juvenile peak

On clear nights, the child would feel tall – tall enough to break through sky above and squish the cosmos between its fingers….”


by adam moorad


The child was hairless and covered in goats. The child was a mountain but thought it was only a hill. At ten-thousand feet in the air, the child would play games, shouting in fog, slipping, falling – making avalanches. The child would whistle and echo off itself. Sometimes at night, the child’s belly would ache and, feeling scared, the child would cry and its tears would send waterfalls and landslides gushing down craggy rock faces through valleys and fields towards surrounding towns, flooding them, washing their inhabitants away. Once these stomach pains ended, the child could see its reflection in flatness of a freshly watered earth and the child would stop and stare at itself – like it would a television, watching some kind of program on public television designed to teach young children how to dial 911 in emergency situations – but this child was not one of those children.

In bed, the child would mistake itself for a pine tree, covered in cones with needles sticking together gummy and sap-drizzled with roots bubbling-up through the moss-coated ground. But the child was not a pine, nor any kind of tree. The child was a ridged mass of stone made from crevice after crevice of jagged rock gilded at every precipice with thick, sharpened icicle incisors which hung low and dripped into puddles that made pure, sparkling ponds in the plateaus atop the child’s hips.

The child had no routes to its summit.

The child would tap the moon whenever it wanted.

Clouds were the only things what could touch the child and with them the child nestled. On clear nights, the child would feel tall – tall enough to break through sky above and squish the cosmos between its fingers. Other days, when cranky or lonesome, the child would bat small airplanes from the sky as it would on occasion with hang gliders, helicopters, and migratory geese.

The child’s body contained a collection of unidentified rock formed from once-molten mineral solutions, concealing countless amounts of fossils from undiscovered species, some of which scientist would consider missing links in many evolutionary groups. Inside the child’s gut was a cave system housing several families of hibernating bears and hyperactive bats, living together in sweet nocturnal harmony.

When the child was born, it’s legs were only small beds of mud that miners quarried for coal and the child would giggle, feeling these men’s boots and pickaxes as they hewed its toes for fuel to make heat. Once day, the miners vanished, leaving tiny hairline fractures where the child’s liver had sat.

For several months a year, the child is covered in thick blankets of snow that falls once and stays, thawing slowly over a long period of time – from the child’s feet upward – and when it does, the child closes its eyes and sleeps and dreams about all its favorite Christmas season specials, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Frosty the Snowman – things the child has seen only once or twice before and misses.

The child’s joints are fault lines. Its zits are cliffs.

The child kills at least five hikers a year.

The child was a volcanic mountain and makes other mountains in places it can’t see.

The child will be a volcano again one day and will spit black ash at the sky.

The child will erupt on a morning in spring without warning somewhere between the regions of Canada and Mexico.

Originally published:
Issue Fifty-Eight
June 2010


(illustration: dee sunshine)

Adam’s writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in 3 A.M., Elimae, Mad Hatters’ Review, Pindeldyboz, and Word Riot. He lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing. Visit him here: http://adamadamadamadamadam.blogspot.com


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