the hike than of someone stealing the truck. Of course he didnât know he was going to be lost instead of the keys. He left his mobile phone too, in the spare esky under the bag of garbage. All I have to do is get back to the lake, find the truck and drive till I get to where the phone works so I can call Mum. The furthest it can be is that service station with the bear paw prints. I hope itâs before that. But the truckâs still nearly a whole mountain away. Iâm at the other end of the cemetery field before I Â realise this is where Lily started choking. Of course the tombstone rocks werenât here this morning, because I Â hadnât broken the mountain yet. Did Lily know, somehow? Was her running out of breath a sign that we should have turned around and run down the mountain as fast as we could? The strange thing is Lily never has anything much wrong with her at all. Until she turned into a witch, sheâd always been a kind of golden girl Â â and Iâm not saying that just because sheâs my big sister and the opposite of me. When I was little I thought she was the fastest runner and best ball player in the world. Even now I know thatâs not true, sometimes I still feel secretly proud when I watch her race down a soccer field or slug a softball. Secretly proud and even more secretly jealous. The problem with being nearly three years younger is that I never catch up; by the time I can do something too, Lilyâs doing something else even better. The only thing Iâm as good at is riding, and thatâs just because I Â care more: Lily likes horses, but I love them. So if anyone had tried to guess which of us would suddenly forget how to breathe, theyâd have picked the scrawny, freckle-faced, canât-even-go-out-in-the-sun-without-getting-frizzled little sister, not the one whoâs a natural at everything she tries. I still wish I hadnât said Okay when she said we should go on without her. I didnât mean to be the only one who got to the top after all.
6:00 FRIDAY EVENING The ridge we followed up this morning is at the end of the cemetery field. Itâs like the spine of the mountainâs back, from here down to where we saw the bears. After that, I just have to find the trails and keep on walking downhill till I get to the lake. I build another Inukshuk to point across the cemetery field. Heâs little, but I put him on a table rock sitting a little way apart: the rescuers canât miss him. Except itâs already getting harder to believe that anyoneâs going to camp at the lake. Iâve got to get to the truck before dark. I change my watch to mountain time: twelve past five instead of twelve past six. That gives me a bit longer till nighttime, but I donât know if itâs enough. So walk faster! says that voice in my head. If walking faster is good, running is better. For about twenty steps all I can think about is staying on the path and not tripping on loose rocks. After that all I can think about is how much I hurt. Every thump of my feet onto the rocky ground is a stab of pain: even my finger hurts more. Maybe running isnât such a good idea. As long as I Â keep on walking, thatâs all that matters. Toes numb, heels blistering, doesnât matter: keep on walking. Left, right; trudge trudge; keep on walking. Thereâs the raven! Itâs the first living thing Iâve seen since I fell off the cliff. I know itâs the same one, even though its feathers were almost purple in the sunlight yesterday, and theyâre just plain black now that the dayâs getting dark. Itâs flying the way it was when we first saw it, flapping its wings so slowly and lazily you know it could go faster if it wanted, but this is all it can be bothered to do right now. âHello, Mr Raven!â I shout. Thatâs one thing about being alone on a mountain: you can shout out anything