Jonas felt the uncomfortable plastic sled come to a stop, his hands nearly frozen around the icy rope that he gripped until his knuckles faded white. His eyes followed up to the brown cabin ahead of him, colorful lights lining the home, twinkling like bright stars, a soft sound, a piano, childrenr’s voices, singing in his ears. Music.
He felt the corners of his lips pulling upward, relief the only emotion he could fathom as he glanced down at the restless Gabe, stirring in the pile of cloth he was tightly wrapped in to battle the shrill, cold air and the piercing snow, his face soured in disgust in the uncomfortable weather.
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Jonas could feel his heartbeat increasing rapidly to prevent the cold air from shutting his body down, but he knew it wouldn’t last long. So he pried his red pulsing hands from the rope, wincing at the excruciating pain of forcing himself to move his numb fingers, then pulled Gabe tightly against him, his face against Jonasr’s chest, his coat bundling Gabe.
We-Were almost t-there G-Gabe. He shivered, falling on his side, the sled tipping against him, the body forming a red shade above him, and for a second he thought, just maybe, he could close his eyes, and fall asleep in the soft snow, the red lights influencing him more, but he denied the urge, knowing Gabe was with him, and he had a chance.
Jonas forced the sled off of him, moaning as his body ached from the slight movement, his limbs throbbing from the cold. Yet he pushed forward once more, the cabin only yards away. He placed his bare hands on the packed snow, groaning as the cold sent pains through his bones, but he didnt stop, pushing himself to his numb feet that were shaking vigorously, Were s-so cl-close. he whispered, mainly to himself, moving one foot before the other slowly, the snow passing above his ankles with each step. He pushed Gabe closer to himself, feeling his head spin, only adding more pain to the sickening headache he had.
Hed only taken a few pitiful steps, before he began to sweat, feeling as if he was burning up in an instant. He looked down at Gabriel warily, he didnt understand what was happening to him, why he was so hot after and excruciating moment of being freezing. ?Precision of language. he thought, nearly laughing at the ridiculous thought that had entered his mind. Had he really had the nerve to think that at a time like this? The idea only made him feel a deeper hate for the twisted world hed been stuck in, a world where an exaggeration of a word ruled over the fact he was dying. He released a heavy sigh, his breath forming a cloud above him.
You cant be serious? he smiled to himself, as he began to sweat heavier, beads of salty water forming above his lips, You hot? he smiled, watching as Gabe wriggled his nose, not comprehending what Jonas had said, the words probably not even reaching his ears for how tight they were wrapped. I am.
Then he began to unbutton his jacket, the cold tricking his skin into a nice sensation, Jonas felt the cold cool him gently, and he craved a sense of pleasure. He set Gabriel down gently on the blanket of snow that surrounded them, stretching in every direction, and began to tug at the sleeves of his shirt, pulling it off of his chest and arms, the snow sending chills down his spine. He glanced down at Gabriel, who was shivering below him. Oh Gabe no! Jonas cried, concern lining his words. Oh no! He knelt down, scooping the boy up in his frail arms, pulling the shirt around him, along with the thin jacket. He hadnt even noticed how cold he was, and now he felt like a complete idiot. C-Come on Gabe, We-Well be o-okay. he croaked, the words barely escaping his trembling lips. I-I can save you, I ha-have to he told himself, holding the baby who began to whine lightly against his bare chest, the skin to skin contact slowly warming his cheeks. I can do this, you can do this Jonas, itr’s only a few more steps. he repeated to himself with what little of his raspy voice he had left.
But he knew it wasnt true, he knew that he could never make it to that doorstep, no matter the amount of warm encouraging memories hed intaken, no matter the willpower he possessed, he could never physically force himself that far. Gabe…I-I c-cant d-do th-this.
A silent tear rolled down his cheek, more and more following as he fell to his knees, a sob erupting from his blue lips. He crashed to the ground in defeat as the realization hit him hard, his back stinging as it made contact with the icy ground.
He had his arms wrapped around Gabe in a steel grip as he rolled to the side, the babyr’s bundled back against the snow, though it never made physical contact with him.
For a moment Jonas began to envy the child, he struggled to deny the urge to rip the clothes from his brother and wrap himself in them, but he did, placing Gaber’s forehead against his. Im s-so so-sorry I wa-wasnt able t-to s-s-save you. Then he placed a soft kiss on his baby brothers head, letting his body relax in the snow as he watched the cabin. It seemed so close, and he could see the gentle orange lights that flickered through the frosted window. A fire.
Memories began to flood into his mind, families gathering around them, warm drinks cupped in their hands, smoke filling the room. A fire outside, children gathering around it with sticks, marshmallows cooking by the warm flame. Jonas pushed his hands on Gaber’s back, his hand firm on the babyr’s back as he passed these simple memories to gabe, who smiled in return.
Jonas felt his heart warm at the sight of his brothers gentle smile, if he could smile in a time like this, he felt all would be okay. Well be okay Gabe. he smiled, letting his hand grab the childr’s, enclosing it in his. Well be okay.
With that, he let the cold take him away, his eyes closing peacefully, his mind slowing itr’s reckless thoughts as he thought about Gabe, his light giggles, his peaceful ocean eyes, the nights when he couldnt sleep and hed given him those soothing memories of the ocean, the way his eyes lit up every time hed looked at Jonasr’s face. These thoughts put Jonas at ease.
Gabriel was a good soul, a good heart, and he knew someone was in that cabin and would come to save him, they had to.
So he released his memories, letting his mind slip into darkness, knowing his eyes would never open back up as he entered the deep sleep.
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