As part of the release of The Journal of Unlikely Academia a number of the contributors have worked to produce an “extra”. In my head, i’ve been calling them “Footnotes” because..you know…Academia. You can find mine, “Responder 22” below. But first, you’ll find links from the other contributors.
Bonus Material by Abra Staffin-Wiebe
Apocalyptic Tumblr by Julia August
Minotaur: An Analysis of the Species
By Sean Robinson
Excerpt from Appendix C: Questionnaires
Location: Undisclosed per non-disclosure agreement. Greater Rocky Mountains region. United States and Canada.
Height: 3.65 Meters
Weight: 600 lbs
They met on their way up the summit of Mount Elbert, in Colorado. 14,400 feet above sea level. Mom used to tell me the story. She was a half-mile from the summit when the weather changed, and out of the rain came a man. They huddled together in a lean-to. One thing led to another. Only thing he left her was his raincoat, to keep off the chill. They didn’t share names. They just shared a kid. A kid he never met and she never wanted. All my mother—Rhonda Clark—wanted was the peaks and the sky.
She stayed with me for a while. In a cabin. Taught me how to fish. I taught her how to find the paths that weren’t clear as we walked. Then there was a day where I went walking, to taste the air, and feel the sun. When I got home, she wasn’t there. Not in her little sleeping bag, or by the lake, or…or anywhere. She was gone. And when I went to look for her, she wasn’t there. Wasn’t there ever again.
But after a while, it didn’t matter. Because there were trails we hadn’t walked together, up and down the mountains. Gulley’s that no one had ever hiked before. Trees so tall they shadowed the valleys. And it spoke to me, whispered to me. In the wind off trees no man had ever seen. It told me it would be there for me if my mother wasn’t.
Read an article once. Hikers like to leave their trash at their campsites sometimes. Fish and Game says that in the last ten years there’s been just shy of three thousand fatalities across the country while people are out hiking. I really hate people who litter.
- On Death
I don’t think about it much. Won’t be a trip down the trail. Won’t be altitude sickness. Won’t be a lot of things. There’ll be someone lost on a trail, inching closer to the place where the summits meet. They’ll be smart enough to pack for a long trip in the backcountry, smart enough to hear my hooves on the brush. It’ll go quick. And when it’s done, I’ll still be beside the lake, still looking at the open sky.
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