He was knee deep in snow and neck deep in trouble. He was going to die here. He knew that.
But he kept going. Kept taking one weary step at a time to where he thought was shelter. He had used his compass and had counted his steps, but didn’t have a good feeling about this. Or maybe that was just the chills getting to him.
The winds were harsh and the soft snow felt like hard ice thanks to its speed. Everything was too white. He kept his head down and he kept walking and walking, just occasionally looking up to make sure he was on the right path.
He was at the verge of collapsing when he arrived at the hut. A haven of brown warmth in the pale horizon. An elderly lady with a soul-melting smile let him in.
"Oh however did you end up in such a dangerous place! Did you get separated from your hiking troupe?" The lovely lady asked as she handed him the most perfect cup of hot cocoa.
"Oh, no", he replied, " I'm here on my own. I've always wanted an adventure, and me and my husband were going to come here together...but he's no more. I did promise him an adventure, so I've come here on his behalf too. I loved him. And I miss him"
He was surprised by how easily he told all of that to a stranger. He was not the talkative type, and he kept his private life to himself.
The lovely woman who reminded him of gentle snowflakes smiled at him and said with a voice of sunshine, "Don't worry my dear, you will be with him soon".
He was confused by that, then his head felt heavy and he passed out.
The woman signed and took the cup from him and closed his eyelids as he took his last breath. "It's better this way dearie, trust me."
That was the 34th person she had saved from freezing to death, and the 34th body she would bury.
Editor: Anousha Ambar