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Friendship Inspirational Contemporary

Grand Heights wasn’t a very large town. It was the kind of town where everybody knew each other. Gossip ran amok, families could leave their doors unlocked, and when you saw someone you waved them hello and wished them a good day. With how close-knit the town was, word spread quickly that Mike Oats had been hurt in a car accident, currently in critical condition. Mike was in college, currently separated from his family. The way word moved around town, the whole town might have heard about the accident before his own family knew. Mike was well-liked around town; the news was a big shock to them all.

Brian sat on his apartment’s patio, looking out at the view. He had things to do, but he didn’t want to do them. It wasn’t entirely because of Mike, mind you, though it certainly didn’t help.  This was a bad habit he’d carried for years. No matter how much he told himself he was gonna do them, he couldn’t get himself to do them. “It’s a shame,” he thought, “but I don’t know how to fix it.” So he sat on his apartment’s patio as he waited for the right moment to get up. He works best under pressure, but often, that doesn’t work out for him. The thing about working under pressure is that the circumstances that it takes to get Brian pressured often revolve around there being some kind of trouble for him. When you get something done without there being trouble, normally your success rate is high. When you put yourself in trouble, however, you tend to fail a lot more than you otherwise would. Brian didn’t know why he did things the way that he did them, but he grew tired of it. “My heart’s just about to give out,” he worried. 

Brian’s apartment wasn’t the best. One of the cheapest in town, actually. The town was under the shadow of a beautiful mountain. It was covered in lush greens, surrounded by a river, and had a view that was to die for. People would drive for hours and into the town just to see this mountain and climb it. It was a popular recreational spot for those living in the town. Because his apartment was cheap though, despite the mountain’s imposing height, it managed to be one of the few places in town that didn’t have a view of the mountain. Maybe if he had a view of the mountain, he’d have the inspiration to get up and take care of what he needed to do. 

Maybe if he got a better apartment with a better view, then he’d be able to focus. But Brian had little money, he couldn’t afford to move into a better apartment. Maybe Brian could drive to the mountain and work there. But the mountain had no electricity or internet, and he needed those for his work. Maybe Brian could drive to a friend’s house and work there. But Brian had few friends, and those few friends he had were either far away from the mountain or busy. Brian wanted to blame the mountain for his troubles, but it appears that he had put himself in a position where he placed himself as far away from the mountain as he was depending upon for his salvation.

Brian only had one option. His apartment was facing in the opposite direction of the mountain, thus the mountain was facing in the opposite direction of the apartment of the mountain. If he moved the apartment so that it faced the mountain, he’d likely get in trouble with the landlord, so the only thing Brian could do was to move the mountain so that it faced the apartment. But how do you go about moving a mountain? It’s not like you can just pick it up and put it down like you would a cardboard box. You can’t tow it like an RV. Brian sadly lacked the power of telepathy, so he couldn’t pick up the mountain with his mind. He didn’t have any available friends to help him with this massive endeavor. He would have to go about this incredible task of moving the mountain on his own. 

So he didn’t have the power of telepathy, but Brian knew that sheer willpower was a powerful thing. So Brian decided to try and will the mountain to move. He pictured it moving in his mind. He put all his might into willing the universe to move the mountain for him. It just wasn’t working. He kept trying, trying so hard he feared he might give himself an aneurysm. But alas, the willpower tactic worked to no avail. Brian tried to think if there was anything that might be interfering with the energy he was attempting to send out. He looked around and saw that his room was messy, so he cleaned it up and organized everything so that the room looked spiffy and proper.

While he was cleaning his room, Brian got a different idea. So he didn’t have the ability to will the mountains to move so that he could see them from his apartment so that they could provide him the will to work. But maybe if he got enough people to will the mountains to move maybe then it would work. So he didn’t have access to friends this very moment who could will the mountains to move for him at this very moment. But how would he convince people to will the mountains just for him? After all, Brian was just some dude who not too many people knew, how could he convince a bunch of random strangers who didn’t know he existed to help him do a monumental task such as moving a mountain through nothing but sheer willpower?

Mike! That’s it! The people in Grand Heights liked Mike, so maybe he could set up a charity event for Mike. They would show up for him. Would it be morally questionable to use his own friend’s suffering as a means to accomplish his own personal agenda? Absolutely, Brian could never use his friend’s tragedy for his own ulterior motives. So Brian dropped it for a second, but then another thought came to his head. “Well, Mike really could use the money, and holding a charity event where people could show that they would move a mountain for him would be a quick and easy fundraiser, so why not?” So Mike decided to focus on raising money for his friend, and getting a sick view of the mountain would be an added bonus.

Brian went to the college library and created and then printed out several flyers for the event. He posted it around the college, at city hall, at the old folks home, at the McDonald’s, and everywhere around town. He shared it with his friends on social media, who shared it with their friends. Brian didn’t have much time, he had to work quickly, but for what little time he had, he did admirably.

When the time came, a sizeable amount of people showed up. Not the entire town, but about a hundred or so people showed up, grills were started, songs were sung, and willpower was thrown at the mountain. And you know what? Maybe they didn’t move the mountain across town, but the attendees could have sworn that the people really did move that mountain a little, just a little bit, a little less than a millimeter. All in all, they raised about $700 for Mike, maybe not enough to pay off all of his expenses, but a solid amount for less than a day’s work in a small town.

And so Brian woke up the next morning, with absolutely none of the work done. Brian had managed enough willpower to move a mountain by a little less than a millimeter and raise $700 for his friend but couldn’t finish a paper if his life depended on it. Why couldn’t he? He knew it was due Sunday at 11:59. He knew it would be easier on him if he started now instead of waiting until Sunday at 11:00. How could a man will a mountain to move but not himself the ability to work? “Have I even asked myself,” Brian asked himself? He looked around. The room was clean now. There was nothing to interfere with any willpower he could try to direct toward himself. So Brian focused and concentrated on willing himself to work on his paper. 

January 19, 2023 21:23

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2 comments

Ross Dyter
21:56 Jan 26, 2023

Procrastination taken to a level where it's almost down to an art form. Sometimes I feel like this when trying to write. I recognize the idea of leaving doing something until the very last minute, when there are no options left. If there's still time to spare, you could always just...

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Wendy Kaminski
00:57 Jan 26, 2023

I feel Brian's pain: I was a terrible procrastinator in college! It got better, fortunately. I really thought this was a fun spin on "moving mountains" - thank you for sharing the story! :)

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