Here’s a taste of the work in progress:
The sun looked to be a white marble that rolled through hard blue skies, an arm’s length above the southeast horizon. It provided wan light and no heat. As the morning progressed, temperatures held steady, as if the earth refused to warm.
Ice crystals covered everything. Tree branches, pushed about by a fitful wind, clattered against each other, sounding like so many giant wind chimes. Even the moisture in the air seemed frozen, as if tiny slivers of quartz floated all about them, glittering in the thin sunlight.
Their own smell, the people and the animals, drifted with them. An airborne blanket given substance by the cold, heavy and sodden, just at the edge of being unpleasant.
“Bailey’s Mill’s just up the way,”Thea said.
Her voice sounded muffled, as if in another room. They rode single file, Thea in the lead, following the trail broken in the thin layer of frozen snow by the wolf pack. Her big yellow dog, running with the pack, stopped to sniff at tracks almost covered by wind-blown snow.
Thea climbed from her horse and knelt beside the dog. “A two-wheeled cart,” she called, over her shoulder.
She and the dog hunched there in the cold, in communion for a time, before she returned to the saddle.
“They’re headed straight for the Mill,” she said. “And Yellow Dog says Dark John’s hungry.”
765 words this morning. Please consider making a donation in my name to the write-a-thon.