Friday, January 13, 2017
Flash Fiction # 233 -- Saving Everywhere. Part 17: Snow World
I grabbed a tight hold of Edmond, pulling him to my chest and caught hold of Lord Snow's fur by his neck. A quick breath and then the snow was upon us. Ice, rocks, and trees flashed past us in the wall of white, but I was determined to keep my two companions safe. I pulled them closer and once again my magical power surged out around us. We were in a bubble, bouncing along the hillside.
It seemed like a long time before we finally came to rest. Snow piled up on top of us, but we had a little magical light here.
The sudden silence was almost as startling as being still. Edmond moved first. He'd buried his head in my chest, and he looked up now with his ears back and his tail twitching.
"I do not like snow."
Lord Snow sat up and shook a bit of snow from his head. He didn't look nearly as bothered as Edmond.
I was working very hard at not panicking, though. All I could sense around us was snow -- very thick, very heavy snow. The bubble of magic wouldn't last forever, nor would the light. I didn't know what to do.
Lord Snow did, though. He reached out and put a paw to the side of the bubble. It slid a bit that way.
"Yes, this will work," the snow leopard said. "We push like so, and simply keep moving until we are out of the snow bank. It may be some distance, but we shouldn't have a real problem."
He sounded assured. I reached over and gave the bubble a little push. We moved some more. There wasn't enough room for me to stand, so I just had to keep crawling forward. I was getting tired of people trying so hard to kill me.
"Did you say something, Mark?" Lord Snow asked.
"Just mumbling to myself," I admitted. "I am tired of --"
The bubble popped through the snow. Unfortunately, we were on the side of a cliff, so the bubble began to roll downward, and we toppled over and around each other for about a hundred yards. When we stopped I, of course, was on the bottom.
"My apologies," Lord Snow said and twisted a bit and got off of me. Edmond had been on my legs. He was standing already and looking about as annoyed as I felt. "We must be careful, my friends. She was close when she sent that snow down on us."
The light he'd brought to the bubble disappeared. I blinked and sat up. The night was filled with snow so that I couldn't see back up to where we had been. So much for following the train tracks. I snarled a little but said nothing.
"The snow will be soft," Lord Snow warned, "and we risk the possibility of falling back in."
"I'll go first," Edmond said. "If it's too soft for me, it will be for you two."
"I'll only use magic if I need to," Lord Snow added. "We don't know where she might be. Slide along the snow, Mark. If it starts to give way, I'll use magic and hope she does not notice us."
We started moving across the snow. It was a cold, dangerous path, and I had to wonder what my friends thought. They'd barely joined me, and we were in trouble again. As happy as I was to see them, I realized how dangerous it was just to be traveling with me.
We snaked our way across the white blanket that looked so calm now. Lord Snow had to rescue Edmond twice. The little guy did not take off flying, which would have been far safer for him. He stayed with us and helped keep us safe.
We rescued a dozen birds -- hawks, owls, and smaller ones -- that had gotten caught in the snow. We also pulled out a fox who started to shake the snow off but took one look at Lord Snow and froze in fear.
The big cat chuckled. "Go your own way, little fox. I am not looking for dinner right now."
The fox backed up, turned and ran lightly over the snow. I hoped he reached safety.
After the longest night I ever remembered, we finally reached solid ground. The rock here had been scoured clear of all snow and debris, except for a small corner that was out of the wind. We cleaned that space and settled in. I ached, and I was cold. Edmond crawled up into my lap.
"I am going to go hunt the woman," Lord Snow said. "We need to know if she is still out there. Stay here. Stay warm. You are in a protected area -- a little magic will not likely be noticed. There seems to be much of it in the air, probably from what she did."
"Be careful," I told him.
Lord Snow gave a quick nod and then ran off into the pre-dawn darkness. Edmond and I sat in the hollow, a little magic making enough warmth to keep us both content.
"We'll catch up with the others eventually," I said softly. "Maybe we'll get lucky, and the battle will be over by then. I want to save thing, but -- but the idea of battle just seems wrong."
"You are a protector," Edmond reminded him. "Of course battles sound wrong. They're the opposite of everything you are. Sometimes, though, they're the only way to make things right."
"I was never trained for magic, Edmond."
"Neither was I," he reminded me. "We've managed so far."
"Thank you for coming to find me. I found out I am not good at the alone stuff."
Edmond gave a little laugh and moved in closer. This wasn't so bad. I even bowed my head and slept --
Woke up to light and an awareness of other things nearby -- and they were not anything natural, either.
To Be Continued....