Numb.

Blissfully numb.

From the bones in my toes, to the back of my mind. I had become blissfully numb.

Thirty hours ago I had prayed to any force of nature that might hear me, begging to live. That was over a day ago. Now I wished for a quick death. But this time I didn pray to any deity.

Yellow eyes, and a steady gaze. That is what I plead with.

The wolf watched me with suspicion.

I imagined myself stumbling forward, with my hands outstretched. My leg would give as I tried to step over the rock. I would roll to the beasts feet like a perfectly wrapped feast, and after a few tentative sniffs those fangs would tear into me. Chewing me apart slowly.

It would be ok, because I was numb.

I couldn remember the last time I had felt my toes. Thought if I was to guess it was most likely around the time I had taken a purposeful step forward. When I had moved off the little mountain road, and into the snow.

The wind had long since frozen my body to its core, stealing away my one hope for a quick death.

Though perhaps it wouldn be so bad. I had heard once that when freezing to death, the body would reach a point where it would simply fall asleep. My body swayed at the thought. Longing pulled at my ice cold heart and pain laced through me.

My body stumbled forward reflexively, and the wolf startled. He dropped down low and his teeth glinted in the fading light. Teeth I used to cower from, became my saving grace. My release from this frozen wasteland. But I tripped sooner than I planned, sprawling onto the ground. My nose was full of snow and I wondered if I would suffocate instead.

I had never realized how many different ways a creature could die.

The frozen ground crunched under heavy steps. My cheeks stung as something prodded it, and yellow eyes came into view. The wolf. A wave of lethargy rolled through my body making my eyes too heavy. They dropped down and the last thing I saw was a smudge of yellow.

The cold wind brushing against my cheek woke me with a start. The chill was quickly settling into my bones. The memory of being completely numb sent a trimer of fear down my spine. A gust of wind picked up kicking a pile of fluff into my eyes. The cold bit into them and tears swelled up in my burning eyes.

A moan escaped my lips as I forced my frozen limbs to right my body. The world around me was as alien as it was lovely. The evergreen trees stood tall and proud, even as their limbs bowed down from the weight of the frozen crystals. The dark green of the needles stood in stark contrast with the white snow.

For one blissful moment I was baffled. How had I gotten to such a lovely place? Then I dropped my gaze downward and found the dark pools and melted snow.

Blood.

”Aaa. ” The sound that left my throat was weak and meaningless. Just like my pale fingers smeared in streaks of brown.

I looked up again as memory settled back in, and the crystalline landscape morphed into a barren wasteland. With no sign of civilization anywhere.

My heart beat became painfully slow as my strength ebbed away.

I was stranded in the mountains.

Alone.

My heart squeezed painfully as I realized that waking up had not been a blessing.

I was just about to crumple back onto the ground when something silver flipped onto the snow. It flailed back and forth desperately. Its glowing scales and crimson blood decorated the once pure snow.

I reached out ghostly fingers to brush against its slim coated skin. Hoping that it wouldn disappear in a puff of smoke. Its thrashing became violent as my fingers slipped away from it.

”Ffuh? ” I wondered aloud if I could believe it. Unsure if it would still be there after spea

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