Saturday, September 1, 2018
Book 2 - Chapter 26 – Northern Border
Long before kingdoms drew their borders on the maps, the continent was divided by different lines. The scales of the mighty shell of the Earth pushed against each other and raised mountains, and rivers flowed down from them, fast and wide, like silver snakes, speeding, unstoppable, on their way to the sea. Over the years, as the people gathered into the nations, they built their defenses along those natural lines, of the most fearsome rivers and the most impenetrable mountain ridges. And while the people became better and better at crossing waters, no army had ever dared to cross the mountains that separate the peninsula of Criland from the rest of the world. But on the day when King Albert received the messenger from Criland, dark clouds gathered atop the Frozen Mountains, and snow began to descend. Down below, south of the border, the villagers working in the fields looked up, one by one, in wonder, at the snowflakes that fell over their heads. And as they looked up, they saw the mountains move and ripple with waves of snow rolling down towards the fields.
The villagers stood, staring at the avalanche, as if frozen by a magic spell. Then one voice shouted “Run!” and they fled, hurrying to their homes to collect children and dogs, and what little belongings they had. But it was too late. The snow had reached the edge of the fields, and it was spreading fast, engulfing the crops in its path. It rolled south, deeper and deeper into the land, like a white river, swallowing threes and homes, burying alive people and cattle, until until only one girl was left, barely fourteen, running ahead of the wave of snow, tears streaming down her face for all those that she'd lost. For a moment, a moment only, she turned her head, and the snow looked to her like a line of white horsemen on their white horses, chasing her. And then they stopped, the horses neighing in the wind, and a large figure stood above her, a snow giant ten times taller than a man, and thee giant spoke:
“Run, little girl! Run and warn your king! Tell him we are coming, and all will perish, unless he surrenders this kingdom to Criland!”
And the giant laughed, and as it laughed, it broke into a million shards of ice that rained over the valley.