Thursday, December 29, 2016

Flash Fiction # 231 -- Saving Everywhere. Part 15: Lost


I woke up very, very cold.

Snow lay all around me.  I had landed on my back and hit my head.  I wanted to curse as I sat up --

And then I laid back down and stayed very still.  I was on a very narrow ledge with a precariously long drop down.  Tall pines looked like toys beneath me, catching just a glint of silvery water in the moonlight.  So far down that my heart pounded with fear just looking at it.  If I had fallen that far, I would have died.  I had no doubt about it.

I slowly turned my head and to my left, afraid that any sudden move would send me tumbling.  I found a cliff that looked as shear as ice at first glance.   I was trapped on a ledge so small that my legs nearly dropped off the far end.  I was going to die --


I took better control of my emotions.  My head hurt, but I must have mostly landed on snow and not rock.  I ached, but nothing felt broken as I slowly, carefully pulled my legs upward as I sat up again.  I had a little space here, and I took deep breaths.  Calm.  I had to think my way out of this mess.  I had to get back to the others.

My choices were to go up or down.  Down looked easier -- I could see a line of fallen rock I thought I could reach without too much scrambling over the cliff face.  It looked treacherous, but I might make it all the way down --

But was down the way I wanted to go? Down to the bottom of the mountains only to have to climb back up again?  The weather didn't look any better down there.

No.  I needed to go upward and find the train track, and then follow it. The others would notice I was gone at some point.  And even if they didn't, I could maybe catch another train and at least follow them to the other side of the mountain.  As long as I didn't freeze first.

I suddenly realized that I didn't really feel as though I were freezing.    Apparently, some natural magic had kicked in to save my life.  I had an odd feeling it might have been what kept me from falling all the way, too.  I had always thought of magic as something used to help others -- the idea that it worked for me was an interesting revelation.  Would it help me get back to the others?

Could I use it to go up the cliff?

Then I thought about how I had ended up in this mess.  Had Alsia pushed me off?  I suspected so, and that meant the others were in danger from her.  I needed to get to them, warn them --

I started climbing up the cliff.  The work wasn't so hard as I had expected, though I had a persistent ache in his right shoulder and a headache that grew worse the higher I climbed.  By the time I had reached the level with the tracks, I wasn't confident I could pull myself up.

Stupid to have gotten this far just to fall again.  So I scrambled up over the edge and stood -- and sat down again because I was a bit dizzy.  It passed, though.  I felt colder, but eventually, that passed as well.  I started walking, heading the way the train had been going.  Upward, onward. 

The absolute stillness of the area was overwhelming.  I would have thought unnatural -- but really this was the most natural state I had ever seen.  This was the world without man interfering.  Movement caught my eye, and an owl swooped silently through the trees; if she found anything for dinner, it went silently to its death as well.  I strained to hear the sound of the train, but it could have been hours ago when it passed.  I had no way to know.


Though not completely.  I had started walking up the train track.  Deer sometimes moved in the nearby trees, at first startling me, but soon welcome companions.  Not alone after all.  I would have liked to walk with some of my friends who knew enough about magic to keep me -- and them -- safe.  I was doing alright so far. Some of the magic that had been crammed into me back in Elsewhere was getting a chance to come to the surface, I thought.  I hoped so.  I was going to need more magic, wasn't I?  Not only to survive but also to face the enemy.

Had Alsia managed to toss off any of my other friends?  I kept an eye open, trudging up the mountainside, then through a long dark tunnel that bothered me more than I liked to admit.

I was finally too tired to go on.  I moved to the edge of the trees, found a spot that had been blown clear of snow and curled up at the base of an enormous old pine.  I was almost immediately asleep, too.

Though I supposed I would run out of magic.  So maybe I better wake up and get going --

I awoke to a major snow storm.

Was I paranoid to think it had been directed straight at me?  I sat there watching the snow pile up all around and considered everything that had happened since I was forced to run for Elsewhere.

No, this wasn't paranoia.  My life had been like this lately, and the idea that nature had been turned against me was not something I even took much by surprise.  Things had been going this way for quite a while.

The storm meant I had to use more magic.  I could feel it starting to slip out of me.  White stood on every side.  I was alone, and I was not going to survive.

To Be Continued....

995 words

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