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Snow On The Horizon


With the sun at its highest point in the sky, Snowcone felt her skin burn. She had been at sea for many mornings, and nights. The mist from the ocean spray, sticks to her face. The salt and sweat, between the wrinkles in the corner of her eyes, searing her flesh raw as she scans the horizon. The planks of wood, on the deck of her large dragon ship, splintering from the effects of the merciless sun's rays. She leans forward to shield her face from the light and takes a sip of what remains of fresh water. A potion bottle once filled with fresh water from the great waterfalls of her homelands, now almost empty. She conserves what's left of the water, with a small amount in her mouth, she swishes it around to quench her increasing thirst. A small flake, of the fish steak she has been eating, feels alone in her shrinking stomach. How much longer will she be at sea? She pulls one of the ropes of her sails, searching for a gentle wind to move her stale vessel. Bobbing like a cork in this vast ocean, she questions if leaving home in search of adventure, actually has lead her to a slow death.

The pop of the cloth, tightening from a gale force, lurches the ship from its position. Snowcone falls back from the sudden force from the wind. The potion bottle falls from her hand. It seems like slow motion, as she reaches out to catch the falling bottle. The cork from the bottle's top, hits the tips for her hardened, cracked hands. With a small crash, the bottle hits the creaking deck of the ship. The bottom of the bottle bursting, spewing small pieces of glass and precious fluid. Snowcone, feeling defeat, lays down on the deck of the great ship and accepts her fate. With no fresh water left, she has only time before she succumbs to a grueling fate. She tries to cry, remembering her father and mother's words of safe travels. The hugs and kisses of friends, wishing her a prosperous journey. All of them, to be let down, never knowing of Snowcone's death. The tears don't come, shes too parched. She closes her eyes, to protect them from the sun. Her fate, sealed with with the crash of a small bottle.

Her right hand swats at the air to her right side. Again, she swings it through the air. Something is plucking at her tattered and torn robe. "Get off me" she blurts, swinging her hand again. Her hand feels the soft silky feathers of a bird. "Go on, scat" she tells the bird with a final whiff of the air from her hand. Her eyes slowly open, blurred from the salt in the air. Her forehead sore, bruised from a nail protruding from the deck of her ship. She tries to rise to her hands and knees, her palms swollen and raw. Snow falls off her back, piling up to her side, as she slowly rises to her knees. She takes a deep breath, lifts the edge of her robe and wipes her face. Her eyes trying to focus, she places her hand onto the pile of snow. "What the..."she ponders a moment, "Where am I?" She lifts the snow in her palms. It's coldness, easing the aches of her palms. She shoves the snow in her mouth, instantly melting in her parched body. She again lifts piles of snow, placing into her mouth and throwing it into the air with glee. "I'm ALIVE!" she bellows. Springing to her feet, she looks around to see where she is. Her large dragon ship, seems to have run aground in a snow filled mountain range. Climbing down from the ship, her feet sink into the snow. Thankful for her robe in the frost, she walks along a barely visible trail, arriving at a wooden post and sign.

"Outpost.." she reads aloud. The glow of a city in the distance, bustling with life. "Perhaps they have an inn." Pondering the thoughts, she hopes for the best. "I really could use, a warm wool bed. A hot meal, a drink and fresh set of clothing." She pulls her robe tighter against her body, her feet red from the sting of the frost melting on her toes. She hurries in hope, the glow of the city approaching, illuminating her face.....

To Be Continued.