Chapter 8 - Morose
1180 days ago
Fern strolled along the frosted path. The snow under her paws was crisp and fresh. "Fern!" Snow panted, catching up to her. "Yes?" Fern blinked, stopping to look over her shoulder. "How has the training been?" Snow asked, quickening her pace so she could run ahead of Fern. "Oh, Wisp? She is a quick learner." Fern sighed. "Stop dawdling!" Snow smiled, sprinting way up ahead. Fern began to casually walk. "You´re faster than that!" Snow teased.
"That´s right." Fern hissed under her breath. She started sprinting so fast, all you could see was a streak of red. "You haven´t disappointed me!" Snow yelled from behind. Fern giggled and started to pad along casually again. Soon she saw their den. She rushed towards it, feeling the wind caress her fur as she sprinted in that direction.
Fern stuck her head into the hole and the narrow tunnel. Soon the rest of her body squeezed in, and she began crawling. Finally, she reached a space where she could stand up and walk casually. There was light, thanks to a special ice magic Snow had learnt.
Fern lay on the ground, her rich red coat flickering as the wisps of ice fire illuminated her coat. Her grass-green eyes glimmered in surprise as she heard shouts from outside. She recognised them at once - Wisp and Snow. She quickly shot out of the den. "Stay away! Haven´t we already established the rules, that there would be no hunting on our grounds?" Snow growled.
Wisp whimpered and instinctively crouched lower to the ground. "Get off!" Snow growled. "You stay away from her!" came an anxious hiss. A large snow leopard leaped out of some nearby bushes. The large snow leopard nuzzled Wisp. "Wisp, are you OK?" she mewed, nuzzling Wisp hesitantly.
"You´ve scared her!" the snow leopard hissed, unsheathing her claws. It raked across Snow´s back, only in self-defense. Snow yowled, her body writhing in agony. Her body grew immensely. The snow leopard picked up Wisp in her jaws and backed away. Snow´s eyes turned sky-blue.
"N-no.. Please, not this!" Fern cried. This had happened once before. And the results weren´t going to help anybody. "Snow, please stop. She only clawed your back.." Fern reasoned. The red fox would do anything to stop her sister from killing.
Wisp stood up, her body shaking in fear. "You snow leopard scum!" Snow screeched, grasping the large snow leopard in her jaws. "No! Sabrina!" Wisp cried, falling to the floor. Sabrina was soaked in a pool of deep crimson blood. "Oh.. Who would´ve known you´d cost me again, young one?" Sabrina rasped, her life slowly ebbing away... Then the large snow leopard was dead.
"Y-you monster!" Wisp screeched, fire circling the young cub. The fire burned in a beautiful gradient of crimson, orange and gold. The fire enclosed Snow, cornering her. Behind the beast was a mountain. Wisp fell down, but the flames grew. The snow leopard cub struggled to get back on her paws.
A red orb suddenly appeared in front of Wisp. Suddenly, Snow caught fire and fell to the ground, shaking the mountain and leaving many cracks. The cracks suddenly grew and the earth shattered, leaving a ravine. Slowly, Snow fell. All Fern could see was her sister´s body falling and falling, going lower and lower.
"S-snow? Can you hear me?" Fern called. There was nothing but an echo. "S-she is dead.. And it´s all because of me..." Wisp sobbed. Fern could only imagine. A clueless cub, confronted by an overprotective sister. That overprotective sister shocks everyone and ends up getting hurt. But then she becomes a beast and takes revenge. Fern shook. Wasn´t that familiar?
Yes. Once, many moons before Wisp, or Frozen, Fern and Snow lived in the same forest, the same Tundra. But there was a wolf and his cave. His name was Dusk. He hurt Snow, and the Arctic fox killed him as revenge. But the lives of others were lost, an eight-tailed cat called Holly.
Fern sat on her haunches, eyes haunted, rich red coat shimmering. Everything she had strived for was...lost. No. She couldn´t give up hope. She still had Wisp, Cerboreas and his pack, the Gathering place, Cherry and Dark... They were all counting on her now.. Their weight now a burden on her crimson shoulders. There was still hope, for now.
Tears poured down the red fox´s muzzle as she thought of the corpse of her dear sister, sitting at the bottom of a ravine. It all came to her, all her dear memories. Suddenly, there was a wisp of breath on her shoulder. Do not be afraid. Everything will take care of itself. I will miss you, sister.. A transparent form of Snow was behind Fern. A tear rolled down the Arctic fox´s cheek and dropped onto Fern´s coat.
"I´ll always miss you, Snow."
I don´t know where I got the idea of Snow´s transformation from, but it was in the original as well. When Fern begins having flashbacks, she´s probably thinking back to the original storyline, as we don´t see as much of Dark here as we would´ve in the original.