When cold grew, fur from the duckling was not enough for Mitchell. Mitchell fell on ground. Seeing his father’s friend fall, the duckling ran towards him and sat on him like he was hatching eggs.
To Mitchell’s surprise, it worked. He felt his body getting warmer. Roderick was also now getting hit by cold.
“Here is room for you too.” Mitchell’s muffled voice came.
Roderick looked at the sky filling up with stars and started making his way to the duckling. He was few meters away from the duck when a hand came out of ground and clutched his foot.
He would have freed him if it was day. But chilling night draining his strength was a different case.
“Do you think I hired workers to dig tunnel for pipe?” Moffet’s voice made to his ears from beneath the ground. He did not care what he was saying because Roderick was also turning blue. And worse, Moffet was pulling him in.
“What happened?” Mitchell screamed, but Roderick was in no state to answer him. Quacking of the duck was giving away what was going on.
Baby duck didn’t like the sight, so he left sitting on Mitchell and ran for Roderick’s rescue. It pecked Moffet’s hand until he lost the grip.
His bleeding hand disappeared in sand again.
Roderick knew he didn’t have much chance of survival if he didn’t find a way to kill Moffet. He picked up a gun from ground and started shooting blindly towards the ground.
He paused abruptly as something came in his mind.
“Go and sit on Mitchell.” Roderick sent the duck back to Mitchell and ran towards the place where they had buried jeeps. He knew there was fuel inside those jeeps. Since it was underground, Roderick speculated the fuel in there hadn’t frozen yet.
Stumbling and firing at the ground, he ran for the burial spot. And in the process, Moffet caught Roderick’s feet several times. Roderick had to fire bullets at the hand in order to free himself. Still, Moffet was chasing him.
Where did I bury jeeps? Confusion had started setting in his head.
Roderick heard Moffet collide with a metallic object underground.
“Here you are.”Roderick said, then showered the bullets at the spot. He had no idea whether bullets had made their way to the jeep’s fuel tank or Moffet’s head. He kept on firing in the same area, regardless.
Ground vibrated. Before Roderick could move to safety, fire erupted from underneath. Moffet’s flesh and bones flew in air along with Roderick. Roderick flew away due to the explosion. Moffet’s bits fell near him one by one when Roderick hit the land.
He was also not unharmed. Roderick had a missing limb, and his left hand had no fingers attached on it.
Duckling was scared to see Roderick in such a state. It tried to come to help Roderick.
“No!” Roderick groaned, “Stay there.”
Roderick began the crawl towards the horrified duck. He crept past dead faces and laid weapons. By the time he reached near the duck, he had no strength to keep ongoing. Meanwhile, Mitchell was calling Roderick to know about his wellbeing.
Baby duck realized his peril and used its wings to pull Roderick under him.
Injured Roderick lay shoulder to shoulder with Mitchell in the warmth under the bird.
“Expose your bleeding areas to the cold.” Mitchell advised, “Cold will freeze the wound and will stop blood loss.”
Roderick obeyed him, then stretched his hand and limb to the cold.
“Does unconsciousness qualify as sleep or not?” Roderick watched the blue planet rising from the horizon.
I am on Earth’s moon. Roderick smiled, gazing at where he had come from.