hobby with few casualties.”

“How could waiting to die be the lesser evil?”

“No accounting for taste. Maybe they came back after going down there.”

The passage descends toward a purple light surging beneath chandeliers of fused crystals and aborted supernovas. Calcite nubs protrude from the path like hands reaching for their ankles.

“Let’s wait for help,” says Trevor.

“My survival instinct says we should be a bit more proactive. Patience hasn’t been an effective strategy here. I’ve heard of waiting rooms but this is ridiculous.”

“Dr. Zardeen was next to us when the crevasse opened. There’s no sign of him.”

“What’s the bad news?” says Gaspar.

“Gentlemen,” calls a distant voice.

“Doctor, did you notice a group of climbers in the passage back here?” shouts Trevor.

“They might need first aid,” says Gaspar, “but take your time.”

“They are quite dead. They were probably too frightened by what’s over here. Hurry, gentlemen. This is what I have been looking for.”

Strange light caricatures Gaspar’s and Trevor’s silhouettes as they approach, as if in mockery, making them appear no less fantastic and alien as the indigenous formations. In darkness the ice men continue their vigil, rebels holed up against the army of time, saved by an intercessor no less ruthless.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Becky Mcconnell: Sweet storytelling

emma oldham-sear: Had me up til 4am not wanting to stop reading! Ofc I loved the ending :)

jadiraswords: Excellent plot and the wrong styles really puts me in a pirate like mental state which makes it awesome when reading! I like hos the author has made 3 chapters feel lIke 10 wIth lots of detaIls and character development. Please update soon 😄

Hikari_Unmei : I really enjoy reading this story! I love the unexpected plot twists and the wild characters!!

lowevickieann: So far I really like this book. The feelings are very real. I want Sadie gone before she harms the pack. I love the whole story. Can't wait to read the rest.I love the way Jake is all Alpha and then is able to be kind of dorky for Avery. Liam and David and everyone have great storylines. The plot...

Akshita Singh: I like it story is amazing I think it would be more amusing if the author write in more details like picture the situation by words

jerry: I am loving this novel so far. The character development is amazing and I'm suspecting a three way love story here. That is so cool. Every character has its own vulnerabilities and strengths. Amazing work 😊

Madison Fuentes: I love the back story and the characters I also love your other stories!!! Keep up the good work!!!!!!

Mamba44: This book is absolutely stunning. The plot is one of the best I have ever seen. The characters were truly magnifecent and each of them so well described that I have very vivid pictures of each and every one of them in my mind. It is as if I know these characters personally. The spelling and gramm...

More Recommendations

Bj: Well done will definitely read more of your work.I can see you getting much betterKeep your imagination flowing and follow your heart!!!! Until the next story

elemel8815: I would like for there to be more just derek and gwen moments and also a lil bit more excitement plus I'm and totally shipping Oliver and Anya I mean it should totally be a ship and how u describe everything such detail I can picture everything like a movie

Jesse Mae: A good teen fic read

ofilichidi: Simply amazing. Your book brought to mind the difference between races and individuals from different continents. The characters kept me intrigued and on my toes. It's a blend of adventure and thriller. I kept thinking what next will Starlyn do. Thumps up.

annafinnemann: This book is amazing and I think everyone should give it a try. But why does the story end there? I would like to know why her magic is so weird, what happens between her and Calic and hoa she overall deals being a skydancer! Please write more!

Jianne Harper: I loved it I mean it may not be completely perfect but life is not even in this story it have challenges but it was beautiful and I can’t wait for the continuation,I do hope it have one.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.