Justine walked to the part of the mountain that wasn’t owned by the mine, or by anyone. The elevation was higher, the air thin and dry, and the sky a perfect clear blue on most days. When she walked her boots squished down thick green bear berry, small and compact, full of bitter blue fruit. The ground was wet; Adam had called it muskeg. Everything was new to her here. The only familiar objects were the ones that she and Blake had brought up; all the rest were alien, with names in a new language built of the one they spoke.
There was a spot she liked to go, which was so tucked away that even if someone was standing just on the other side of her favorite swell of earth, they couldn’t see her. The mountains pushed up gently this far up, and tumbled down into a small sea of fireweed. She had a small pack strapped to her back, which she filled earlier with a canteen of water and a few chocolate chip cookies from the commissary. She took off her boots, and placed them next to the pack high on the ridge. She laid down, not caring if her dress was soaked from the sodden muskeg, and rolled down the hidden hill until the fireweed stopped her momentum. She was dizzy, and slightly embarrassed, even though she was positive no one had seen her.
The fireweed was full of bees, who must have been born on the mountain.