With a final, careful footstep, she reached the top of the snow covered stairway. Her face felt burned by the cold winds that had picked up from this height. Multiple times she had stopped as a harsh gust threatened to blow her off the side of the cliff, using her left hand to steady herself against the rock face.
Thankfully, her boots had treads for slick surfaces, which helped. Despite that, as she reached the very top of the cliff, she moved away from the edge as quickly as possible.
‘God I wish it were summer…’ How could she ever have hated summer time before?
Gathering her bearings, she pulled on and adjusted her backpack once more. Taking steady breaths, fog covering her vision, she looked ahead.
She stopped breathing and could only stare.
Beyond her, the landscape was open and snow filled. A large field that stretched for… miles? She couldn’t be sure. But she’d never seen anything so open, before. Forests grew everywhere and completely covered their land, and Naomi had just assumed, covered everywhere else too. But not here. Here, there were no trees.
None. At least as far as her snow flurried vision could see.
The snow fell, and beyond her was a white plain where the wind blew harshly. The sky was a deep gray, as the sun was starting to fall. She wondered what it would look like when the wind calmed, how clear the skies would be?
This place was different than anything she had seen before. And it should have been beautiful, if not for the one thing that made her hesitate. One thing that made her a little scared as well as curious.
Her village was the only place where trees didn’t grow. All of the material had been chopped away and used for housing and fences and tools and everything else she could think of. And only men could build those things.
‘So… where did you come from?’ she asked the structure before her.
In the distance, staggering into the air was a large tower made of stone.
Continue reading “Winter Hounds – Chapter 9”