Story Go Round 11/29/2009, #11

Cold Feet

She couldn't feel her feet anymore. The cold had gone from painful to mind-altering in the matter of hours. The ice walls of the glacier all around her sounded like a thousand breaking glasses, reminding her that everything in the universe was in motion even if she was trapped in the crevice going nowhere.

“Okay,” she thought. “Breathe.” Air slowly escaped her mouth in clouds of ice crystals.

With another shuddering grind, the crevice closed still further, the thin band of blue sky above her narrowing by a good six inches. She couldn't stay here, despite what she knew awaited above. With grim determination she planted her frozen butt against one wall, her frozen feet agains the other, and began to inch herself upwards.

A numb body is hard to move. Clumsily, she ascended, slipping an inch for every three inches she gained.

Breathe, she reminded herself. Breathe. She closed her eyes and took a few shuddering breaths, then started making her way up the icy wall again.

“You came back,” the figure said calmly, still typing on his device — his thing. “I knew you would.”

“It was that or die,” she snapped, hating how he always rubbed her the wrong way, and how he always had so much power over her.

“You still don't like me very much, do you?” His voice was vaguely interested.

"Not since the umpire pigeon incident, no. Now will you please tell me-"

“You're awfully cranky. Look at the beautiful scenery.”

“The beautiful scenery is giving me frostbite.”

He chuckled, apparently amused by what she said. Her eyes narrowed at him, already feeling the distaste of his company well up within her.

Was this really the better option? she wondered, glancing back at the crevice she'd just gotten out of.

“What do you want from me” she asked wearily.

“Oh, a little of this and a little of that. A little off the top.” He laughed airily.

“Then we ought to at least exchange names.”

“Oh, I don't think we're quite ready for that yet.” And he was gone. Had she hallucinated him? Was she freezing to death?

No, she still heard the clicking of the keyboard. She felt embarrassed.

The ice hadn't closed in on her, she'd fallen on her face.

Shit. “So, do I pass?”

“Keep going,” he told her.

“There's more?” This isn't what I signed up for, she thought. But was smart enough not to say it out loud.

She bit back a sigh. Was that jerk twittering this whole thing? They weren't paying her enough for this. Charity be damned. She wanted to be out of here and back to her boring old life of humdrum little nothings that never changed.

So she let herself slide deeper into the crevice, pronouncing it in her head as “krav-ass” hoping that if she died, the writer would have to finish the story without her. It was then that she heard the rescue helicopter coming closer. A small eternity to her passed but then the copter landed and some medical personnel loaded her on to the copter. “Are you okay Miss?”

She couldn't answer she felt so cold. Everything went black for a while. She awoke feeling warm and looked around to notice she was in a hospital room. A doctor with grey/white hair entered and smiled at her. “Ah, I see you're awake, Miss Anders. You were lucky. The Medivac personnel said a few more minutes on that icy place and hypothermia would have killed you.”

I nodded. “Well, that would have been a problem. Have you seen the stupid-shit-head-bag, or is he not here?”

The doctor wrinkled his forehead. “Err, what?”

I lay back on the bed. “Oh, thank goodness. I am so sick of—"

“Do you mean me?” The stupid-shit-head-bag walked in.”I can't believe you could look so pathetic.”

The doctor gasped. “H- how incredibly insensitive. She almost died!”

But the doctor was lying. He had been trying to make her feel better about all the toes she would forever miss.

“Don't you remember?” said the stupid-shit-head-bag. “This all started out with my proposal. You said yes before we even introduced ourselves. Did you have to go to all that trouble just because you were tired of twittering about your breakfast?”

“Tell me your name,” she said, trying to wriggle what was left of her feet.

“Whatever you want it to be. Prince Charming.” He shrugged, still typing.

What the hell, she thought, and said “Yes.”