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Vail 7: A Novel (unfinished)

Vail 7: A Novel (unfinished)

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Published by Alex Miller
When a chairlift crashes in Vail and kills two people, it's up to lift mechanic Trip Bellmore to get to the bottom of it.

Incomplete manuscript. If anyone gives a crap, lemme know. Maybe I'll finish it!
When a chairlift crashes in Vail and kills two people, it's up to lift mechanic Trip Bellmore to get to the bottom of it.

Incomplete manuscript. If anyone gives a crap, lemme know. Maybe I'll finish it!

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Published by: Alex Miller on May 19, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/30/2012

 
 A Novel 
Vail 7
 
1
Vail 7A Novel
By T. Alex MillerFrisco, ColoradoCopyright 2009Chapter 1
They were about two-thirds up the mountain on the oldchairlift when it stopped, then started to roll backwardsafter a violent twitch on the cable.Dana grabbed Tom’s arm as they both felt the backwards momentum build quickly.“It’s a rollback!” she yelled. “It won’t stop. We have tojump!”This just minutes after Dana, who’d been riding chairliftssince she was about 5, had told a nervous Tom it was a pieceof cake. His first time … and, apparently, his last.They both looked down. Already, the ground was racing pastin a blur of rocks, trees and patches of dirty snow leftover from winter. Jumping was already an impossibilitygiven the speed the lift had attained. They watched thechairs on what would normally be the downhill side careeringup the hill, jumping on the line like ants on a string. Danasaw one of them bounce past a lift tower and fly right offthe haul rope and into another chair. Both plummeted down toland in a tangle mass on a rocky shelf. Dana heard Tom scream an inhuman cry as the chair carrying the two of them zipped over a knoll and toward the inevitable confrontation with the bullwheel at the bottom.
 
2
Painting lift towers was a sucky job, but for a lifetimeski-area guy like Trip Bellmore, it was better paying andsteadier work than being a rafting guide – something a lotof his buddies did in the summer. Trip liked to thinkhimself as something above that kind of gig. After all,after nearly 15 years working Vail Mountain, he’d workedhimself up from a lift operator to trail crew to assistantdirector of mountain operations. He even had a business cardnow, although so far he’d only handed them out to his motherand his sister. Dana had taken the card, looked at itsolemnly, then kissed him on the forehead and told him she was proud of him.That was three years ago, and unless the current mountain manager somehow dropped dead, the assistant gig was as faras he was likely to rise within the corporate structure ofVail Resorts.“You’re a lifer, just like me,” said his boss, Arn. “I’m not going anywhere, so that means you’re second fiddle untilI kick it or retire.”Trip just laughed, looking at the hard features and leanfigure of Arn. He’d live to be a hundred, probably stillskiing bumps and hiking the state’s highest peaks in summer.The locals say you can’t live off the scenery, but that’s what the ski companies seemed to expect with the salariesthey paid. Almost everyone he knew worked another job on topof what they did on the mountain. Trip was actually lucky inthat he made enough to stick to his main gig on the mountain

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