Nightmare   2511.04.28*  
Written By: Linda Aarts, Melanie D.
Fadestar relives a moment that could have ended much differently.
Posted: 08/09/14      [8 Comments]

Collections that include this story:
Far Too Close
Return of the Fierce Ones
Fadestar's Training

Fadestar slept. It wasn’t an easy sleep. She tossed and turned, threw away her furs when it got too hot, and eventually, pulled them back over her body when she started shivering. It had happened before. Whenever she pushed herself too hard practicing her magic, she would sleep restlessly and wake up feeling drained, since her body didn’t have a clue how to relax after having been through so much exertion. This night would be no different.

And she dreamed. It wasn’t an easy dream. It also was one that she had dreamed before, several times, and it was a dream of failure. Of not being good enough, not being in time, not being there when she was needed most.

Illustration by Ellen M.
The ominous rumbling of the snow sounded like the growl of a hungry mountain lion lurking to catch his prey, satisfied with an easy meal. The massive body of the avalanche rolled over branches and stones, swallowing everything in its path. It was an unstoppable force and its target was Newt, who’d jumped to his feet, away from the ground-squirrel hole he had been checking. He ran as fast as his legs would allow him but he wouldn’t be able to outrun the snow wave seemingly targeting him.

Fadestar knew she had to help him. She jumped from the rock she had been standing on and her body was filled with adrenaline, but the burst of energy was unfocused. She felt like wading through hipdeep water. Too slow, too heavy. She could hardly move forward as she saw Newt running for his life.

"NEWT!” she called as she ran towards him, her feet stuck in the snow as if it was a pool of honey. She jumped and jumped again to get off the ground like she knew she could, but the purple haze didn’t come to lift her off the ground. Why didn’t it work? She tried again, tumbled in the snow and in one movement tried to get up, but her movements were slowed by the sticky, thick snow.

“NEWT!” she shouted again. And finally, finally the purple glow weakly appeared around her and she felt her body lifting from the snow. However, again she felt like swimming through something thick — it seemed the wind had turned against her and held her back. Panic nagged on the edge of her mind. She frantically looked around her — because of her attempts to get up in the air, she had lost sight of Newt.

Blood rushed through her body while she looked left and right and everywhere she could -- and then she saw him, below her. Newt ran and ran and she dove down to get to him but before she was with him, the snow came too close. Reaching out her hands, she cried out to him: “I’m here, grab my arms!” Newt’s eyes, filled with the fear of an elf who knew he was going to die, grabbed them in a reflex.

Squeezing Newt’s hands, she tried to pull and pull, as the avalanche approached them in slow motion. The snow he was running in seemed to pull him back and she couldn’t get him off the ground.

But it was too late. A powdery but surprisingly heavy wave of snow grabbed Newt. Fadestar held onto his hand and tried to lean herself against the pull but it didn’t work. The vast amount of snow made her hands slip and threw her away. Whirling in the air, and knowing that she had failed to save her dearest friend, she screamed again: “NEWT!” And then she landed with a hard ‘thud’—

“NO!” Fadestar sat right up in her den, clutching her furs tightly against her chest as if it were Newt’s hands. Her heart was beating rapidly and adrenaline rushed through her veins as if she was back at Windy Ridge and lost the grip on her friend's hand.

A soft purple glow surrounded her, she noticed, and she had to will it down, which wasn’t easy. The images of her dream were still vivid in her mind.

You’re in your den, silly, she told herself repeatedly, and forced her hands to open to let the furs go. You did save Newt. He’s alive and well and so are you. Her fingers hurt from squeezing the furs too much.

Her heart was still racing but at least the panic settled slowly. However, Fadestar knew she couldn’t go back to sleep now. Quickly she grabbed her coat, wrapped it around her and left her den to walk a little in the refreshing and soothing light of the dawn.

Her steps guided her down the tree and she passed the small window that lead to Newt’s sleeping bunk. The young glider stopped and reminded herself: Alive and well. All is well with Newt. **Newt?** she asked.

A sleepdrunken pulse of acknowledgement was the answer to her sending, then furs rustled and the hide to the window was pushed aside.

**Fadestar. You’re up?** Newt asked in sending, not to wake Greenweave and Cloudfern sleeping close by.

**Yes. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t mean to wake you. I just wanted… Well, now that you’re awake, care to walk a bit with me?**

Newt warily eyed her for a moment, but the notion of restlessnes in her sending was hard to ignore, and he nodded. **Give me a moment,** he asked and vanished behind the window hide. The sounds of leather and cloth being pulled on softly echoed inside of the den.

Fadestar sighed and looked up into the brightening sky. Alive and well.

Collections that include this story:
Far Too Close
Return of the Fierce Ones
Fadestar's Training

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