Flour Mountain stood proudly in the late March sunshine. With golden rays reflecting off its peaks, it was magical.
The British tourists got off the train and stood in awe of the view for a few moments.
Bill, the group leader, stretched his arms above his head and took a deep breath. As he filled his lungs with the crisp mountain air he felt his whole body relax.
Bill had been coming to Flour Mountain once a year for over a decade now. He loved it up here. The place felt like a second home to him. Over the years he had made some good friends here too. Walter, the hostel owner, in particular. Bill was excited about catching up with everyone. He was also looking forward to the traditional smorgasbord Walter always prepared for the arriving tourists.
'Can everyone gather here for a second, ' Bill said, 'there's something I want to show you before we head off.'
He moved towards the station building and pointed to a plaque on the wall. He stood back and waited for the group's reaction.
Mary, a short sporty type, looked up and started reading:
'Legend has it that The Devil once came to Flour Mountain to practise his skiing. He loved the place so dearly that, when spring melted the snow, he flew into a terrible rage. Filling his lungs with a mighty breath, he blew an ice cold wind to make his own permanent snow on the peaks of Flour Mountain. It is believed that he is still up there, The Devil, and once in a while, he comes out to practise his parallel turns.'
'How funny,' Mary exclaimed, 'obviously one for the tourists.'
'I don't know,' said Simon, 'there's always a shred of truth in any legend.'
Mary laughed. 'Don't tell me you actually believe in that kind of stuff.'
'In the summer,' Bill offered smiling, 'the peaks still look like they're covered in snow, even though the sun's melted it all. So who knows?'
'Ah, so that's why it's called Flour Mountain,' Mary concluded smugly.'
'What do you mean by that?' Simon looked puzzled.
' It looks like it's covered in snow even when it isn't,' Mary said, 'you could say it looks like it's covered in flour. You see? Flour Mountain.'
Simon looked even more confused. 'So what's that got to do with the Devil then?' he asked.
They all laughed.
'Absolutely nothing, ' said Bill, 'no connection whatsoever.'
He loved this banter. It was the same ever year with every group.
'Right then, let's get going before we confuse ourselves completely.' he said. 'Walter's expecting us in about an hour.'
After gathering their belongings they started the long trek up the hill towards the hostel.
(This was of course in a time long before shuttle buses and cable cars...)
On this particular March afternoon, Claude the Frenchman was also out enjoying the fine weather.
Claude had moved to Flour Mountain the previous summer. He loved the peace and quiet up here.
The thing about Claude, was that he was not a big fan of clothes. Or grooming for that matter. The locals had asked him about this once, and he said that this was how God created him. When they asked if he ever got cold, he just laughed and said he had a warm heart.
The locals had also wondered about his white underpants, the only item of clothing Claude seemed to own. Had God created those too? No-one had dared to ask that question yet.
As Claude came skiing down the hill past the youth hostel, he saw the British tourists struggling through the snow with their huge rucksacks.
'How much luggage does a man need,' he mused to himself.
He picked up speed and felt the wind in his hair, and in his beard too. Life was good. Claude was a happy man.
The flabbergasted tourists arrived at the youth hostel ten minutes later.
'Walter,' Bill said gasping for air, 'we've just seen The Devil, and he's wearing white underpants.'
'Oh, you've just seen Claude,' Walter replied, 'he's French. Now, who's hungry?'
Published on writebuzz®:
> Stories & Scripts