Clara thought it was magic.
Luke thought it was fate.
Ashton thought it was science.
Silvia thought it was a nightmare.
Katherine? Well, Katherine didn't care what it was. The only thing she knew was this was her one and only chance to escape the old, boring life she dreaded. This was a gift from the greater gods, and nothing was going to take that away from her. This was her destiny, this is where she belonged.
But if she had to blame it on anything, she would blame it on the snow.
The night of the travel, the snow was thick, and blinding. Nobody had predicted the freak blizzard, but the destruction it must have caused was unimaginable. By the looks of the time on Clara's watch, dawn was just breaking, but the sun was hidden behind layers of angry clouds and an enormous wall of icy snow. Clara blinked, her icicle eyelashes blurred her vision, not that she could see very far in front of her anyways. The whole world was dark and chaotic.
Clara and four of her friends had been on their way back from a late night party, when they were forced to pull over due to the weather. Ashton's family minivan wasn't equipped to drive in any condition other than sun, and it was obvious Ashton was not going to risk it. Clara thought they were on a back road surrounded by woods but she couldn't be sure anymore, it had been hours since she'd last seen the road or the van. Her best friend Katherine and boyfriend, Luke had been the first two to leave the safety of the Ashton's car. When the battery died, and the temperature dropped Luke and Katherine weren't planning to sit around and freeze to death. They left to look for help, leaving Silvia, Ashton and Clara alone in the vehicle… That hadn't lasted long either.
Ashton and Silvia insisted on leaving, and Clara's weak objections were completely overlooked. All three ended up trampling into the forest to search for Katherine and Luke, fighting through the snow storm which made it almost impossible to see or move. But all that had been hours ago, now, Silvia and Ashton had gotten lost in the mess of woods and by a miracle, Clara had been lucky enough to stumble upon Katherine and Luke… or not so lucky.
Katherine and Luke hated each other. They had an ongoing feud that, despite Clara's many attempts, could not be broken. When Clara had found them, it was no different. Katherine and Luke were at each other's throats; yelling, screaming and angrily throwing sticks and rocks at one another. It would have been quite funny, if it weren't for the fear of dying out in the wilderness while her best friends tried to kill each other first. After a failed go at calming them down, Clara had settled down in the snow and tried to keep herself warm. It wasn't working, and the tears that fell froze before they reached the forest floor.
He wasn't being fair. Luke, that is.
Katherine had tried to explain to him a thousand times that she wasn't the one who ratted him out; she wasn't the one who ruined his life. She had gone months without knowing why Luke hated her so much, and tonight, he had finally told her. At the beginning of the semester, Luke had been caught smoking marijuana and partying during hockey season. Luke was an incredible hockey player, but after he was caught, he was cut from the team. Soon, he had found out somebody had ratted on him, and he thought that somebody was Katherine. It wasn't, obviously, Katherine didn't give a rat's ass about anything Luke did, including smoke. She was enraged at his accusations and frankly, after being his best friend for many years, she was furious that something like this had come between them. Neverless, the new found hate she had for him was relentless.
"It doesn't matter who did it!" Katherine screamed, "Especially if we're going to die out here, it doesn't matter who told the god damn coach!" She howled over the roar of the wind. Luke clenched and unclenched his fist, trying to keep his fingers from freezing. Neither of them could stay still for too long, trying to circulate their blood. Katherine didn't know for how much longer she could stay conscious, her feet had been numb for what felt like centuries and her mind seemed to be following quickly. She blinked constantly, wondering if it was possible to have your eyes frozen shut.
Luke managed a laugh, "Die? There you go again, overreacting. That's another thing I can't stand about you, Katherine, you're addicted to drama!" He insulted. His dirty blond hair was white, as snow overtook him completely. Katherine could only stare in awe, mostly at his stupidity. Overreacting? Where was his brilliant plan to save them? Did he think they could just stand out in below freezing weather, get suffocated by snow and then just drive home like planned? Silvia and Ashton were probably dead and gone, as it was!
Katherine opened her mouth to speak, but she was cut off.
"Kate, Luke…" It was Clara. Both Luke and Katherine turned to see the little lump in the snow. All you could see through the blinding downfall was two, bright blue eyes staring out of the darkness. They were gazing past Katherine and Luke, towards the other edge of the clearing… "What is that?" Clara whimpered.
Katherine turned. Her eyes widened. There, leaking out of darkness was a light. It wasn't overly bright, nor did it look like anything Katherine had ever seen before. It was sparkling, seeping out of the thick, fog like snow and luring them towards it. Katherine didn't have any time, or energy to stop and ponder her options. She started running, well, scrambling towards the light. Luke and Clara were at her heels, trying to crawl through the snow, desperately clawing at the fog.
The light was unreachable. Katherine crashed through the trees, flailing and urging herself to go faster. It kept getting farther and farther away, running from her as she pathetically chased after it. She couldn't let it go, it was the first sign of hope she'd seen in hours and she couldn't let it get away from her. "Stop!" She screamed, her voice was dry and her throat burned as she said the words. "Please! Help us! Please!"
A root grabbed at her ankle and she tumbled forward. She screeched into the emptiness, her cry being cut off as she prepared herself to hit the ground. She never did. The ground, the snowy, wet ground that was supposed to break her momentum, the inevitable end of her fall was stolen. She was falling. She was falling into darkness so deep she could not see the bottom. Even as she fell, she swore she heard a voice… a voice she did not recognize.
"The ring has awoken"Said the voice.
What could that possibly mean? Katherine did not have a moment to consider this, before all of her senses collapsed into unconsciousness.