Inside a small cave on the side of a snowy mountain, a woman stirs to consciousness. She takes note of the various blood-stained strips of clothes wrapped around her arms and looks up at the cave ceiling.
As reality forms itself around her, she notices that the cave is slightly illuminated and that she is curiously warm. She slowly sits up and her vision slowly comes together.
Sitting a few feet in front of her is a man and a small fire, not big enough to heat much of anything, but rather a dim light source. She then looks down at the things keeping her warm: clothing and thin blankets wrapped carefully around her.
"Welcome," says the man as he looks up from the fire, noticing that she is now awake.
"What? Where?" she stammers, weakly.
"Oh, don't fret. You're safe. I don't know if you remember, but the plane we were on went down. It hit the side of the mountain. We were the only survivors. I found you on one of my attempts to scavenge supplies and clothing from the wreckage," the man said, smiling. His clothing was torn, obviously used to make the dressings on the woman's wounds.
"Wow, thank you so much, sir. I don't know how I can thank you. Where are you sleeping?" She said as she smiled nervously, glancing around the room for where his pile of blankets might be located. He wasn't wearing much, and she knew he had to be cold.
"Again, don't concern yourself about something like that. I'm just glad to see you are alive and well. You were out for so long that I began to wonder whether it was worth the sacrifice to bring you back here. It wasn't easy getting you from there to here." The man smiled, despite remembering the unpleasant memory of carrying a person for several feet of waist-high snow.
"How long was I out, then?" She asked, morbidly curious.
"Five days. I went back out the next day to try and find as much remaining food as I could from the plane. I brought what I could back. It was so cold."
"I'm sure it was, what with using your clothes to save me." She began to say more, but the man stopped her.
"Now, now. There will be time for that tomorrow. You need to rest more. We will talk in the morning."
With that, she nodded and lay back down. In almost no time at all, she was asleep.
Several hours into her sleeping, around noon the next day, she was awoken by the sound of crunching snow and shouting voices.
"We got a survivor," a voice shouted from inside the cave, and the woman sat up, thinking it was the man that had saved her.
"Yes! Survivors!" She called out weakly.
"Now, ma'am. Please lie back down," the voice said as the person drew nearer, revealing to her that he was not the man to which she had spoken the other night.
"We're getting rescued," she said happily as she eased back onto the hard ground.
"We?" The rescuer asked as she was put onto a stretcher and carried out.
"Yes, the man who saved me is in that cave too. Didn't you find him?" She asked as they reached a helicopter, perched on a save area of the mountain.
"I'll find out," the rescuer said as he stepped away for a moment. He quickly returned.
"Well?" She asked, looking at him expectantly. "I want to thank him properly when I am better."
"Ma'am," the man said. "I have bad news. There was another person in the cave with you, yes. However, from our best estimates, he died of hypothermia at least five days ago."
Written by ClericofMadness