The Mountaintop (ages 12-17)


Jason, a seventeen-year-old Amerian, sets out for the mountaintop, an act forbidden in his society, to determine once and for all the truth of his city’s beliefs. On his journey there and back, Jason runs into some unexpected and eye-opening adventures. Most importantly, he meets Manda, a 17-year-old Ginder girl, who changes his life irrevocably.

I climbed about six feet up the wall. I might have gone further, but I didn’t need to. I saw the river flowing below, but not very far below. The sound of the waterfall wasn’t nearly as thunderous as the Bandar waterfall. Judging from the quiet fall of water and what I could see outside, the fall from the cave to the river would be manageable, if it were a water landing. I took a chance and stepped up one more rock to confirm the situation. The nearest part of the river I could see looked quite wide, but the river narrowed quickly as it flowed into the distance. I descended the rocks without slipping backward and made my way back to Manda by pulling myself along the rocks and ledges.

“I’m going to go down the waterfall,” I announced. “I’ll call for you if I make it."

“Oh? What did you see?"

I told her.

“You think you’re going to be the brave one and save me?” Manda asked. “What you do, I do.” She let go of the rock and floated ahead.

The urge to call her back overwhelmed me, but what good would it do? Anyway, I’d already decided we could make it. I pushed away from the wall and came even with her three feet from the edge. She rose up in the water and took a deep breath. I did the same, and over we went.


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