Today I’m posting the final part of Chapter 2 of my novel, Snow! Next week I’ll be taking a break from the blog for a week, but I’ll be back after that. 🙂
I finish gathering my gear, give my dad a final kiss, and step outside, forcing myself to start walking away from my home. I climb up the path that leads out of the town. I glance back over my shoulder, staring at the white dome that’s been my home for so long. I want one last look at the place before the fog swallows it up.
I hike quickly along the ridge and into the forest, the snowflakes blowing around me, burying the tracks I made. Moving through familiar paths, I put more and more distance between me and the men from NAUFA, but also between me and my dad and my home. I stop for a moment, unable to catch my breath, not because of the quick pace I’m keeping, but because I can’t stop thinking about what’s going to happen to them. It’s all my fault. I’m sentencing them to imprisonment and possibly death. I can’t do this, no matter what my father says. “What am I doing? I can’t run.” I shake my head, my voice disrupting the stillness of the forest. “No. I’ve got to go back. I can’t leave them alone.”
I turn around, and start running back to the village, my feet pounding against the ground. I’m filled with a sense of dread, feeling like I have to get back to the village before NAUFA has a chance to hurt them.
The world becomes lighter again as I exit the edge of the forest and run through the clearing. My foot catches on a stone, and I stumble to the ground. I pull myself up, and as I do I catch sight of the billowing column of smoke that fills the sky. Fire. The village is burning. I start running towards the ridge above town, the fear and panic in me pushing me to run faster and faster. I skid to a halt near the edge, catching my breath, staring down at Northolt. NAUFA is back, their soldiers rounding up the villagers and arresting them. I see soldiers firing blasts at the domes, the flames consuming the buildings. I scramble down the hill, half-sliding, half-falling, screaming, “Stop! Nooooo!”
I dash into the village, skidding on the slick snow that glows red from the flames.
“Snow! Run!” Dad yells at me as soon as he sees me.
“Now that you’re here, you can stop this, Snow.” Finley’s standing there, arms crossed, glaring at me. Turning to his soldiers, he waves his hand towards my father.
The soldiers grab Dad and push him towards the helicopter. “Hurry up,” the one soldier growls at Dad, pressing his gun into Dad’s back.
“WAIT!” I shout.
Finely looks over at me. “Yes?”
“I said I’d come voluntarily, and I’m not one to go back on my word.” I lick my dry lips, trying to keep my voice as steady and as firm as I can.
Finley shakes his head a bit. “You’ve already gone back on your word once. How can I trust you?”
“I’ll come right now, completely voluntarily. Just let my Dad go.” I hold out my wrists, offering to be handcuffed.
Finley looks at his soldiers, then at my dad. “All right. Let him go. Handcuff the girl.”
“Snow! Don’t do it! Run!” Dad protests.
I shake my head. If this is what it takes to save Northolt and my dad, then I’ll do it.
Thanks for reading!