Fae

Khana listened as the boy cried out in his sleep, and she pushed herself into the corner more, closing her eyes and crying a bit herself. She didn't know why she was sad, at this time she didn't really understand anything. The boy became quiet once again, and this silence frightened her. She went towards him slowly, on her hands and knees. She was relieved to see that he was still breathing those same shallow breaths that he had been breathing for hours. She shivered in the cold and tightened her arms around herself, sitting beside the boy and watching him sleep.

"Nnn..." he moaned, restlessly turning onto his side and sniffling. The sudden movement startled Khana, as she had been watching him for awhile without any sudden movement. She did not know how long it had been, but it must have been late since it had gotten colder. She looked around herself at the hollow remains of the home, and felt fresh tears caressing her cheeks. She didn't know this boy or this place, but it made her mourn and feel the grief of loss. But to her, the worst part of it all was that she couldn't understand why.

The faint glow that had not yet left her skin illuminated the area just enough to see the fire-blackened walls and the piles of ashes. There was a shattered window with charred panes on the far wall. Through it came a feeble light from the moon, cold air, and drifts of snow. There were ashes everywhere, and the bits and pieces of things that had not burnt jutted from the piles of ashy snow.

While Khana looked around herself at the skeleton of the boy's home, he dreamt. In his dream, and most likely in reality as well, he was colder than he had ever been. He was submerged in the frigid waters of a frozen lake. Above him a layer of ice blocked his attempts to escape the water. In his dream he was able to breathe under water, but he thought nothing of that. Being able to breathe did not fix that he was freezing, which was scarier at the time than being unable to breathe.

His actions felt slow as he beat against the ice in vain. His force was drained with his speed, and the longer he was in the freezing water—and it had been a few hours now—the more slowly he moved. He thought back to the movie he had been watching with his family, someone had frozen in water at the end... but they hadn't gotten that far yet. He only knew the ending because they had watched it before. But why didn't we get to the end this time? He wondered, and then he remembered what had happened before his dream. Suddenly he remembered the glow and heat of the flames; they danced against his skin for what seemed like an eternity, as the fiery water melted through the ice. He swam furiously, gaining back his speed, towards a hole that had melted in the ice at the center of the lake. Away from the burning flames and out of the freezing water, he swam.

At first Khana had been watching him with a great intensity, waiting for him to show the slow signs of waking up. Then, when he had gone for so long without showing any signs that he would ever wake, she had grown bored and she watched him less carefully. At some points she had even been distracted for long intervals, staring out the window and lost in daydreams of warmth and sunshine; completely forgetting about the shivering boy asleep on the cold floor beside her. The point in time when he woke was similar to this; Khana stared blankly at a smoke darkened wall when his shallow breaths became a loud gasp for air (his instinct on leaving the water) and he sat up, drenched in a cold sweat, and holding his chest. Of course, this happened so quickly that Khana jumped backwards away from him. Falling, she gasped.