At the foot of the mountain the sign read, “Watch out for vipers.” The fields of bamboo grass covering the slopes would have been an ideal home for a poisonous snake, but as I crested the summit of the mountain I found no dangerous reptiles but rather a tent already set and waiting for evening though it was still hours until sunset.
The sound of my approaching footsteps brought attention to its occupant and soon there emerged like the budding of a flower not a serpent or medusa but possibly a siren. She said her name was 萌.
And so we spent waning afternoon together chatting idly as the sun settled towards the shoulder of the mountain. Suddenly the light was right and I jumped to work. 萌 stood behind me watching. Almost as an afterthought I said, “Stand over there. The photo will look better if you’re in it.” Then I took the photo.
She was tired and went to bed. I stayed up to watch the moon rise.
Copyright Brian Heise, 2019
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- Off the Beaten Path, Japan #31: Walking the Ridge
- Off the Beaten Path, Japan #30: On the Ridge to Sasagahara
- Off the Beaten Path, Japan #29: Morning Light on Kamegamori
- Off the Beaten Path, Japan #28: Sunset on Stonehammer
- Off the Beaten Path, Japan 27: Sea of Clouds