I turned to Erik with a huge grin on my face. “You’re here! I was sure I would find you.” I whisper, but my excitement comes through anyway. He smiles, but not happily.
“What are you doing here?” he hisses. “You’re supposed to be safe in town with the kids.”
Suddenly I feel like crying. I came to rescue him, and he’s not even happy to see me. “Erik, you didn’t come home two weeks ago. The cat disappeared three days ago. I couldn’t go on, not knowing …”
He interrupts me. “Never mind. We can’t talk here. Come on.”
He takes my hand and leads me deeper into the glacier. It gets tight, and I have to take my pack off and push it ahead of me. I concentrate on breathing and not thinking about the weight of the ice above me. The path begins to slope upward and the ice looks less blue. Soon we emerge into a smaller crevasse within the glacier. There are no snow monsters to be seen, but I see several small yellow tents around a campfire ring. Erik turns to me. “Libby, I’m happy to see you, really I am. But I disappeared for a reason, and you’re endangering the work of my team. This is going to be complicated, and the other team members are not going to like this.” He turns back to the tents ahead, but I don’t move.
“Erik. Wait. I can go back to town. I didn’t mean to mess up your work. I don’t know how to deal with the constant snow monster attacks and keep the children safe, but if I can’t be here, I can go back.”
He looks at me in surprise. “Constant snow monster attacks? And where are the children, exactly?”
“The children are in Anna’s basement. She quit sending her kids to school and barricaded her family in the basement with enough food for a year. I persuaded her to open up long enough to let Harry and Rose in. There’s six inches of steel between them and the world on all sides now.”
“Well, I guess it’s better than if you brought them here,” he says reluctantly. “And these constant snow monster attacks?”
“It’s been snowing almost every day since you left, and the snow monsters come with every snowfall. I was terrified to step outside, let alone send the children to school. The monsters almost ripped a shutter off a couple days ago, and Kitty Cat hasn’t come home. I thought the children would be next.”
“The snow monster attacks are increasing? Hmm.” He starts muttering to himself, then turns back to me. “I guess it’s just as well you’re here. You can fill in the gaps in our data. Come on, there’s someone you need to meet.” He grabs my hand again and marches towards the tents.
- The Lair of the Snow Monsters (#fiction) (lizbethsgarden.wordpress.com)