Prompt for May 10, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

Exhaustion.

That word did not even begin to describe the pain I felt in every muscle. I was sitting on a rock, a small pointy rock, that was causing me some significant discomfort, but I didn’t move. The mere act of moving would cause more pain and I was just too tired.

I looked at my three companions, all of whom looked dead, or close to it, and saw the deep, gasping breaths that everyone was taking, trying to suck in all of the oxygen they could before they had to move. Jimmy looked like he cut his arm a few miles back, the wound having started to crust over in the heat. Nick looked the worst as he was carrying the most weight, not necessarily in his backpack, but around his waist. Those extra beers last night were catching up with him today. And Sophie? She looked like she was in the best shape, in more ways than one, having trained for a marathon just last year. This hike through the mountains, while difficult, was probably not outside the realm of what she was used to doing.

I stood up, slowly, using the tree trunk behind me as support. The others looked at me as if I was crazy, but then slowly started to get to their feet as well. The heat has risen a couple of degrees in the few minutes that we had stopped and I looked behind us to see how close Armageddon was. The flames rose into the sky creating a wall of fire behind us. So hot, so high that they obliterated the horizon behind them and caused my face to feel hot. Too hot.

The caves were just beyond this ridge, just beyond the next hurdle. I hope.

Post a link to the story in the comments.

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