Last week, I posted part 1 of Chapter 2 of my novel, Snow. You can read the last part here. It’s crazy how much a story can change in editing. In this part of my novel Dad has gone from only being punched once and walking it off to being severely injured. Kiska went from barking at the guards to dying. At one time, I also had both Dad and Snow bury Kiska instead of just Snow (of course, Dad wasn’t quite so beat up in that version 😉 ). Hopefully all the changes I’ve made have made the story better.
The fog is still so thick, I can’t see what’s in front of me. I turn around and the cozy white dome of our house is swallowed up by the bleakness. I wrap my arms around myself, not because of the cold, but because of the loneliness and despair filling my heart. I don’t want to leave my home. I don’t want to leave my dad. What do I do? What do I do? I continue to walk down the path, the words repeating themselves over and over in my head.
I reach the stone and kneel down beside Kiska’s bloody body, gently smoothing the fur back on her head, tangling my fingers in the soft, grey strands. I scratch between her ears where she loved to be petted. “Hey girl. I’m so sorry. You were so brave, and you always protected me. I’m so sorry this happened to you.” My voice breaks a little as I pull my hand back, sticky and red. “I’m sorry I caused this to happen to all of us.”
I squeeze my eyes shut as the tears are threatening to fall, and I know if I start crying I won’t stop. “You can’t cry. Not here, not yet,” I whisper to myself, my voice shaking. Pushing the tears back down, I swallow hard, and try to scoop Kiska up. My muscles are straining, but I can barely lift her.
I bite my lip, my eyes watering as I look at her lying there. Dad has that sled for when we go hunting. I could put her on that. I rub at my running nose, and nod a bit as if I’m agreeing to my own plan.
“All right. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go and get the sled, and I’m going to put her on it.” I feel scattered, but I try my very best to stay focused.
I trudge back to the house, and scoop up her favorite blanket. Pausing for a moment I smell her familiar doggy scent. I wrap the leather strap of the sled around my hand tightly, rubbing the back of my free hand over my nose. The sled rails drag a pattern into the snow as I make my way back to Kiska.
“Let’s get you on here, huh?” I tell her, pushing her onto the blanket. I wrap her up in it, and then drag the bundle onto the sled. I yank on the strap so the sled starts across the snow smoothly, my feet pressing the powder into perfect indentations.
As I walk, I can’t stop the questions that consume me. How can I go with my enemies? I gave my word that I would, though. How can I condemn Northolt to be burned and its people taken away? And my dad. What’s going to happen to him? What do I do? What do I do? Lost in the world of my fears, I’m far out from the village before I even realize it. I’m in a snowy clearing, lined by pine trees whose branches twist into talons in my mind, reaching into the clearing to grab and take me away. The fog is almost gone here, though the sky is a murky grey color, threatening yet another storm.
Thanks for reading! Part 3 will be up next week.