Journey to the Snow-Bound City

Posted: July 5, 2009 in Sunday Funday
Tags: , ,

Journey to the Snow-Bound City

I run.
Always run.
I run and run and run, my feet buried deep in the cracking snow that swallows my footsteps with each bound.
Sweat begins to pour down my head. I wipe it away with the back of my hand, hoping that it doesn’t freeze and kill me.
A growling in the mist off to my right.
I glance over.
I look up into the swirling wind to see a huge Piloswine carving a path through the snow towards me, tusks barging through the thick powder, its thick woolly hide encrusted with ice as it growls and locks eyes with me.
I scramble desperately to my feet and start to run.
The Piloswine gains easily, the snow its natural habitat, so the Pokédex tells me.
I can feel the earth moving beneath me as its massive feet gain on me, hurling snow left and right, trying to catch me in the boulders of ice it casts effortlessly aside.
Ahead are trees.
Too far ahead.
I’ll never get there in time.
A fist-sized lump of ice cracks against the back of my head.
I stumble.
I look behind me.
The Piloswine is just yards away, its enormous feet crushing ice underneath its bulky frame.
I dive to one side, face full of snow.
It misses me, the scratchy wool of its hide brushing my arm.
It stops and turns around.
Rears up.
My hand dives into my pocket, searching for something, anything I can use.
Lint. Spare change. The Pokédex!
I pull it out and hold it above my head.
The Piloswine screeches to a halt, mesmerised by the God-like power of the Pokédex.
It sizes me up, or at least I think it does, its eyes are hidden beneath the ice-caked woolly exterior.
I open the Pokédex. It scans the waiting behemoth before me.
Piloswine, bleats the electronic voice of the ‘dex. Species: Swine. It has a very sensitive nose to find food located under ice.
The voice ends.
The Piloswine takes a tentative step towards me.
I wave the ‘dex in the air, watching as the Pokémon follows the movement with its head.
I drop on one knee, flinging my backpack over my shoulder and onto the ground, still waving the Pokémon encyclopaedia above my head.
Routing through the backpack with one hand, hoping the beast doesn’t move–
Another step towards me, still fixed on the computer in my hand.
My hand clasps something cold and metal – what I was looking for–
A lighter. A gunmetal grey Zippo engraved with my initials, given to me by my love interest seemingly years ago.
Fire beats ice. Need something to light.
The trees–
The Piloswine, another step forward, between me and the treeline.
I pick the lighter out of the bag, leaving it on the ground.
What can I do?
I wave the Pokédex over my head one more time and give a mighty heave–
The Piloswine looks, thinking I’ve thrown it.
I run up and bring a knee right into its nose.
It screams or shrieks or whatever the hell they do when they’re in pain and it backs away.
I charge around it and sprint for the trees, the heavy snow weighing me down as I move.
The Piloswine roars and gives chase.
I have the distance I need.
I get to the trees first–
Reach up into its low-hanging branches and tear off a small beam.
It’s gaining on me as I flick open the lighter.
It’s gaining on me as the lighter sparks.
It’s gaining on me as the wind blows out the small flame.
It’s gaining on me as I desperately click the lighter again and again.
It’s gaining on me as I take off my hat and use it to shield the fire from the snow that blows around me in gales.
It’s gaining on me as I finally manage to catch the flame on the dry wood.
It’s gaining on me as the fire grows stronger, whipped by the howling wind.
It’s gaining on me as I raise the branch over my head, letting it grow in the safety of the tree.
It’s gaining on me as flames leap across the branches.
It’s here.
I shove the flame forward into its face, scalding the sensitive nose.
It roars and rears up again.
I run away behind the tree.
The enraged beast rams into the tree, fire and ice raining down across both of us as it struggles to move around and get me.
I thrust the flaming brand forward again.
The fire catches onto the Piloswine’s woolly fur, leaping across its back in patches as the ice defeats its progress.
The beast is too tall, too stupid to fall into the snow.
It screams and runs around in circles, the fire still glowing through the swirling mist.
It runs away from me.
Gone, forgotten and lost in the snow.
I toss the burnt-out branch into the snow.
Pick up my backpack.
Move on to Snowpoint City.

I run.
Always run.
I run and run and run, my feet buried deep in the cracking snow that swallows my footsteps with each bound.
I near the city limits.
Something is wrong.
I wade through the deepest patches of snow to see–
It’s gone.
The whole city is gone.
The shops, homes, port, gym, even the temple entrance–
The men, women, children–
All gone.
In their place–
Nothing but a vast partially snow-filled crater.
All around me, nothing but the swirling of the wind.
I spy a small black object half-buried in the snow.
A book.
I pull it out.
The Diary of Penny Langthorpe, Aged 10 and a Half.
The Pokémon did this, I am sure.
My tears freeze to my face as I look out over the hole, the white hole, the deep white hole with the water rushing in, the deep white hole with the water rushing in that swallowed so many lives.
I wipe the tears away.
I put the book in my bag.
I turn my back on the devastation.
I run.
Always run.
I run and run and run, my feet buried deep in the cracking snow that swallows my footsteps with each bound.


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