Literary Lion is a fortnightly writing challenge organised by Laura Gabrielle Feasey. This time it is around 400 words with the prompt : Edge.

© David Lawrence
© David Lawrence

The Summit

After a quick pint in the World’s End Pub I crossed the road and continued my march down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The paved road was slippery and wet and I was glad to get back onto the pavement.

It was late in the season and there weren’t too many tourists, so the walk to Holyrood Palace only took around ten minutes. I took a right along Horse Wynd and quickened my stride as I approached the next roundabout and the entrance to Holyrood Park.

There were a few cars left in the car park and some children were skipping and shouting, delaying as much as possible the ride home.

I ignored them as I prepared myself for the hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat.

Climbing Salisbury Crags I found myself curiously out of breath as the path steepened. A couple were walking down, hand in hand, and we all smiled as I walked nearer to the edge to let them pass. It was a long drop and I was glad to move back away from the brink.

Images flashed in my mind as I made my way upwards. As a teenager the Crags were just a means to attain the summit, whereas now in retirement they were much more of an obstacle. I chuckled to myself as I imagined hiring a helicopter to get straight to the summit and was relieved as I turned the last corner before the final ascent.

I had to bend over to catch my breath, holding my knees with both hands, struggling, embarrassed and a little ashamed; glad I was alone.

After a few minutes I felt the air returning to my lungs and strength returning to my legs.

I was ready.

Taking the same path as all those years ago I took my time and reached the top without passing a soul and found myself all alone at the highest point.


What a feeling! My heart soared as a tidal wave of memories swept back over me.

I reached my arms over my head to the sky above and turned my gaze to the Castle and the city of Edinburgh below.

I let out a roar of pure, primal, raw pleasure.

It still felt like home to me!

My favourite place on Planet Earth. (382 words)

The photo was taken by my son David when he was studying in Edinburgh a few years ago.

When I lived in Edinburgh I never took a camera. It’s a pity 😦

Holyrood Park Arthur’s Seat

3 Replies to “The Summit : Literary Lion”

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