Open your eyes. Come on, you need to wake up. The air was cold and dry. He could feel it fill his lungs, making them feel paper thin, reminding him that he was just a fragile being. He could try and push himself off the ground, but only to find out that his body would collapse and end up right back on the solid ground. Maybe if I could crawl a short distance, I can prop myself up on something. I just need to catch my bearings. He was getting ahead of himself, though. He hadn’t tried to move his body at all since he regained consciousness. He hadn’t even been able to open his eyes. Come on Sam. Just open your eyes! He managed to hone his motivation and his eyes painfully creaked open. It felt like he was prying two bolted doors open. Everything looked so bright. He thought for a moment that he was in heaven. That whatever happened to him the night before just killed him and he didn’t have to worry about anything anymore. In fact, as everything came into focus, he wished that it was true.
He caught a glimpse of something moving in the distance. There was a light snow on the ground, and a few flakes falling around him. It was hard to tell if it was just the snowfall circulating through the winter air, or there was something out there, going in and out of focus. He blinked a few times. Re-prying the doors open and shut every time. The more things came into focus, the more the blur he saw took shape. At first, it looked like a flume of smoke, waving with the breeze, but the more he watched it, he realized that it was someone’s hair caught in the wind.
About twenty yards from where he was sprawled on the ground, lay another body. He moved his rusted jaws and opened his mouth, his lips chapped and sticking together. “Ari!”, he wheezed. “Ari! Ari! Are y- “, but his words just turned into loud breaths and short grunts. The other body lay motionless, showing no sign of reaction. It was now or never. He closed his eyes one more time and inhaled the stinging cold aura around him. Mounting his bruised hands on the snow dusted ground, he squeezed a clump of grass and mud, sloshing through his fingers. With whatever strength he had left, he pushed himself onto all fours, holding back gasps of pain. His diagnoses was a few cracked or broken ribs, possibly some head trauma, but nothing that would stop him from trotting twenty yards. He bowed his head and took a few more breaths. Being alive was becoming more and more of a hassle. He raised his head and honed all of his energy now in his legs. Using his right foot to prod the rest of his body off the cold ground, he finally raised himself up, but as he put his left leg down to sturdy himself, a sharp pain shot through his foot. “No!”, he yelled, as his body lost support and crashed back down to Earth.
No! No! No! He lifted his head to see that he had only made it about three yards closer to the motionless body. “Ari!” he managed to shout. “Ari! Are you there? Is that you?” No reply. He was out of breath and energy. He couldn’t get a response from the body. He couldn’t tell if the lifeless body was Arianna’s or one of the other companions. God, please not Ari. Please. Suddenly, he heard a voice. “Col…” He couldn’t tell whether the voice said Cole or cold but it didn’t matter either way, he knew that whoever was laying there by him was alive and needed his help. He inhaled and preceded to work his way into an army-crawl across the ground, being careful about keeping his torso safe and not to hurt his ribs.
“Cole… Cole…” It was Arianna
“It’s okay Ari, I’m here” There was no one else around to hear them talk, he even had enough energy to talk, but it came out a whisper. “It’s okay, we’re okay.”
A loud siren began blaring from the North. So this is how it’s going to end then. This is it. Cole looked down on her pale skin. How could something so perfect become so ruined? How could something so perfect exist along with everything else on this god forsaken planet?
“Cole?” She prodded.
“Yeah, Ari?” Cole waited for a few minutes for an answer, and after several short breaths, she looked him in the eye and gave a slight smile. The smile said It’s over, but at least you’re here but Arianna spoke in a feint whisper.
“Here come the wolves.”