Rachel climbed the stairs.

‘One leg up down and pull up the rest of me. Left . . . right . . . left . . .’

More than a few times she stopped to suck in some thinning air. Rachel looked up through the spiraling steps. She still had a long way to go. She was like that little train that said, ‘I know I can. I know I can.’ Nothing would deter her from the ultimate destination.

At the highest landing Rachel slumped down with her back against the wrought iron baluster. She pulled her knees up, wrapped her arms around her legs, closed her eyes and rested her head forward. She radiated from the inside out, having overcome the ultimate test. She lifted her head, laid it back against the cool grillwork and sighed contentedly.

Rachel opened her eyes and for the first time saw the large sheet of newsprint paper taped to the wall opposite the stairway. The heavy black Magic Marker script was barely legible. She pulled herself up to read it.

Congratulations!

You’ve reached the very top. Regrettably, we’ll be closed for the foreseeable future. The bad economy has affected us all and we don’t get enough folks up here these days to make it worth our while.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Have a good day.

Signed,

Top Management

Fred Nicholson