The good news is that I’m alive, my post is just a little late. The bad news, I stabbed myself in the hand, which makes typing difficult. Actually it’s making everything difficult. And in case you’re wondering it was a from a brutal fight with a kitchen knife and a bag of frozen food.
For those of you who can palm read: I know, I know.
For those who can, interpret what you will.
And without further ado:
Melody came with me, clawing at everything as we slid down the slick floor. There wasn’t much time to get my bearings, but I knew it was cold and damp. Then suddenly the floor was gone and I was in mid-air. Somewhere in the darkness, Melody screeched. I had a moment of clarity, drifting in the emptiness; I began to count.
I slammed into icy water, choking, swallowing and sucking it into my lungs. The shock of the cold turned up and down backwards. For a moment I fought to find air, going in the wrong direction. Everything burned, my lungs from lack of oxygen and my skin from the stinging ice water. When gravity finally showed me the right direction, I shot to the surface, desperately heaving.
Only a second after gaining air, my attention turned to melody. She was clawing at the water to stay afloat. Her head was so far under that she couldn’t cry out without drowning. I tried to move as quickly as possible, but I felt my muscles tighten and grow sluggish. Hypothermia was setting in. I didn’t have long to Melody before she succumbed first, then get out before it took me.
Within hands reach, Melody went under. I scoop down into the water, reaching blindly, catching her tiny frozen body. Holding her overhead and treading water with my other three limbs, I let us both take a breather. Melody hacked and gagged, coughing up liquid. She was shivering so much, I struggled to keep hold of her.
While I waited, I spotted something that looked like land. Setting Melody on the nape of my neck, I swam as fast as I could without knocking her off. She was too stunned to cry or move.
The land that I spotted was covered in snow and felt more like a sheet of ice. It was a struggle to climb up onto the slick surface. Melody took the initiative and jumped off my back and onto land. She’d never seen snow before, and searched for some safe spot to sit, but the powder was ankle-deep to her.
When I finally managed to get out of the water, I reacted much the same way as Melody. I knew I couldn’t lay or sit on the cold ground. I also knew that I needed to get out of my wet clothes, even if the air was frigid.
Stripped down to my boxers, I crouched over the snow. I grabbed Melody and did my best to wring the water from her fur. Then we stayed there shivering. I held her to my chest to keep us both as warm as possible. I knew that any minute now April would come after me. So I waited and listened to hear her calling. Against my instinct, I didn’t call for her, too afraid she might rush head long into the same thing I did.
I had no way of telling how much time had passed, except for the speed at which Melody dried herself.
We were both shivering. The tips of my fingers were blue. If I waited any longer they’d be black. Melody was doing worse.
Behind me, I’d seen it, but didn’t want to consider it an option. About a hundred yards in the distance was a wall of ice. It rose beyond my sight, though at the base was a dark hole; a cave.
There was one hope now. That April had chosen to play it safe and gone for help, and I had to get into the cave to get warmer. I needed a way to communicate where I had gone in case of rescue; I pulled down my boxers and peed an arrow pointing in the direction of the cave.
My clothes in one hand and Melody in the other, we headed off.