Here is Part 6 of my Describli-prompt inspired story.
I am suffering with headaches again at the moment, so this was difficult to write. But, me being stubborn, can’t give in. So, if it’s a bit lacking in happenings, that’s why. The creativity isn’t firing on all cylinders.
Part 7 next week.
The Past, Part 6
Go to the mountains. Find the cave. Collect the container.
They were Lena’s instructions. What she had to do to save Leo. And Alya.
She walked for what must have been hours through nothing but endless snow before she saw a hint of the mountains on the horizon. Her lips were numb, her head, hands, feet and legs ached, and silver spots of light danced in her vision.
She was hungry. The sun was high in the sky. Must be somewhere near midday.
She couldn’t make it to the mountains without stopping and eating.
But there was nowhere to stop, nothing to eat.
So she kept walking.
Zinna picked up the furs from the bed. She wrapped them around her arms, binding her small wings to her back. She couldn’t let Lena wander off out there alone, into the-universe-knew-what-danger.
And she couldn’t leave things between them the way they were.
She opened the door and faced the cold.
The sky was clear, the snow blinding. Zinna walked through it, shivering, then ran. She would warm faster that way.
Her body was made for endurance, originally in the air, but then, as her species evolved, on land. She kept moving, eyes on the horizon.
Lena was growing weaker with each step she took. She had been a fool to believe she could do this alone. Or maybe even at all. She was hungry, and so cold that she was beyond shivering.
She thought of turning back to the cabin, back for Zinna’s help. But she had come so far, and this was all Zinna’s fault anyway…
One foot. Then the other.
Then the sound of footsteps running.
No. She must be hearing things.
She stopped walking, turned around.
Something moving, on the horizon that had just been behind her. Entranced, she watched as the silhouette became a person, and the person became Zinna.
She didn’t know whether the relief or the anger at seeing her was greater.
Zinna stopped two paces away from her. Her breath misted in the air between them, and mixed with Lena’s. She wrapped her arms around herself as she said, “I couldn’t let you be out here alone, and I couldn’t let things stay the way they were, and yes, this was perhaps a foolish thing for me to do but I blame you for doing foolish things and getting me into bad habits.”
Lena’s lips betrayed her and showed the smile she was feeling. She suppressed it. “You should have stayed back in the cabin. You’ll freeze out here.”
“I haven’t yet. I think the trick is to keep moving. Where are you going anyway?” She was starting to shiver.
Lena pointed behind her. “To the mountains. We were right, it’s the woman from before. She has Leo and Alya. To get them back I have to get her what she wants.” Because Zinna was shivering hard now, she said, “If you’re coming with me, let’s get moving. I’ll explain the rest on the way.”
Zinna nodded, and they started to move. Lena’s stomach let out a growl. “I think food might be a good idea,” Zinna said.
“And we get that from where?”
Zinna pulled a backpack from her back, dangling it off one shoulder. “I brought this with me, thought it might be needed.” She pulled out some bars wrapped in silver and handed one to Lena.
They started to move again, walking as fast as they could to keep as warm as possible.
Lena tore the wrapper off her bar. It looked like some of the pictures she’d seen of early freeze-dried food. The early bars that people took into space on long journeys that kept forever. It tasted of not much, but it satisfied her hunger. When they had both finished, she said to Zinna, “Where did you get them?”
“They were in a tin in the cabin, I didn’t think Alya would mind. And even if he does, your life’s more important than a few bars of food.”
“How many were there?”
“A few. I took about half.”
“Oh.” This was strange. A time of sailing ships and yet space-age bars of food. Where in time were they?
They walked and ran into dusk. The sun set and the lights of the stars and moon guided their way. Tiredness came over Lena, but she daren’t stop. Sleeping in the cold was a recipe for disaster.
As dawn began to break, they came to the foot of the mountains. The land climbed steadily upwards, and just as the sun peaked above the horizon, Lena saw the mouth of the cave. Eating another of the silver-wrapped bars, she ran towards it.
Zinna stood beside her at the entrance. She swallowed the last of her food and wondered at the heat rolling out of the darkness. It was as if there was a fire burning inside there.
“We’re looking for a container?” Zinna asked.
Somewhere in there.
This week’s prompt: Brush it off