Short white puffs filled the air in front of a small, twitching nose, a tentative paw frozen, not quite touching the fluffy snow that covered the icy ground. Wide, pupil-less eyes glanced frantically around the area, looking for something.
"Kerani?" The little fox called, for that was what she was. Who she was, she still didn't know. "Kerani?"
The arctic swallowed up her cries, the unrelenting snow unforgiving and harsh. She shuddered, though it was unclear whether it was from the cold or because there was no answer to her calls.
Louder and louder, she called and called. There was no answer.
Sapna sat down. She couldn't remember the last time she had been alone. To think as a youngster, she had wanted it, sought it! Ever since the day she had met Kerani, she had never felt so...
Pale blue deperately searched through the blizzard again, calling. "Kerani? Kerani!"
Sapna stood once more, body restless in her loneliness and ears pricked up, listening for anything that might tell her that her search was not for nothing. She refused to think it was for nothing.
She ran. On and on, the wind and cold pushing her back, but she pushed on. She had to. Her best friend - no, her family was out there, and she had to find them. She ran.
Running, and calling. Always calling.
"Kerani?!" Nosing the ground, she cried out again. That was definitely a whimper. Was it? It had to be!
Sapna's energy felt renewed, now furiously digging at the snow. Where was she?! Finally, her claws clicked, having hit something hard and cold. Time almost seemed to stop when she saw the blue ice shards that made up her friend's fur.
She called. She shouted and bawled and screamed Kerani's name as she ripped away the deathly blanket from the unmoving body.
She should have stayed. She could have helped, or done something, or stopped any of this from happening!
Tears filled the arctic fox's eyes when she saw Kerani's beautiful wings. Ruined. Broken.
Shards lay around her, the snow dipping into a small crater where she had dug out the faerie. Curled up, she had never seen her friend so beaten. Where the ice had originally been glistening, beautiful, now there were chips and holes from the battle that had taken place.
Shame filled Sapna. She had ran, thinking Kerani all-powerful. She had thought this would be better. She would have gotten in the way. All-consuming guilt rippled through her small, quivering body.
Wordlessly, the ice faerie's eyes opened. When she lifted her head with all her remaining strength, Sapna saw the horrifying extent of damage that had been done. Half of the ice faerie's face had been ripped off, one eye missing entirely. A loud wail sounded in the silence. The faerie shushed her friend quietly, barely having the energy to speak, instead trying to shuffle her body closer to her little companion.
And so the two lay, tears still streaming down the vixen's fur onto the dying faerie, for she knew that it was so.
Snow piled up around them, but Sapna didn't care. She closed her eyes, knowing that Kerani was here, not even needing to look to check whether her friend was alright. They would be okay. She surrendered, knowing that everything would be okay as long as she was with Kerani.
And so the two lay until the cold quietly claimed them.