A RESTLESS COLD sinks into her limbs. The shining promise of progress crumbles into dust as the sun mounts into the clear, icy breath of morning. Towers of icicles gleam, twisted spindles of frozen water; a thousand shades of the sea have died here.
She drops into the snow. The light covering of ice cracks beneath her weight and a damp chill seeps through the double cotton layer of her pants.
The towers – and the passage between them – is still only a glint of trapped sea-water in the distance. Why keep struggling forward to somewhere she will never reach?
Listlessly, she gropes in her bag where the snow has not yet gnawed the expensive leather and pulls out a tiny glistening jewel. Its crimson radiance warms her fingers; its hot pulsating breath makes her blink rapidly. Deep violet burns at its center like a furnace mined from the depths of space.
A tiny sob clogs her throat and her memories strike her sharply in the chest. She remembers why she is here. Whimpering, she staggers to her feet. She keeps the jewel clutched tightly in her fist as she moves toward the ever-distant icy pass.
Written: 8 March 2016
Inspired: life + metaphorical Romance of Three Jewels and/or Nights of Heroes