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Heroine of the Week
Book: Place In This World
Rubbing her lightly covered arms against the frigid cold, Elina trudged through deep drifts of snow, knowing that if she stopped, she would surely freeze to death. She probably would anyway.
Before escaping her captor she had managed to trade her tattered robe for a cotton tunic, leather leggings, and boots that were two sizes two big and had seen better days. The thin shawl she
tightened around her shoulders did nothing to warm her against the fierce winds that blew against her face, burning the cut on her chapped lips and the open wound on her forehead. By rights she shouldn't have felt any pain in the numbing air. She shouldn't have felt anything after hours of exposure.
She kept her head down and continued to walk, her frail body battling against the elements that
assaulted her. She was surrounded by desolation as far as the eye could see. There was absolutely
nowhere to seek shelter or refuge. No mountain crevices, no trees, no bushes, nothing to even lend
the illusion of shelter. The land was flat and void of any life but hers, and the only thing that disturbed the desolate landscape was the sound and sight of a single set of footprints crunching in the thick blanket of snow. Hers. It was one of the bleakest sounds she had ever heard, coming second only to the sound of her captor's footsteps approaching the door of the tower room she had been locked in for the past year.
She escaped and she was free now. But to what end? She didn't know where she was going or what she was going to do, only that she must keep moving. The evil and vile powers that be would not simply let her go. She knew she would be hunted–hunted until she was found, then made to pay for the trouble of having to be captured. And even if she was not found, she was sure she would forever see her captor's face when she slept.
So she would never sleep, at least not for a very long time.
The mass of long, dark, spiraled ringlets she'd hastily braided had now come loose and she futilely tried to keep it out of her face. Not that the view was even worth looking at. Besides, her eyesight was slowly beginning to blur with each exertion-filled step. Each step found her weakening
and her strength waning. A couple of tears fell from her eyes and froze on her cheeks.
I must keep going. Must not . . . stop.
Even as she mentally repeated the commands, she knew she would not make it. At that moment she realized she couldn't take another step. She tried, but she couldn't move. The desolate world around her began to spin and she felt herself falling, with one last coherent thought filtering through the eerie silence of her mind.
My life is at an end . . . and I shall never see the sun again.
She was completely oblivious to the sound of the winged being that gracefully landed next to her in the snow, or the strong arms that enfolded her before taking flight once again.