Her eyes rolled across the tundra until they settled on a metallic dome peeking through the snowy gales. She didn't recognize the doorless structure, but there was something about the way the exterior shimmered that she found strangely familiar. She tried walking toward it, but her legs icily refused. She tried calling for help, but her voice couldn't climb her frozen throat. Her brain screamed, bashing against her skull as if trying to escape while her veins froze so suddenly, she felt their casings splinter beneath her skin. As her other organs joined the violent dance, Mia's thoughts became garbled in her gazpacho brain--except for one:
GET WARM NOW.
Her hands tunneled through the snow, tossing it aside as she dug the hole she believed would save her life. Looking for warmth in the cold without a scrap of lucidity remaining, she dug like a zombie who believed human brains comprised the Earth's core. But when she hit something and combed back the snow to see it, her brain had a moment of perfect lucidity.
Mama's face was blue-gray, and scales of frozen skin chipped away when Mia wiped back the frost. There was no helping Mama. There was no helping Mia.