Chapter 15: A Blue Light
The bear detected my wails. It growled. I gasped and returned to my feet. My mind wouldn't think properly. What did I do?
Run, Macca! Run as far away as you can! his voice rang in my head.
From my circle in my happy side, I looked up and the perfect blue sky. Now that Zane was gone, did he reside here with me?
"Zane?" I said to the sky.
Macca, you have to run.
A sorrowful smile formed on my face. He was still here to protect me. I wasn't alone.
Following his orders, I went around the tree trunk and sprinted. The bear roared behind me, beginning to charge. I had to dig deep within me to find my old pair of soccer legs. They were quick and reacted fast.
The bear was hot on my trail, wanting to catch me. Being out of high school for about seven months has brought a major decline to my endurance running. I was starting to get tired. A stitch formed in my side. My lungs ached with the cold air, begging for moisture that it wouldn't provide. Unknowingly, I was slowing down little by little.
Zane! Help me!
My hands, which were desperately reaching out in front of me, collided with another tree. Feeling the bear's heavy paws thumping against the snow-covered ground, I searched for tree limbs above my head. I snagged a branch that was sticky with pine needles.
Coniferous. Thanks, Zane.
Using my strength, I pulled on the thickest part of the branch to pull myself
up. I reached farther up and found another, and another. Finally, I was on my feet, where I climbed up as high as I could through the needles and pine cones. Although I felt safe, I knew this was a stupid idea altogether. Bears could climb trees easily.
Just as the thought crossed my mind, I felt a violent shake of the tree. The bear roared. Its claws dug into the bark. The waxiness of the pine needles brushed past my face as I climbed higher. In the back of my head, I knew I was stuck.
A spontaneous blue light appeared on the ground. The large amount of pine needles that were surrounding me hindered my ability to see what it actually was, but I watched it rapidly move to the base of the tree. For a quick moment, the light showed the bear. To my utter shock, it was the biggest Grizzly bear I'd ever laid my eyes on. Its gruff brown fur was damp with snow, and its yellow teeth looked ready to attack. Then I realized that it was already trying to climb the tree.
The blue light consumed the massive predator to where I couldn't see it anymore. The bear roared and tore away from the light. Then it vanished into the nearby darkness of night.
When it was gone, the light was suddenly gone, but before it diminished completely, I saw a man wearing white standing right in the middle of it.
"Zane!" I exclaimed, immediately trying to scramble down the tree. I firmly gripped each branch before swinging down to step on another. This method caused me to completely fall, unfortunately. I fell from the branches, hitting more as I went down, and plummeted into the snow. It wasn't a soft landing, however. My tailbone throbbed once I returned to my feet. I hurried to where I saw him and threw my arms around him. Joyful and terrified tears filled my eyes. "You're alive!"
"Alive?" he wonderingly said, not hugging me back. "Of course I am. I'm not injured."
I hugged him tighter as I pressed my face into his suit.
He rested a hand to the back of my head. "You did exactly what I told you to do and ran, but why did you climb a tree? Bears can climb trees."
He sighed and patted my hair. "I put you directly into danger. We walked right into a mother bear's territory. Her cubs were nearby. I escaped by hiding within the environment. She and her cubs are long gone now."
I slightly pulled away from him. "But what about this one–" I pointed at the tree, even though I couldn't see it "–that tried to get me?"
"It appears I have unintentionally brought you into many bear territories. The villagers stopped coming here months ago. We need to get out of here as quickly as possible before I get you hurt." He reached for my waist as if he were looking for something. "Where is your blanket?"
"…Long gone." I realized I didn't know how I was going to explain to Charlotte where it went.
"Aren't you cold?"
"Well, that's because you've been running." He grasped my sides and lifted me up. I was settled down onto one of the branches. "Get back into the tree. I'll return."
I gave him a weird look. "But bears can climb trees," I reminded him.
"I won't be gone long. I'm sure I can find it. Besides, there are no more bears in the area. Just climb and try to be quiet." His hands left my body, and he was gone.
Again, I followed his orders and climbed back up into the tree. I went as high as I possible could, until the branches started to thin out. Then I sat there uncomfortably and waited for that man to make another appearance.