Dee Equals Are Tee
rating: +11+x

The rope burns on my hands are making it harder and harder to hold on, to keep myself from falling off the edge of this cliff and quickly, inevitably, plunging to the rocks below. It makes me start to calculate things in my head to try and keep my mind from thinking of the pain. 'Dee equals are tee,' flicks through my head, but I'm not entirely sure what that means until I imagine it written out.

I'm at least three hundred feet up, and I think that things fall at the same speed. A rock near my foot pops free and tumbles down the side of the cliff. I count. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine…

Clack.

So, if D = RT, then three hundred divided by nine seconds, is thirty-three, repeating. I'll hit the ground at thirty-three miles a second? Is that right? That will almost certainly kill m— Wait. No. That's not right. That's assuming constant speed, but I'll be accelerating. God damn it, I wish I had paid more attention in physics…

I feel the wetness of blood trickling over my palms, and I find myself staring up the side of the cliff. Another thirty or forty feet. I can do this. I'm almost certain I can get up there. And once I do? Well, I've got food on my back for at least two more days. Someone can come looking for me. Flare gun. I'll be alive, and they can rescue me.

I remove one hand, and I put it above the other, gripping again and breathing in sharply at the pain. I added another foot to my rate-of-death calculation, and pulled myself upward, my body protesting every movement.

I weigh around two-twenty, and my gear — the stuff I absolutely have to have — weighs around thirty pounds. Pitons, rope, bag, shoes. Not the gloves though. I left those at home. Because I'm an idiot. As I start to climb, I begin to calculate my total weight. The pocket knife in my pocket is a few ounces, and the tin cans of tuna and beans in my backpack are a few more. Next time, I'll use plastic pouches, since those are lighter.

If I could take off my pack and sort through it, hanging in the air and floating safely, I would be more systematic, but since I can't, I have to make do.

I must weigh at least fifty pounds more than normal, give or take. Fifty pounds, and two-twenty, so two-seventy. I'm pulling two hundred and seventy pounds up the cliff, half a foot each gain, trying to make thirty-five — let's average — feet. I can do that. I was benching plenty last week. I can't remember how much, but the personal trainer said it was plenty.

Fuck. The footholds are too far apart… I can either try and go back down, which is how I got into this mess in the first place, or I can try to power through it the rest of the way. How much would it take to get there? Pulling force…

I don't know. I can't keep my mind occupied anymore. Fifteen, maybe twenty, feet, and I have to power it. Shame the gym coach isn't here.

I never got high marks in math…

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