"Joshua how long was I asleep?" Mara asked.
"Three days? Then it's still summer right, what's with this cold? It feels like it's winter."
"You did that, Mara." As Joshua answered they came to the mouth of the cave, and Joshua
pulled Mara up to his side and gazed out on the clearing. It was blanketed in a foot of
snow, and more powdery flakes were falling from the grey clouds that now covered the sky.
The trees on the edge of the clearing had lost some of their deep-purple leaves, with the
remaining leaves and most of the branches turning an unhealthy yellow pallor. There was
no sign of the normal, smaller ferns, bushes, grass and other plants. The creek was frozen
over, having become solid ice.
"No." Mara said, eyes wide with disbelief. She tried to take a step back, but Joshua's
grip on her arm wouldn't let her. Mara looked at the snow-covered clearing that had been
her home for fifty years. It was dying. She could tell by the color the trees were turning,
by the words of old botany textbooks that were resurfacing as a little voice in her head.
A sudden, deep frost like this in the middle of summer? Only an evergreen had a
chance of surviving freak weather like this. There were no evergreens here, everything
was going to die prematurely. She noticed, now, deep tracks in the snow that must have
belonged to Joshua.
"No." She said again, softer this time. Her knees felt loose, and she staggered, trying to
stay standing. It was only Joshua's grip on her arm that kept her from completely
collapsing. Joshua let her dangle for only a mere few seconds, before tugging her upright,
then grabbing her, picking her up, and throwing her out and into the freshly fallen snow.
Mara disappeared beneath the white blanket, then sat up quickly from where she landed,
sputtering and angry. She turned back towards the cave.