After everything goes dark for Lukas, he is whisked away.
White, strewn across him. Fluffy, bitter cold white. Red, crimson, iron, dry. Staining all he can see.
His lungs are beyond ice, his throat is drier than the desert. His eyelashes are dusted with falling snowflakes.
Lukas tries to croak out words, words for anyone to hear, but he remains still. Crunching footsteps, behind him - Tino is still around, still alive.
He lies there, utterly paralyzed in fear, trying to tame the last shred of logic and sanity he has left. God, it hurts...It’s like he’s being tore open, ripped to shreds, and scrubbed raw again. The needle didn’t end his pain; Tino was too cruel for that. It enhanced it, yet made Lukas completely numb to react.
As if there were more levels of numb to be reached out in this winter night, where the wind has began to howl. The moon leered at him menacingly from its high point in the sky, suspended in its own balancing act. Wolves howled their mysterious songs in the far off distance, beyond the shred of alpine forest ahead.
Lukas realizes he’s dying out in the open, not surrounded by who he loved when he would go. It’s...Not ideal. He wouldn’t be thinking of that, not when he’s about to let his eyes close for the last time.
The crunching becomes incessant, desperate behind him, and Lukas twitches a feeble finger. No, he’s not dead...Not yet, when there is so much left to do, so much left to see. Perhaps the angels in Heaven or the demons in Hell would say their remarks about this...What if, what if?
Faster. It’s growing faster, the footfalls, the ragged, shallow breathing. Tino’s going to shoot him to death him this time as soon as he discovers the truth. It’s growing harder and harder to breathe, too. Perhaps he will be able to spare his mercy before the hunter comes. Lukas can’t feel his fingers, his limbs, his tongue, his eyes, himself. The steps stop in the tracks, and a warm hand presses against Lukas’s forehead.
Tino’s hands were never this warm.
As badly as Lukas wants to tilt his head back to see, he can’t. He feels himself being pulled out of the snow with a giant heave, seeing that the stars are not the only lights dancing in the sky. Colorful ones, strung upon imaginary strings, twinkle around his vision. They warm the air along with a pair of arms circling him and lifting him towards the sky.
Whispering - Soft whispering, barely audible and incomprehensible. Lukas hears it, relished in it, and let go of the pain he bears. It trickles out of him - The anguish, the regret, the freezing numbness of the snow now melted. Slowly, slowly, slowly. The hand that has brushed itself on his forehead has found its way to Lukas’s. The pairs of fingers are now intertwined, along with hearts and souls. He trembles as the lights grow brighter, whisking away the view of the night sky and the dark forest ahead.
The owner of the hand says his name is Mathias, and he will bring Lukas to the homeland he has never known before, a one as white as snow, and a one as high as the tallest mountains. Somewhere safe, somewhere where all the so many lost ones would come to life.