It was cold.
It wasn’t the kind of cold that makes you want to put on an extra sweater, but the kind that makes a gentle breeze feel like needles against your skin. The kind that catches in your throat with every breath. If she witnessed the sunset before making it back, it would be her last.
She squinted against the brilliance of the white snow, examining the horizon. It was difficult to be sure of her exact heading – she would need to be lucky as well as determined, and even then it would be a miracle to leave this god forsaken place in one piece.
She wasn’t even sure anyone would believe what had happened. That the others were gone, that she was left, without a scratch. Trying to explain it to her mother would be hard enough if she wasn’t the one pushing for all of this, but she was. The question of whether this was a labour of love or of ambition didn’t matter anymore.
The icy snow crunched loudly underfoot, like splintering wood. Left then right. The shadows were growing longer.
She couldn’t stop. She wouldn’t. Not now.