“Fall 1995, One hiker found dead…”


Illuminated only by the flicker of a dying flashlight, it likely appeared, to the outside eye, like a nervous tic — just restlessness, even. Who would even want to go hiking around here in this kinda weather, anyways? Maybe a dumbass, that’s who. My voice echoed throughout the cavern that was out loud? It’s not like anyone would hear you, either way, as faint whispers joined my hushed grievances. They echoed throughout the cavern: my mother, “I’m glad you told me this time around, solo trips can be dangerous, my brother, “look at yourself, putting yourself, us in danger.” I could feel a lump building up in my throat. Dread and guilt seem to be pretty weighted. Atlas, holding up the emotions.

“Am I just going to die here?”

This felt like the age old-question, a constantly asked one. When it’s just you, and only you and your thoughts, though, it becomes the omnipresent dictator of your own self. What could I have done better? Maybe not lose your map, for starters…but it’s a little late for that. Musing over bad decisions should be the last thing on my mind.

With that, I shook my flashlight. It already looked a little brighter —already a positive!—but? but nothing.

“That’s a start.”

My saliva tasted bitter. Being alone is just so consuming. I can’t imagine an otherwise, befriend a Wilson, it’s just too overwhelming. Hold up, consuming?

“Speaking of consuming, that’s a necessary thing. Hoooooly crap.”

The icy floor might be the only thing keeping my senses sharp right now, but crap. The zipper on my backpack slides easily, like figure skates on an ice rink no freezing right now, thank you! and I have enough for, at most? a few days, I hope.

A few days ago, I’d hoped I could go hiking solo, complete a trip and just have time to myself so I brought it on myself, I deserve everything. Maybe just end it. Yet, to me, a hypothetical headline motivates me more than I ever could myself. Maybe I can just survive here, on like ice particles. Adapt, or something. Even if it’s stupid, I can despair. Rather than do that, though, I rolled out my sleeping bag. That’s something. At least my dreams can take me away, anywhere.

Why did I not die? Mountains of ice surround me everywhere. It’s just a slow, bitter end. This is a dream, right? What could I ever hope to get out of dying cold and alone, for the sake of something,







I wanted to write a short vignette on some of the emotions solitude can bring up. In this instance, I focused on a small excerpt of an “explorer’s” perspective on being alone once they found themselves lost and alone, without any guidance or semblance of normalcy. In Frankenstein, I feel like the impact of loneliness isn’t touched upon as much as it could have been, especially with Frankenstein and his creation. Not only this, but when there is a focus on isolation, other emotions that go along with it that Shelley focuses on are usually things like vengeance or suffering, but to me, some isolation can be interpreted as self-loathing, or having a negative psychological impact from looking inward

While I couldn’t touch upon a lot of emotions that come up with loneliness, or go into as much creative depth as I would’ve like to, I had wanted to create a mixture between a short story and an almost spoken word or inner-thoughts/turmoil type of piece. It felt very disjointed writing it, and echoed a lot of overwhelmed, yet somehow resigned emotions one could feel in isolation. Due to its varied impact, I wanted to include a basic sense of how almost immobilizing it could be, similar in my mind to physically freezing up, or getting lost in thought. Sometimes with a lot of isolation, fantasy could even be the better-suited and maybe even the other option in regards to facing the crippling sensations along with loneliness head on. I took one quote specifically from Frankenstein, with Victor Frankenstein himself questioning “Why did I not die?” on page 153 after discovering Clerval’s death. This type of loss, and subsequent isolation brings up a lot of emotions that stem from becoming isolated — why suffering is unable to end for some is intriguing, and to me worth expanding on and looking further into, especially as we become further isolated from others with ever-growing distractions and obligations.

Samantha Shapiro