Madgie, what did you do? XLI: Madgie's Winter

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story goes as follows, though I have not come with a good summary, Bunny wakes up during a Madgie-induced ice age (that's what Toki and Doki it but cannot be for sure if that is what it was) that had caused Madgie to die in a strange way during a blizzard in which the snowflakes (more like ice shards) are like glass and, ever since she died, the winter was called Madgie's winter. From Toki and Doki, she learns that the trip to the time transport is two weeks. Will they make it?

Submitted: August 20, 2013

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Submitted: August 20, 2013

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Madgie, can you hear me, Madgie, can you hear me now….Madgie…..? Madgie?! Madgie! Madgie, can you hear me now…..?! If you can, I only hope that this winter is your last!

I awoke to the sound of an icy wind blowing and I had awakened in my bedroom. My bedroom was cold and I didn’t have much on, besides a babydoll and, being that the part below the bra is made of chiffon (rendering it see through), that didn’t do much to protect me from the cold. As far as I knew, I was better off under the blanket but I knew I had to leave my house to find answers about what had happened and make things right.

Placing on a bathrobe and socks, I walked about the house, searching for any living presence. Apparently, there was snow in the hallway and on the stairs and, in said snow, I saw little footprints and paw prints. Using that evidence, I knew Eglantine and Stinky were alive and these footprints were fresh, so they left about 20 minutes ago. I ventured about, looking for them, and that took me outside. I continued following their footprints, until I reached Toki’s dome, where they had stopped. 

Outside of the dome, I saw a woman in white, looking up at the sky. She was wearing the colors of red and white and hair was tied in long white braided pigtails with red ribbons that were trailing behind her, also she was wearing a veil. From the overall looks of things, she seemed to be sad and looked as if she was about to weep. At that notion, I had noticed she had looked familiar and, as I was scrutinizing her, she turned her head and looked at me and I had recognized her then. She was Toki.

Almost as if hovering over the snow, she walked over to me, her hands reaching out and her heterochromatic eyes looking as if foggy. She walked closer and closer until she was within poking range. Without hesitance, I placed my hands in hers and she whispered, “Usagi.” Her eyes were half open and it seemed she couldn’t see very well. “I thought I’ve recognized your shape, being that I have just regained my sight, after fourteen days of blindness. Careful, Usagi, sometimes, in the blizzards, the snowflakes are like glass shards.” I wondered exactly what it was  that she meant. 

What she had said confused me because, how on earth could snowflakes in a blizzard be as sharp as glass shards?  Being that Toki is suffering from mental illness, I figured maybe she was rambling about nothing important but, after considering the fact that she had temporarily lost her sight, I figured maybe she was right about that. Once she looked at me again, she promptly asked if I would like to come her house for tea. Naturally, I accept the invite because, usually, this would give me an opportunity to talk with her or Doki about what was going on. 

As she led me back to her dome, Doki greeted us, saying, "Hello, Usagi, we've wondered where you've gone off to." She led us inside and to the parlor, before leaving and returning with a teapot and teacups. After setting them down, she took her seat next to her sister's and said, "Madgie's winter is hard one and within the next five minutes, there will be another glass shard blizzard." 

By this time, I was confused and I asked, "What is Madgie's winter and what did happen to Madgie?" Toki sighed and said, "She died and she had lost her life during the first blizzard of glass and we found her frozen and, apparently, bled to death in the street. Ever since that day, we named this winter, Madgie's Winter." This made me curious as to what had happened to cause this winter and I asked, "What happened?"

"We don't know exactly what she how she had brought along an Ice Age and those who could not adapt had perished. In the blizzards, some had temporarily lost their sight."

"What else happened?"

"Well, sorry to say this, society could not adapt too well and is slowly making a collapse but, fret not, though, it had been figured out how to grow crops and raise food in harsh conditions. Oh, I do miss the spring."

"Is there any way to reverse this?"

"Hmmm."

"Toki?"

"Oh, there is but the journey is two weeks, will one be willing to travel for that long?"

"Anything."

"Very well, one's heart is set, Usagi, we disembark the next morning."

The next morning, about two and half hours before dawn, we left, Doki explaining that it is better to endure the winds now than later, as Toki had made that mistake before. The winds blew and, as it did, I heard faint high-pitched screams, the screams of someone in pain. Apparently, those shards of ice stabbing her and hypothermia must have really given her a less than merciful death. The sound was unpleasant. 

"If you are feeling unsettled by the scream you hear, it is alright, you have not gotten used to it." Doki said, looking back at me. I was horrified by what she said and, seeing how that scream didn't faze either of them, I knew this to be true, they did get used to it before being desensitized to sound. Madgie’s pained screams were a common occurrence. We continued walking until we were in an abandoned town, covered by years of snow. "There are a lot more towns like this. The people that once lived here died." Toki said.

After walking with these two , I found myself to be quite unnerved by the sisters' calm demeanor but, then again, if one considered it, they have been living like this for a long time, it makes sense that they would be used to it. 

As we trekked through the abandoned town, I heard Toki whispering something about Madgie's demise and how unusual it was. What was so unusual about Madgie's death was that she died bleeding and of hypothermia but it is uncertain which killed her first. Was it the glass shards or the hypothermia? Neither of them knew or could tell but, either way, her death was her own undoing and wouldn't have mattered if she had died or not because it was her own damn fault and would have perished if it weren't for that time traveling experiment. In the midst of her whispering, I could have sworn Toki had stopped when I whispered, "Madgie, I do hope this winter is your last."

She turned to look at me and said, "I harbor no grudge and who's to say this winter isn't any of our last?" I remembered to stay silent about this being Madgie's last winter. I couldn't help but wonder if the winter calm soothed her as until the wind blew, we never heard her pained screams and, when the blizzard winds did blow, we heard her screams. It had not really occurred to me that, whenever the icy winds blew their glass shards, she was reliving her death and she died screaming. In thinking of Madgie's death, I couldn't help but wonder if she died in the same blizzard that Toki temporarily lost her sight in but, remembering that Toki temporarily lost her sight fourteen days ago, this seemed unlikely, yet I couldn't help but to wonder.

When it was sundown and after we took shelter in an abandoned building, Doki started a fire and I asked Toki how long ago was it that Madgie died, to which she responded, "I can't remember but her passing was in the first Glass Shard Blizzard and I can't remember exactly when that was but I do know it was the very first." I was not quite surprised, as Toki doesn't often remember when some things happen and her sense of time can be a bit off, but, if I can recall, Toki apparently had her sight at that time, so it had to have been more than fourteen days ago that Madgie died in this winter that became her own.

As we sat in silence, Doki put on a pair of durable snow goggles and left. Before I could ask, Toki said, "She's going out for food, she'll be alright." About an hour later, Doki had returned with three fat rats and a honeycomb. On her ungloved hand, she had small red markings, making it obvious she was stung by bees. 

After setting up a cooking spit, she licked and chewed at her hand, trying ease any sort of discomfort. Toki tugged on my jacket and whispered, "She's been stung by snow-bees and the stings itch and burn, she does that to ease them." The rats roasted and the honey from the honeycomb was used to flavor them. 

We ate, having few conversations, which ended, after we had finished and Toki saying, "Don't sleep with an uncovered ass because the snow-bees are attracted to honey and the nearby flowers and they will sting you in the ass and only there." Doki laughed loudly and said, "Toki, they only sting YOU in the ass."

The next morning, after sleeping huddled together, we started on our journey the next morning, only stopping when Toki had to use the bathroom. We continued on until we reached another abandoned town, Doki taking us to shelter in an abandoned house and putting on her goggles. She had left and didn't come back for two more hours. She returned with more fat rats, various food items preserved by the cold and a pot and a pan. She made a fire and, while peeling an apple, said, "We'll stay here for a bit and then leave later, the winds are rough and it is at the same strength that killed Madgie.” Upon hearing that, Toki felt a great bit of alarm and huddled closer to her sister, almost as if she needed some reassurance. I couldn’t protest this because, if it killed Madgie, it was likely to kill me, too. We concluded on staying there and the blizzard lasted for an indeterminable amount of time but, by the time it passed, it was close to nightfall. 

We left and continued until later the next night. By this point, I was exhausted and we had settled again for rest. That blizzard took a lot out of our trip and our breaths were labored. Doki started another fire but was too exhausted to go out and get food, so we were to go without supper and that we would have to eat in the morning. 

In the midst of our rest, I turned to Toki and said, "Which do you think killed Madgie first, the glass shards or the hypothermia?" She looked at me with weary but wide eyes and said, "Usagi, I know it not, she died screaming, so maybe both. Doki, what do you think?"

Doki blinked her tired eyes and said, "Hmmm, It's rather hard to tell, since her body was frozen and had blood seeping from it through small wounds, in conjunction with the fact that she had died screaming, I would have to assume either it was either one or both that killed her but what killed her first is something we’ll never know.” That night, after huddling together, I had only one question, Which killed Madgie first, the glass shards or the hypothermia? Doki was right, we'll never know and, since, Madgie died screaming, I guess she had the glass shards killed her first but I could never be for certain. At least, she's dead now and I do hope this winter is her very last so, that way, she wouldn't suffer another catastrophic winter.

We huddled together for warmth and resumed our journey in the morning. As we traveled, I had noticed the weather was rather fair and only had a light snow. "Hmm, it seems Madgie is holding us in her embrace and keeping the blizzards away." Toki said, making wide-eyed glances towards the sky. In one of those glances, a single snowflake had fallen on her eye and melted, rolling down her cheek. She blinked and continued walking, as if she had shed a tear a deceased Madgie could not really shed herself. The light snowfall were Madgie's tears.

We continued walking, not even stopping for shelter in abandoned towns. It wasn’t until Toki had started collapse was when we stopped finally at shelter. Once a fire was made and her sister was situated, Doki walked over to me and whispered, “I’m sorry we had overexerted you but Toki was insistent that we get as ahead as we could as to get you home, despite my pleas in regards to the fact she has a bit of a weak heart (meaning she is suffering from an illness).” Sighing, she placed on her snow goggles and went out for supplies. Upon that revelation, I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t be angry at her and she was right, it could be her last winter. Is she going to join you, too, Madgie?

As I watched Toki rest, I wondered if she would even make the night. Doki returned with only a few things but went to tend her sister first. I had gone to sleep without supper that night. The next morning, I awoke to a heavy coughing and that coughing was coming from Toki. Doki had just started to wake up and no sooner did she did she do so did she scream. She led out a glass splitting wail and, to our horror, Toki was coughing up blood. She made it through the night, be that as it may, but there could be hearsay on whether or not she'll make it through the day. Once Toki had stopped hacking up blood, we continued on, Toki using her sister like a crutch. Whatever illness she was afflicted with must have been long term and, while overexerting herself during this journey, it worsened. I wanted to ask how sick she was but, deep within, I couldn't, as it would likely make things worse than they already are. Sometimes, Toki can be a foolish person, she was killing herself to get me home to undo what has been done. This was her sacrifice, more or less mine.

As we continued, there never came another blizzard and Madgie’s figure seemed to have shaped in the clouds. Toki was right, we are in Madgie’s embrace. She was protecting us from the same fate she suffered, making amends for the damage she caused. Even as the temperature dropped significantly, we felt warm. Madgie, I’m sorry for saying I wished this winter was your last, please forgive me. As we were in the midst of stopping, Toki started to sing a lullaby, while faltering. With just about every passing hour of the night, it seemed Toki’s breathing had become more labored. The next day, we found her, sitting outside of our shelter, resting up against it. She looked and seemed to have gotten weaker than before. She looked at us and gave a sad smile, saying, “I don’t think I will make the rest of the trip.” Tear rolled down her cheeks and it seemed she knew what were to happen. If we did not find an inhabited town or functional hospital, then Toki would perish. However, as far as we knew, taking her any further would kill her right then and there. We were stuck in a mess. 

If we brought her with us, the strain from traveling could kill her but we couldn't just leave her. Doki could not stay with her, as only she could lead me to time transport. In our debating, Toki let out a sigh and appeared to go to sleep. When we took notice to this, she didn't seem to be stirred and, in the wind, a whisper said, “Farewell, my beloved, if only I could have walked with you a little more.” After trying to wake her, it dawned on us that she was no longer with us and that she couldn’t even survive the rest of the morning. We carried her back into the shelter and lied her down. Our only comfort, was that Toki died smiling and seemed to be content. We continued on, after leaving snow flowers (yes, flowers grew in the snow) around Toki's body and with Doki wearing her sister’s shawl. Even though, she had died, her ghost wanted to walk with us a little more. Toki, if you can hear me, I’m eternally grateful for your efforts. We didn’t speak of her or Madgie.

We stopped at yet another abandoned town. It felt strange being without Toki in body but her spirit was here, with us, forever. Being that Toki had died, I was afraid Doki would die, too, leaving me to fend for myself alone. Of course, Doki put my survival before hers and this was demonstrated when she brought a roasted fat rat and a bit of apple to me. She wouldn’t get anything to eat for herself, until I had eaten. If there was something I didn’t eat, then she would eat it and often those were bones and scraps. That sort of thing puzzled me but, then again, after considering the circumstances, she wasn't picky. Before going to sleep, however, no sooner did a mouse that scurried into our shelter did she eat it, fur, bones, tail, and all. As we went to sleep, huddled by the fire, I could have sworn both Madgie and Toki wrapped their arms around us. 

The next day, we continued on, Doki remarking that she missed her baby and her sister. No matter how harder the terrain or how scarce the shelter, we continued. It seemed time had flown as we were only a day away from Saturday, seven days from the last. The next day, after walking for more than four hours we made it. Once we were at the crystal, Doki looked at me and threw her arms around me, before saying, "See you again in the renewed." Looking back, I waved farewell and awoke back in my room.

It was night and a cool breeze was blowing through my window. Madgie and Eglantine were in bed and Stinky was eating his food. Life was back to normal and Toki and Doki were fine as well, actually, I knew they were fine because Toki was sleeping in the middle of the road again and Doki was trying her hardest to get her back inside.


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