September 18, 2017

‘I’m going,’ said Tenwillett. ‘Some fool has to get the supplies, and it might as well be me.’

‘You mustn’t,’ said Lila, but not forcefully.

The rest of the dregs trapped in the cabin averted their gazes to contemplate the warped floor of the hastily built shack. Outside, the wind howled. A sneer curled a dance on Tenwillett’s lips. He wrenched open the door and threw himself out into the storm.

Staggering bend and flap toward the trail, Tenwillett knew he must succeed or die. With a light laugh, he turned toward the original landing site and pushed on. Hunched, head down, he moved, but after an eternity of fifteen minutes, something changed. What was it? Ah, the roar of the storm had suddenly dampened to silence. The wind had fallen away to stillness. Tenwillett raised his head. The snow still fell, but peacefully, dreamily. And what was that strange orange light? What were those floating blobs of pale color behind the curtain of snow?

‘We are here, but you shouldn’t be,’ sang a soft chorus.

I knew I must succeed or die, but dang it, I thought for sure I would succeed was Tenwillett’s last thought.

I knew he must succeed or die, but dang it, I thought for sure he would succeed were the final thoughts of Lila and the dregs.

The floating blobs continued to live peacefully forever.

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