Mel clutched her snowboard to her and looked down the deserted slope with renewed hope. As long as she followed the ski lift in a downward direction she would eventually get to safety. Surely she could manage that.
Using her snowboard, she pushed herself up and onto her feet. Her left leg was stiff and swollen. It hurt like crazy. It was a cold tight pain that took her breath away. Her boot felt like it was crushing her foot, but she daren’t take it off because she knew she would never get it back on again.
Mel put her board on the ground and balanced herself on her right leg with her toes on her board to keep it still. Gently she attempted to put her left foot into the bindings.
As soon as she put her weight on her left leg she fell to the ground. Her leg wouldn’t hold her, and the pain was unbearable. Her treasured board started to slide down the mountain away from her. In a desperate effort to retrieve it, she pushed herself up with her right leg and launched herself down the slope after it. She made a grab at it and managed to hang on, but only just.
Mel lay still for a couple of minutes and allowed her throbbing leg to rest. She was so cold.
Mel pulled her board back to her and sat up.
There was only one way to get down the mountain and that was to slide down, using her good leg as a break. She eased herself onto the board and started to move slowly down the slope, using the heel of her right leg to control her speed. It was slow going, she daren’t pick up any speed for fear of losing control and ending up back in the trees again. She kept the gondola to her left and the ski lift to her right and bumped her way slowly down the mountain. Although she wasn’t doing much work, she was starting to feel really tired.
Was this how hypothermia set in?
Is that what was making her so slow and tired?
Mel slowly came to a halt.
She had come to a long flat area. The sort of area where a snowboarder picked up speed to cross and a skier used their poles. She wanted to cry. Now what could she do? She looked ahead of her. Was that a lone snowboarder ahead of her? Why didn’t he come back and help her? He was bathed in light. Where had the lights come from?
She rolled over onto her tummy and used her arms and her good leg to push her along. It was hard going and she didn’t move very fast, but the movement and effort was warming her up. She looked up to see the lone snowboarder just ahead of her. He must be carring a lantern of some kind as he was surrounded by warm soft light.
Mel kept going, needing to reach him. She was picking up speed now. How could that be? She was gliding along the long flat run and she was actually picking up speed. Her arms were by her side, not helping her at all. She felt like she were on a magic carpet ride. She must be dreaming, she hoped she was still alive. Nothing felt real anymore.
Check back on Saturday for the final part of this story:
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