Chilly the night air felt; not irregular for this region. Ever so lightly the snowfall descended from the clouds speckled throughout the dark blue night sky. Though the moonlight was scarce, its dim luster shined off nearly every flake of snow that wafted down to the icy ground. Shadows from the frosty peaks blanketed much of the region, along with those of the whitened pine trees swaying gently in the frigid breeze. Even the clouds, sparse as they were, added their shade onto the surrounding, steadily progressing across the sheets of fallen snow. Amongst the natural silhouettes there moved one more distinct—one belonging to those of much smaller forms.

Hobbling slowly through the accrued snowfall, a lone Bumpty progressed. With every other step, a pained breath released along with a cloud of chilled vapor. Bumpties were never known for having to bear the harshness of a wintry environment, yet this particular penguin was now defying such actualities, for the source of these feelings of frigidness was not of an inborn cause, but rather a wholly unnatural one. Leaking blood from just under his left flipper were several extensive stab wounds. The agony continuously brought upon by the multiple lacerations was ample enough, but the unabating icy winds battering against his exposed flesh served to intensify his suffering. Yet, the Bumpty endured, fueled only by what little strength and willpower still present in his body.

"I never knew…it was possible…to feel this cold…" the Bumpty shakily uttered, finding even simple speech difficult to carry out. He turned his head back, staring off into the darkened terrain he had tottered through. "But…I can't stop now…I must…keep…going…"

Even though he spoke those words, the Bumpty at heart was not convinced by what he had said. With all he had endured thus far, his strength of body and strength of spirit had faltered immensely, and as a result his pace dwindled to that of a lame crawl. The Bumpty had already pushed on for so long, he felt the hardiness needed to conclude his elongated journey was far beyond the bounds of possibility at this point.

Ever more gradually as the seconds passed by, the Bumpty's breathing slowed. Though the constant snowfall already impaired his vision to some extent, the luckless penguin's eyesight began to blur intermittently—the loss of blood ceaseless in accelerating its harmful effects in the whole of the penguin's body.

Though his vision distorted, the Bumpty could make out a large object standing in the middle of the snowfields as he ambled ever slower across the icy plains. It was a lone pine tree, casting its single shadow upon the sheets of snow that surrounded the solitary conifer. So clearly in his weakening heart, the ill-fated Bumpty felt the grip of death tightening its clasp.

"They need to be able to find me…" the Bumpty concluded in his mind, no longer able to muster the strength necessary for even the most undemanding articulation. The sound of crunching snow emanated from the Bumpty's drawn-out steps as he traipsed over to the trunk of the pine tree, standing near it in the most desirable spot to prevent the incessant frosty gale from assaulting his thoroughly pained body. The Bumpty sat himself against the trunk of the conifer, seeing no purpose in wasting what miniscule amount of energy he had left by standing.

The frostbitten penguin shakily turned his gaze up towards the moon as it partly hid behind the passing clouds.

"…I was a fool…" he reflected in his thoughts. "I dug myself a hole as deep as possible, and still believed I could escape it…" he shifted his eyes back to the direction he had ventured from; his footsteps having vanished from the landscape due to the continual yet gentle snowfall. "I just wish I could tell Adélie I'm sorry for dragging her into this—and I pray that at least she'll be able to find a way out herself…"

As this rumination finished, the snowfall began to increase its celerity. As the snow accumulated onto the Bumpty's body, he gazed up at the sky one final time, then shut his eyes as he tilted his head towards the ground—his body no longer shaking and having no further thoughts reflecting in his mind…

The snowfall continued into the night, covering the landscape of the Shiver Region in a fresh coat of icy flakes as the clouds overhead increased in number. Other than the howling of the frigid air, the land was mostly quiet that night, and to those unknowing of the lone Bumpty who lay beneath the mass of snow, the field would look as beautiful and peaceful as always—as if no tragedy had ever occurred…