Monday, June 25, 2012

East

EastThe brothers crested the ridge, and for the fourth time that day their hearts sank. Lief, the taller and older of the two, picked up a rock. Hefting it a moment, he hurled it as far as he could while yelling a particularly foul profanity.

Skäll dropped his pack and sat on it. His breath staggered back to him as he squinted in frustration at the daunting horizon. "Like I said," he panted. "We'll never catch up."

Lief scanned the ground for another rock, hands on his hips and chest still heaving from the climb. Skäll was ready with a come-back to the inevitably positive and courageous comment.

But his brother merely raised the canteen, took a distracted swallow, and stared northward, into the wind. After a long while he shook his head. "Time for a change of plans."

Skäll sat up with eyes wide. "You're friggin kidding me, right? There's no way we can go back. If they--"

"Not back. East. We'll go to the river."

Skäll spat. "Assuming we can even find a damn river in all that. And these blades won't do us any good, remember?"

"We will. It's out there," Lief said, waving at the rocks and snow in a vague arc that covered a good third of the rough and tumble land to their right. 

Skäll said nothing. He was all out of ideas, and was too exhausted to argue anyway. Both he and Lief were restisting the urge to look behind them, he knew. If those... things were indeed following them, then which direction they headed wouldn't matter.

"We'll find it," Lief said.

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