As I knelt there, feeling the slush of the snow melting through my clothes, a wind began to blow, whistling across the white expanses and shaking the icicle-decked branches of the barren trees, rattling them like wind chimes. They sounded like my teeth chattering. 

I looked back down at the half-lucid stranger's face and was startled to see that his lips were becoming blue. I slapped at his face a few more times in another attempt to bring him back to full consciousness, which didn't work. Becoming desperate, I seized his stiff shoulders and hauled himn halfway upright. He stirred, and mumbled something through his frozen lips; I couldn't discern the words.

Clouds had drifted in, floating over the moon like smoke, and the stars seemed to have disappeared. Perhaps they had fallen down with the snow. It was much darker, and seemed much colder; I secured his arm around my neck and he stumbled to his feet, though I strained to keep him there, being quite a bit smaller than he was. 

He was trying to speak again, but his numbed vocals weren't co-operating. It seemed like a muffled protest, except he kept trying to catch my eyes with his, and his vivid blue ones were pained and urgent. I halted in my struggling to see what he was trying to tell me; he, with apparent difficulty, held out his free arm. There was something trapped in his curled rigid fingers. 


The End

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