(note: see the Master Document for explanation of the End Lesstin Kering project.)
(Comments: The X1 designation means this story was scrapped. See this page for explanation. After this point is the exact document when I scrapped it.)
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[[[Bleh. Pacing. Leave some
suspense, then the injury report.]]]
Lesstin's eyes flickered open
to a world of cold white light. His breath had melted a small bowl in
front of his face that now glimmered with icy edges that clung to his
hair and eyelashes.
His left eye was frozen shut,
and he had to blink it several times to clear enough ice to see out
of it. A ragged shiver shook his body, announcing pain in his chest.
Not a good sign. Lesstin pushed himself up on his left arm, which
sank elbow deep into the soft snow, with a soft wrinkling-paper
But Lesstin couldn't get up,
couldn't pull himself away. His mind swam, spinning through the
possibilities. Tight tugging clenched his chest, and panic thrilled
his mind. Was something broken in there? Even without the cold,
broken ribs could be dangerous, and it was over an hour back to the
His legs didn't hurt. Not
even a little bit. And it took far too long for colors to register
that the dark splots on the snow were blood, from his head or back,
he couldn't tell. But it didn't seem to be spreading, so the wound
must have frozen shut, like his eye had. And that wasn't a good sign
He was aware that his
thoughts were slow. Scrambled. He forced his mind to focus through
injury, and was horrified as he realized his lower torso was pinned
beneath the split tunk of a tree that had so recently held his tree
stand. Frozen sap twinkled on the half of the tree that still stood,
having frozen and burst in the intense cold.
He remembered someone warning
him of the cold, but had little between then and now. A woman's voice
warm and distant. Lovely. Dismissed.
Wind pulled itself over his
body, a taunting, cruel breeze that mocked his immobility with its
swirling fingers that dug into the frosted snow layer, and burned
their way through his coat and overalls. He felt the cold nip at his
skin, and smiled, happy for that plain sign of life.
Memory began assembling
itself, like watching a movie in his mind that he almost remembered.
One of those words or places that lingered on the tip of his tongue,
waiting for the proper impulse to make it whole.
[He came out here to get away
from his friends and family, but stayed too long, and has run out of
food. He dies, because he was out here hunting when he knew it was
too cold, because if he does not, he will have gone without a meal
for several days in a row.]
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