Yogesh, my abandoned guide on all things Nepalese, had said that the small
yak-herding settlement of Langsisa was worth seeing if seeing meant believing,
being as it is so isolated and yet further east of Kyangjin.
Yogesh and I had discussed where I might like to trek on my trip before
we embarked from Kathmandu, and he'd proposed the Langtang trek as being
an ideal one seen as though I was still something of a novice trekker,
and because such a trek would fit nicely into three weeks.
He'd also, I remembered, waxed lyrical about the stunning views of a
glacier that was spilling down from Tibet, but this I would have to
miss too, as I kissed Kyangjin goodbye.
The men with whom I was now travelling suggested that we make for the
Ganja La pass, due south of Kyangjin.
After negotiating the pass we were to head further south for some miles,
before turning west towards the sacred lake of Gosainkund.
It seemed a most fitting twist of fate that this was the very same
route that Yogesh had decided we would follow after we'd taken in
the serenity surrounding Langsisa.
Just because I was embarking upon a search for a missing girl with
three virtual strangers didn't mean I couldn't enjoy the passing
scenery and life-changing culture of the area, and so I was excited.
But more than excited I remained confused.
Why did the men wish to head this way?
Did they know more than they were letting on?
The girl could have been anywhere, surely.
It was natural to assume that she'd been kidnapped, but there was also
a very real possibility that she'd run away for whatever reasons
she might have harboured.
Young girls do stupid things for strange reasons all the time: home and away.
For all we knew she might even have returned home in the time that we'd
been out looking for her over the past day or so.
There was just no knowing, and I of all people seemed to be left
in the dark as the sun put his hat on and hit the snow-crowned
mountains with religious vigour.
I'd lost track of time in its entirety.
I didn't know the day or the date until I consulted my watch.
Far from being Friday the 13th (a day that I'd always held in nervous regard),
it was Saturday.
Saturday May 21st...as if that hard fact made a
difference to anything. Days and dates set into a rigid calendar
framework didn't mean much to these men of the mountains.
They instinctively knew when the seasons were on the cusp of changing,
when the monsoon rains were coming, or when a heavy snowfall
was in the air and on the cards.
They didn't have the latest technology to help them predict weather
over the next few days or weeks.
They had their eyes, their ears, their noses.
More than anything, they had an enviously close relationship with
Nature herself, and that very often meant the difference between life and death.
Dave still played on my mind, too... the young adventurer who wasn't
that unlike myself, except for my belief that he had a secret known
to nobody other than himself concerning the missing girl - with her
ring on his finger and potential gangrene on his toes.
I'm no detective; never have been and never will be.
I step out into the sun and close my eyes, letting the light wash over my face.
It's cold, and the wind pinches my cheeks but I feel complete, for the first time ever.
Today the world is different. Today is the first day of a new beginning.
Everything feels real and vivid, and I bathe in it, taking it all in like a child
seeing a painting for the first time, judging the angles and
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 17 (1886: Hull, Yorkshire) By Frank Beill
When we got further out into the Atlantic my companions became wary of going up on deck. When they did they scanned the horizon and talked in low voices if there were dark clouds heading towards us. The ocean swell was stronger but these weren't the rough seas they expected in repetition of the previous crossing.
I was pleased we weren't enjoying the great sickness
Fiction - Complicity Part 4 By Nick Quantrill
Complicity is the new crime-fiction novella set in Hull featuring
Detective Sergeant Coleman and Detective Constable Maynard.
The thisisull.com serialisation is accompanied by the stunning black and
white photography of Roland Standaert, which illustrates the story and takes a unique look at the city.
Complicity and other stories are available for free.
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 16 By Rich Mills
"What music are you into, man?" The American exchange student who had earlier introduced
himself, without any regard for Alan's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball
of a question like this in his direction.
"Well I listen to..." What followed was a definitive list of bands from Alan's
wide-ranging rare vinyl and CD collection, he even
Fiction - Two Extracts from The Shintae - a Novel by Brian R Hill
Fiction - Zero and the Neighbours Part 1 - Demo version 0.1 By Joe Hakim
Frank was one of the regulars. From the first day I started dealing poker on the tables, Frank was there. To look at, he was your typical moody old man - old in the Father Christmas sense - white hair, a huge white beard and a round gut that hung out of his shirt and over his belt. You could imagine him sat in a grotto in the bottom of Princes Quay with some mewling
Fiction - Just like Eddie by Bob Spence
I don't know exactly when I got into it but there you are.
Like most lads, I suppose it was the thought of being Bristol's answer to
Elvis that was some kind of inspiration.
Yes that was always there in the back of my mind, but the accent never sounded
quite right to be fair.
Anyway. The South Deans Village Youth Club was a right place back then and we used
Fiction - The Wall by Darren Sant
Sometimes your best is just not enough.
Panic stricken and panting I arrive.
There it is, a fucking huge wall. An obstacle blocking my progress.
A visible representation of all that I can't achieve.
Nervously I look behind me. I lash out at it, kicking and punching but to no avail.
It is rock solid. I jump but find it too high. I take a running jump
Fiction - Divine by Blair Ashworth
"Mein Führer? Mein Führer?" The old man in the long grey coat was bent over the body slumped in the chair.
"Give it a few more seconds, Henry," said the doctor. "Do you speak any German? It might lessen the shock." No, Henry didn't speak any German and he didn't much care about any shocks he might deliver.
Behind the heavy oak chair,
Fiction - Scissors, Paper, Stone! By Bob Spence
The Lord Nelson was your typical run-down seventies pub. The decor was in disarray, with half a mind to venerate the Royal Navy's biggest hero or to catch the eye of the potential clientele with the latest fashion. In this manner it achieved neither.
Mickey was the prototype glass collector for every
Fiction - Drowning, Swimming By Joe Hakim
Keith sat and stared at his wife, who was holding his daughter and staring at the
28" Philips Widescreen TV situated in the corner of his house, on his laminate floor,
flanked at either side by his Sony sound system and his X-Box.
He was sweating and his head was throbbing - the general effects of the weekend
Fiction - Any Instructions? By Denis Price
It wasn't the first time he'd missed the bus. From the Mess to the monitoring hangar was only a quarter of a mile walk, something he relished during the central European summer as the airbase had been carved out of heavily wooded countryside teeming with wildlife.
Fiction - Second Chances by Nick Quantrill
Available now, Second Chances is a crime fiction novella set in Hull that is
already attracting praise from readers.
Influenced by crime fiction heavyweights Ian Rankin and Hull's Robert Edric,
Second Chances is set to be a great success.
For a taster, see the extract reproduced below, only available
Fiction - Invasion By Bob Spence
Moody just couldn't stop scratching. His shirt was far too stiff at the edge of the collar
and the coarse material was driving him to distraction.
You could also say that Moody was distracted anyway. He was waiting for a letter from his fiancee
and there was none.
Fiction - The Death and Birth and Death of a Legend By Bob Spence
Goober liked to be busy. Some people could handle doing nothing, not Goober Walton.
Running the tidy but ancient gasoline concession suited. Suited well.
It was orderly and everything clearly had its place.
Some would say it looked almost military in its order and for that it
Fiction - Feller's in Cut By Maurice Fairfield
Well that's her gone. You don't remember me do you?
I'll have a pint while you're thinking about it.
It's me Jack, Harry Fergus's son. Here for the funeral.
Thought I'd see her get put under. Not sure why.
It's always a laugh though, watching a parson doing a
Fiction - Fishheads By Michelle Dee
Monstrous silver and blue -green severed fish heads emerged at the forefront of her mind.
Open, close, open, close the gaping mouths. She fancied there were others behind it.
Each time the razor sharp teeth were bared she looked into the blacker than