Hidden in Snow

Her foot slipped

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Metal wailed grating over stone. Shifra clamped her fingers into stone as her foot slipped. Her knee groaned as she straightened on the narrow ledge. Ahead the path twisted along the mountain. Thin, but passable. She’d let excited override her protective programming.

“Let’s turn back. Perhaps in summer…” Mordche called. Turning, his faceplate reflected light into Shifra’s sensors. Her receivers filtered the glare and she saw him clinging to the cliff.

Shifra ran the calculations. “With elevation and prevailing weather patterns, the path will remain treacherous.” She turned away. “No, we proceed.”

Progress trickled by in millimeters, then quicker as the path widened into a plane stretching between peaks. Mordche clunked behind her.

Nestled between cliffs. Shifra wriggled her fingers with pleasure. The scans had said they’d be good, but these appeared intact. “Mordche!” She warbled. “There must be answers about the extinct creators here.”

A skittering of rocks sounded to her left halting her progress. Turning she peered into the dying light. Infrared sensors picked up a form darting between boulders. Too large for an indigenous goat.

She stepped toward the creature and her systems spiked. Shifra fell to the ground, the shower of sparks following. Gears protesting, she rolled toward Mordche.

He stood, a taser in one hand and his head in the other. No, not a helmet. Impossible. Her processors whirled trying to process a creator standing before her. He shook his head, hair ruffled by wind. “You should’ve turned back.” A child crept to his side.

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