The biting cold seeped through my coat and into my bones, leaving an invisible mark in my chest. I couldn’t describe it well𑁋it was like the snow that crunched underneath our feet and the miniscule snowflakes floating around our faces held a place in my heart hostage. I was on edge.
I refused to let my guard down as we broke into a small clearing in the pine forest. My steady hand rested on my pocket knife, my fingers twitching tensely over the hilt. There was something off, and I didn’t like it.
Maybe it was because I was thrown somewhere I didn’t recognize or was used to. Icy woods in late winter was nothing like the sunny suburbs, the mundane apartements I’d grown accustomed to. Despite it lightly snowing, the sun was still out, shining onto the ground. The brief moments of blindness made me feel too vulnerable.
My sister shot me a strange look as I stiffened at the sound of a branch cracking. “It was a rabbit,” she reassured, tugging her fur cloak tighter around her shoulders. She was pretending the cold wasn’t bothering her, but it was obvious that she was faking it. She wrinkled her nose at every step.
I smoothed my hand along the seam of my face mask, tugging on the filament of fabric that hooked over my ear. I’d saved my cheeks from being exposed to the frigid weather. Not wearing it felt like I was exposed, flayed open for everyone to see. I tugged my mask higher with the thought.
“I think we’re close,” My sister said as we ducked under a couple of towering pines. It wasn’t a question, so I didn’t bother to respond. She let out a small breath of relief. “Yes, it’s here.”
I looked up, cracking a small smile. This. This was a start of a lot of things.