A few months ago, I finally posted the first chapter of my novel, Snow. Snow is the story of 16-year-old Snow who has lived all of her life in the peaceful town of Northolt. Only, it’s not so peaceful right now. A government official named Finley has arrived in her town demanding that she come with him. If you’d like to read chapter 1, you can find that here. Today I’m continuing the story by posting the first part of Chapter 2!
What do I do? I look around at the villagers who have gathered, Finley and his soldiers waiting for me, my father hunched over in pain, Kiska dead on the snow. Take a deep breath and think, Snow. I’m obviously very important to Finley, and it’s very important that I come voluntarily. In fact, I bet he’d be willing to do almost anything for me so long as I come voluntarily. Time. I need time. I take a deep breath and look up, forcing myself to meet Finley’s eyes. “I want a day,” I demand.
Finley crosses his arms. “No, I want your decision now.”
“Give me a day and I’ll come voluntarily. I need time. Time to say good-bye … ” I glance down at Kiska in the snow, and swallow hard, trying to keep the tears down, before looking back up and forcing myself to focus. “Time to pack my things.”
“I’ll give you four hours. No more.” He glances at the guards, reminding me that I really have no choice in the matter.
“Deal.” My voice is shaking, my fists unclenching and clenching by my sides.
Finley holds out his hand to shake on our deal. I just stare at him, refusing to grip the hand of the man who is turning my world upside down. If he’s offended by my refusal to shake, he doesn’t show it, and only shrugs a bit and puts his hand back in his pocket. “See you soon.” His mouth curls up in a smirk before he turns away.
I shudder, watching to make sure he and his soldiers really fly away, even if it’s just for a few hours. The helicopter’s engine starts with a roar that’s so loud I can barely hear myself think, and as it takes off I have to lift my arms up to help block some of the wind coming from the blades. It rises higher and higher until it’s only a speck.
As if nothing had ever disturbed it, the silence settles back down over the village. I catch sight of my hands, coated in Kiska’s blood. I don’t have time to cry right now. I have to take care of Dad. I turn to my father who’s leaning against the stone, arm wrapped around his stomach. He’s trying hard not to show how much pain he’s in, but I can tell. I hurry to him. “We should get you inside,” I say.
“Help me to walk,” he says, his voice strained. I nod and loop my arm around his shoulders, as he leans on me, half-bent over, trudging through the snow.
The short walk from the stone to our house has never seemed so long. We stumble in the door, and I help Dad into bed. He winces, pressing a hand against his side.
“Do you need anything?” I ask.
“Some water,” he tells me. “Then go take care of Kiska.”
I nod, and walk into the kitchen, hands shaking as I pore the water. The pitcher clinks against the glass and almost sends it on the floor, but I push it back in time. I run a cloth under the cold water for a minute, and then walk back and hand the glass to Dad, who takes a sip. I wipe the blood off his face trying to be gentle.
“Thank you.” He looks up at me, smiling a little bit. “Go take care of Kiska.”
“I don’t want to leave you,” I protest. He shakes his head. “I’ll be fine. Go.”
I hesitate and he gives me a stern look. “Go.” I nod, and walk to the door, hesitating one more time, before stepping outside into the fog.
Thanks for reading! Part 2 is next week.