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Everest Ceisiwr
by on November 7, 2022
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//Wanted to post this a while back. Figured I should go ahead and do it before I stop using Everest for good.
When I begin to open my eyes, I shudder violently. All around me is icy cold water. Light shines from the surface above, and with a little effort I manage to begin swimming upwards. I surface just as my lungs are about to give out. With a large gasp, I suck in much needed air, and begin to cough up some of the water I'd swallowed after plunging into the lake.
I've barely even gotten my bearings when I hear a noise to my front. I can't make it out at first, but once the ringing in my ears has begun to subside, I can make out words. "Everest! Everst! Are you okay?! I need help!" The urgency, and fear in Shaley's voice brings me to my senses, and I quickly begin swimming towards her voice. I manage to spot the remains of the wooden cargo elevator we'd tried to use to escape, and begin to climb up on it.
It's then that I find Shaley holding on to the other side of the pallet. She looks up to me with a fear in her eyes I've never seen from anyone. One I've managed to get onto the pallet, I begin to speak through exasperated breaths. "Shaley! Are you alright? Hold on! I'll help you up!"
I grab Shaley's forelegs to begin hauling her up onto the pallet, but there's far more resistance than there should be. "I'm stuck! My leg is caught on something!" I don't have time to look down into the water to investigate. Shaley slips from my grasp with a frightened yelp, and the momentum of my pulling sends me tumbling backwards. I plunge back into the icy water, and feel my body completely freeze.
I sink deeper, and deeper into the water. I scream at my body to move, to swim up. I manage to twitch my left foreleg, and quickly begin a rapid thrash towards the surface. I refuse to drown today.
I surface, and cling to the pallet as my life depends on it keeping me afloat now. I have little stamina left. If I fall into the water again, I will drown for sure. I manage to clamber up back onto the pallet, but I don't have any time to rest. A yelp from Shaley causes me to stand up. "Hold on! I'll pull you up!" The look of fear on her face is far more intense now. "No! Don't! You almost drowned just now! Just- just rest for a second and recover! I can hold on!" With how violently her body is shaking, I don't think she'll be able to survive unless I pull her out now.
"No! You'll freeze, or drown if I don't! It'll be okay! Just trust me!" Despite her fear, Shaley does not verbally protest, and I reach down into the water to grab her underneath her armpits. I feel a second wind rush through my body, as a strength I've never had before surges into every muscle in my body. I grunt as I begin to pull Shaley up. Her fear turns to awe as I manage to get her up to around her waist.
Just as I'm about to pull her backwards, onto the pallet, there's a harsh tug from below, and she slips from my grasp. I fall backwards again, but this time, I manage to dive back forwards, trying to catch her before she falls again.
I am too late, and Shaley's hoof slips beneath the water.
I reach into the water as deep as I can, but she's too deep for me to reach.
I watch Shaley struggle against some unseen force, trying her hardest to resurface. She thrashes violently, trying to free herself, only to sink deeper, and deeper. I see her movements begin to slow, and eventually, a stream of air bubbles rushes to the surface from her silhouette.
Then, her movements cease, as she comes to rest at the bottom of the lake. Her right foreleg outstretched in an attempt to reach the surface.
I cannot bring myself to do anything. I can only stare in dismay at my wife, drowning before my very eyes. There are no tears. No cries. No screams, or any words. Just a silent, grim acknowledgement that I have failed, and she has died because of me.
All I remember afterwards is managing to find my way to shore, and being found by the Frozen North Explorer's Guild nearly a week later. They told me I was a mess on the ride back to base, but I remember nothing of it. All I can remember is the look on Shaley's face as she slipped deeper, and deeper into the lake. As I lost the love of my life.
Post in: Lore