Heartbeat.  I felt a tiny rush of life from the spell, and held it up.

Heartbeat.  I tried to focus on staying alive, tried to forget my wounds, tried to forget the chill of winter, the howling raucous wind, and the snow piling up at the entrance to the cave.  And I tried to focus on the spell to stay alive.

Heartbeat.  I was alive a moment ago; my heart is beating, so I’m alive now; I will be alive for another moment.

Heartbeat.  Oh, it did hurt.  I heard searchers shouting, but I couldn’t tell from here if they were Arcadian or not, and I didn’t want to risk it.

Heartbeat.  I could outwait them all anyway.  The blood had—well, it had almost abated its flow, though with the spell I don’t think it would have mattered anyway.

Heartbeat. The cold was going through me though, and I felt quite weak, and tired. I knew falling asleep would be bad—it’d be a gamble as to whether I could keep the heartbeat going in my sleep.

Heartbeat.  I tried to focus on recovering, on getting my strength back, but I still half felt like I would lose.

Forget hiding, I thought, I need help.

Heartbeat.  I struggled to get up, which was a little difficult, not wanting to take my hand off my ruined arm, but I managed it carefully and staggered to the cave mouth.

Heartbeat.  I saw a searcher further up the valley. I gave a mental shout and, not knowing if he was terras or in hearing distance, flashed a spenselight signal showing where I was.

The weakness overcame me again and I struggled back into what little shelter the cave had.

I waited.

I fell asleep.