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last edited on ZLT: 29.02.20
KALISTA IS HOSTED AT ZHANLANN
She gasped, in pain, against the callous grip of the cold. The frosty gale was biting, burning her skin; she forced her way through the amassing slush, desperately trying to hasten her escape.
She willed her legs to speed up, waving aside the splitting agony. She tightened the makeshift cloth wrapped around her waist, swearing as blood stained through. The pain slowed her down considerably.
Don’t you dare stop.
She stumbled, the thickened snow in the forest made it tougher to move. She battled against the lashing gale, climbing, or trying to climb, unswervingly onwards, away from the silhouette of the town she used to call home. The pelting snow was hail against her. Her previously snug cloak whipped out behind her in an icy flare, its suffocating choke mercilessly gripped at her throat. She was swimming against a raging tide in this mess of a snowstorm.
Her thighs ached. Her arms hurt. Her waist throbbed. The numbing cold of the dead winter seeping into her bones worsened her shivering.
Where was she? She didn’t know.
Don’t die. Not yet.
She couldn’t comprehend how the inferno could rage on under the pouring thunderstorm in the town she left behind. Bel had said it was the works of dark magic. She didn’t believe him. He’d told her to run. She didn’t want to.
Don’t you dare die here, you idiot.
This mess was her fault. Her foolish recklessness ended her up in this situation. There wasn’t anyone to blame but her stubborn self.
Run till the town was a puddle of shadows. Run till the town was a speck of blaze in the distance. Run till she see no more but a patch of snowstorm in her wake.
She vision blurred. Was she crying? She wiped away the wetness, and blamed the rain, the snow.
She clutched at her cloak, leeching off whatever warmth her tattered garments provided. She swallowed, her throat singed. She was tired, exhausted. She couldn’t feel her legs.
A flash of white seized her vision, her side seared in red-hot agony. The echoing cry of anguish— hers— owed to the reopened wound at her side. Her nose tinged frozen red, the puff of her breath, a hazy swirl of a mist, grew shallower. She didn’t feel like continuing. She had no idea where she was headed. He only told her to run. So she ran.
She stumbled, her foot tripping over an invisible force. Her hands splayed out in an effort to regain her balance. She panted, her knees trembled.
You can’t. Not yet.
Can’t give up, she knows. She knew all along. She could hear her pulse roaring, so loudly, she needed to run.
Fear churned in her gut in a hurricane of dread. Run where? Run, how? She felt like dying. Maybe she was already dead. A dreadful dream was all this was. She must have fallen asleep in her bathtub of icy water. That’s why it was so cold.
The gale whipped her cloak between her legs. She tripped on the heavy drapes in a futile attempt to get up, sinking face down into the sludge once again. The snow, the cold, she felt it, on her back. It seeped through her pathetic cloak. The never-ending sleet rained down on her. It bit into her skin, eating away her warmth. Her energy seeped away; she wanted to lay unmoving in the snow.
She was wrong. This was not a dream; she was not drowning in a bathtub—this was a living nightmare; she was drowning in this tornado of a snowstorm.
Can’t, not yet.
She crawled to her feet, her body swaying oddly.
How? She couldn’t feel them, her legs.
Her skin tingled. She blinked, her consciousness quivering.
A sizzle in the distance, she heard. The cold had dulled her sensitivity to circuits, but she heard it. She sensed it, actually. It woke her. Circuits. Magic circuits.
Fear rose anew, her skin trembled at the thought of them catching up to her.
No. No no no no.
They cannot. She cannot let them. Catch her, that was.
Panic jolted her sense; she picked up her pace, her head in a daze of pain and numbness.
Forest. Up ahead.
She just needed to get in there; the cover of trees could shield her.
She trudged, hastily, desperately. Stopping suddenly, she turned to survey the murky background behind.
She gasped at the trail of disturbed snow she left in her wake. Her footsteps! She waved her hand, her own circuit crackling pathetically. She had to wipe away traces of her journey. The snow rolled back and filled its holes, flattening itself.
“It worked,” she rasped, her voice giving out on her.
A sizzle. Closer. Louder.
She hurried, stumbling clumsily forward. Her hands clawed the air, slicing the wind as though it’d made her move faster.
She moved towards dense vegetation engulfed in white. Her sight danced.
A little bit more.
She pushed her legs forward; she could hear her frenzied heartbeat thumping. She could hear the crackling, like lightning.
Her hand stretched out, yearning for the touch of rough wood against her fingers, the rustle of leaves in the wind. A sharp zap of burning agony paralyzed her in place.
Her eyelids sunk against her will, with forest just before her sight.
Her knees buckled, and collapsed beneath her. The girl slumped onto the ground with a lifeless thump, her outstretched hands digging into the snow.
She mouth opened, forming incoherent words as her voice failed her. Darkness doused her sight, closing with a last glimpse of a drowsy silhouette against the bleached background of the snowstorm.
Hands reached out to gather the unmoving girl in his arms. He lifted her off the ground; his lithe movements sharp even against the cold.
He stared at the pale, drained face, and at the tangled hair that had once glistened like blazing embers.
KALISTA IS HOSTED AT ZHANLANN
A/N: one of the longer ones