Welcome to the final part of Chapter 1 of Snow! Last week, Finley and his soldiers arrived in the village, threatening to take Snow away. There was an explosion right as Kiska attacked Finley, and that’s where I left it hanging! Speaking of Kiska, Snow originally didn’t have a dog. I came up with the idea after we went over to a friend’s house. The family had this big, husky dog that actually looked like a wolf. As soon as I got home, I knew I had to write a dog like that in for Snow.
“Kiska!” I shout, as I watch my dog fly back from the blast of the fusion rifle and fall to the ground. Dropping to my knees beside her, I press my hands against the wound, trying to stop the blood from pouring out. “You can’t die! You just can’t!” No matter how much I plead with her nor how hard I push, the bleeding won’t stop. She lays motionless in the bright red snow, and I know she is gone. I cradle her in my arms unable to believe my best friend is dead. “How could you kill my dog? How could you kill Kiska? She was just trying to protect me!” I ask, tears running down my face. Looking up at Finley, I am overwhelmed with rage, and I scramble to my feet. “I hate you! I hate you all! Get out of my home!” Unable to stop, I launch myself at Finley, and land a solid blow to his already bruised jaw before the soldiers yank me back to the ground.
Finley laughs and rubs his jaw. I push myself up off the snow, my fists clenched by my sides, longing to hit him again. My eyes rest on the ripped coat sleeve on Finley’s arm. I wish Kiska had done more damage.
“Why do you want me?” I demand, swallowing down some of my rage to force the words out.
“You really don’t know?” Finley asks, raising an eyebrow. At my blank expression, he sighs. “You’re one of them. And by them, I mean the Katari. And you better be worth all this work because I hate the cold.”
“And just what is a Katari?”
“Enough!” Finley commands. “Will you come voluntarily or not?”
“Leave my daughter alone,” Dad says, pushing himself up so that he’s hunched over, leaning against the stone. “Take me instead.”
“You instead of a Katari? Please. That’s hardly a fair exchange. Your daughter is worth ten times as much as you to NAUFA.” Finley glances at me. “Will you come voluntarily or not?”
“Never,” I snap back. I don’t even need to think about my answer.
Finley’s green eyes betray anger for a moment, but a bored look quickly replaces it. “Then, I will offer you one final deal.” Finley begins pacing as he explains his offer. “See, I can leave this horrible, cold village without my friends,” he gestures to the two soldiers. “They can stay behind, burn the village, and arrest everyone here. All of you will be relocated to NAUFA prisons.” Stopping to face me, Finley adds, “Well, you won’t be in prison. You’ll be with me at a different facility.”
He continues, “Anyway, I’m sure even you can figure out what will happen to your father and neighbors there.” He holds up his hands as if weighing his options. “I take you, the Katari, and I’ve eliminated a threat to NAUFA. A good deal for NAUFA, a good deal for me.” He pauses and shrugs slightly. “Not such a good deal for you.”
Finley puts his hands in his pockets, and turns to look straight at me. “Of course, I could promise not to do that. But for me to agree to that, you’d have to give me something in return.”
“What is it?” I demand, already guessing at what he’s going to say.
“You’d have to come with me voluntarily.” Finley holds up his hand as if stopping any protests. “That’s my deal. So, which will it be?”
Thanks for reading!