I'm still laying on the ground when I awaken, with a thin blanket of snow covering my body. The blizzard has died down and so now snow is falling gently from the grey sky.
I prop myself up on my elbows and shake the snow off of my body. I'm surprised to see that the bite I had received from that damned serpent hasn't developed into a severe case of gangrene. What's more, the wound has actually closed up and it no longer hurts. A smile comes to my lips. I thought I was going to die. I guess sometimes miracles do happen.
'You're awake!' a voice calls out.
I look around in search of the source and my gaze finally settles to where the pocket of my shirt is. Peeping out from the inside, the little creature looks up at me with a look of pure relief on her ruddy face. I'm afraid she might start shedding tears of joy.
'I'm so glad! I wasn't sure if I'd done enough!'
I raise an eyebrow. So the little one is responsible for my miraculous recovery, eh? I guess she isn't so helpless after all.
I can't stop myself from grinning. 'So you're still here, huh? And here I was thinking that you'd left me for dead.'
She let's out a little laugh. It's very nice to listen to. 'Well, you kind of saved me too. If I didn't find your pocket, I think I would've freezed to death by now.'
'Hmm, well I guess we're even then. You may leave now.'
There's a pause as she doesn't respond. She merely shifts her eyes away from me and to her fingers, which are busy fiddling with the wool of my shirt pocket. Her mouth opens and closes a couple of times, as if she wants to say something but can't being herself to spit out the words.
'Aren't you going to go?' I ask, breaking the silence.
'Y-yeah, I guess so.'
She slowly clambers out of my pocket and I feel a slight pang of sadness hit me when I realise that I'll most likely never see her again. I find this slightly ridiculous since I've only known her for five minutes. I don't even know her name. Plus, she's gotten me into enough trouble already.
'Goodbye then.' she says, and then takes to the chilly air. She doesn't fly very high though, and her natural glow has dimmed significantly. I wonder if her healing me has drained a lot of her energy. The unforgiving wind knocks her about and I can't help but wonder if she'll even make it out of here alive. Giant territory can be brutal, and not only because of the weather.
I quickly get to my feet and, without really thinking about it, I reach out and gently scoop the little one out of the air and into my hands. She doesn't protest as I was half expecting her to.
'You won't last a minute in the state you're in. Wanna stay with me for a bit... you know, just until you regain your strength?' I feel my cheeks warm up. I can't believe I'm offering to let her stay with me.
She nods eagerly, much to my surprise.
I smile. 'Don't thank me just yet. I'm going to have to hide you from my brothers and uncle, lest they decide to have you as a pre-dinner snack.'
She giggles, thinking I'm joking, but I'm afraid to say that I wouldn't put it past my brethren to eat her. I probably would've eaten her if she was served to me as a stew, for crying out loud. I probably shouldn't reveal that little fact to her though.
'I'm serious.' I tell her; my smile gone.
She pales. 'Oh.'
'But don't worry. Just do as I say and you'll be safe.'
I drop her back into my pocket and watch her snuggle inside.
'Don't come out unless I say so, okay?'
'Okay.' she agrees, then her head sinks beneath the wool, disappearing from my sight, only to resurface less than a second later.
'What's your name, by the way?'
'I'm called Einar. And yourself?'