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I just now wrote this as a creative writing exercise. But it’s a true story. Make of it what you will.

The sheer rock wall stretched along the side of the ravine. Above and below, the ravine was equally steep. And back? Back was a long way. We chose to go forward, one at a time, toes clinging to the earth below the rock, bodies hugging the wall.

I slipped on the way over, grabbing the edge of the rock, my feet scrabbling for a moment. But I didn’t go down the hillside, and neither did anyone else.

We named that place Hell, because we didn’t know where we were or how soon we would get out of it. But we did eventually. We had to spend the night outdoors, in the middle of a forest road, and then next day, we found that we were closer than we’d thought; if we had kept going down the road we might have found our way out that night.

But in the dark, we couldn’t see enough to know that, so we stayed out, shivering, huddled by a tiny campfire. And in the morning, we knew just where to go.