Corban was already dozing, and hardly registered the jacket. He was in that strange phase of half-aware and half dreaming, so the flames seemed to dance into shapes.
Suddenly, instead of laying on a rocky mountain, he was laying in the snow, in front of the fire. The snow was bright white, flecked with red. The fire didn't melt it.
David Nolan stood in front of him. "Go away." Corban muttered in his sleep. Couldn't a person just play in the snow once in a while without getting interrupted?
Go away. Was he talking to her..? Isabelle studied his dreaming face, frowning. She wouldn't doubt that he was talking to her; it wasn't as if he liked her in any way. "Maybe I will," she muttered, mostly to herself. Maybe she could find her own way home...
Oh, who was she kidding. She could barely walk without hurting herself. An entire journey back to her home would be so much worse.
Nolan was speaking. "Since you've taken so long to pay, the fee has doubled. Ten grand."
Corban glared daggers at him. "That's more than double!"
Nolan grabbed Corban's backpack and looked inside for money. "Books? You go treasure hunting and come back with books?" He threw a copy of an old book down, and Corban read the words Hans Anderson in gold on the front. Huh?
"Those weren't there. I had money."
Nolan threw his bag into the fire, and it exploded, sending flames into his face. Corban jerked away from the fire, muttering about cheaters in his sleep.
What on earth was Corban dreaming about? Isabelle's gaze was fixed intently on his face. What a strange boy. But, really, this was somewhat entertaining. Sort of. Hmm... could this be the type of sleeping where, if asked a question, he would answer truthfully? Isabelle giggled lightly; she had done that to her parents before. But Corban was different, so it might not work...
Suddenly, there was a gun pointed in his face. But Corban wasn't as scared as he should be, as if part of him knew this was a dream. He smacked at it, and it smacked back.
Now that was just plain wrong. "Come on, stop that." He protested. "I just wanna make a snowman." Why would he want to make a snowman?
"It's August, there isn't any snow." Nolan informed him, pointing the gun at his face again.
"You're standing in it."
"No I'm not, you are."
"Oh, for crying out loud!"
Then Nolan shot him, and it didn't hurt. Nothing hurt. He couldn't move. He looked down.
Oh, of course I can't move, I'm a snowman. Duh.
((I have to go, bye!))
Isabelle giggled again, shaking her head as she watched him dream. What a strange boy... Should she wake him up? Or let him sleep? She debated for a few minutes, chewing delicately on her lip, before sighing and leaning very close to his ear. "Coooorbaaaannnn...." she murmured softly, a smile evident in her voice.
[Aw, okay! Byebye! ]
[Just bumping it for you so it doesn't get lost :) ]
(( Thanks. :) I might disappear at any moment, my neighbor is coming over to pay me for dog sitting.))
"I can't talk right now, I'm a snowman." Corban mumbled in his sleep.
Nolan was yelling at him now, telling him to snap out of it. He was shooting, but you can't hurt snow. Snow doesn't bleed.
[No problem :D Haha, okay ]
Isabelle frowned. She was pretty sure Corban wasn't a snowman... But, if he was really so unaware that he though he was a snowman, but could hear her, did that mean the question-thing would work? She decided to try, starting with a basic question to make sure it worked. "Corban," she said softly, "Who is the girl you're travelling with?"
"She's nuts." Corban answered, not really saying who she was, but more of what she was. Why did Nolan care about her?
Being a snowman was starting to get old. He'd rather be a snowflake; then he could fly.
Nuts? Isabelle couldn't help the sulky pout on her face, sighing a little. This peasant, insulting her... Ugh. "Why do you owe so much money, Corban?"
Really? Was Nolan rubbing it in his face or something? He knew exactly why he owed him. "You're a liar, David." He mumbled. A liar and a cheater. Not that it was all his fault...
Now Isabelle could feel the curiosity welling up inside her, and she smirked. "Oh, Corban," she murmured, giggling softly. "How does Da- er, me being a liar make you owe so much?" Surely there wasn't any harm in pretending, right?
"You promised she'd be okay." As he spoke, he felt rage building inside him, melting his snowman-self into a puddle on the ground. Why should Corban pay him? They had a deal, and David broke it first.
Isabelle's smile faded. She? Like... Corban's girlfriend, maybe? Hmm... "What do you mean? What happened to her?" Suddenly she felt kind of bad, prying into Corban's past like this.
He was gloating. He was actually gloating. "She died, a.sshole." Corban shoved David into the campfire, hoping to get rid of him once and for all. He just stood there and laughed at him.
"You're not a snowman anymore." And then he shot him again. And this time, he died. Corban jerked awake, staring blankly at Isabelle, confused and groggy.
Isabelle gasped and scurried back a bit, her eyes still wide as they studied Corban's face. So the mysterious girl died. A wave of guilt washed over her, and she gulped, finally tearing her eyes away. "You looked like you were having a bad dream..." she murmured quietly, fiddling with her fingers, glancing at him again.
Corban watched her, confused. She looked...guilty? He wasn't the best at reading people, but he could have sworn it was guilt. What did she have to be guilty about?
Wait... "Did I say something?" He'd always been a restless sleeper; talking and rolling around, sometimes sleepwalking.
"Nothing important," Isabelle said quickly, inwardly grimacing at how horrible a liar she was. Of course what he said was important. Well, to him anyway. But now, she was curious, and that just made her feel awful. She shouldn't have pried, even if he was dreaming when he said it.
"Liar." Corban muttered. It seemed like everyone he knew was a liar nowadays.
He stood up, stretching, and walked off to get more firewood in silence, turning his back on her so she couldn't see the worry on his face. What had he said? Did he confess to anything...? Did she know about Nolan?