Michael Lacey — "Mountain Man", 2020


William Daw loved Cader Idris. It loomed moodily above the town of Dolgellau and in his thoughts at all times. Cader Idris spoke to William Daw, sending him psychic love notes in the day, and entering into langorous, far-reaching discussions in his dreams. They talked about her craters and peaks, and the myth that those who slept at her base would arise either madmen or poets. They talked about the clear lake at her summit where William Daw would swim and masturbate, and watch thin strings of his ejaculate coagulate in the water. He would try to swim backwards away from them, so they'd sink to the bottom and merge with the soil instead of getting matted into his pubic hair. Then he'd walk home, shivering in the moonlight, pockets full of stones.


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