Thursday, November 10, 2011

A tale of Jethrik

Nasol had been watching the play of birds through the winter wood since morning.  Even through meals eyes only faced out, as the stones of the castle had already been counted and recounted.  Every turns and twist of the battlement well memorized and etched in the watchman's bones.  Any uneven stones worn down after centuries of walking but a few swoops and rises still remained.  Nasol knew them all.

The cold came quickly this year, just after the rain.  Freezing the flood a terrible icy deep which walled them in.  All of them everyone was trapped in someway, Kings and commons all were isolated in tiny pools of life struggling through the winter.  The royals were at least high above the city with their kitchens and pantries safely secured form the weather.  Many of the castle would not find food and starved.  They would be found only in the thaw.

Nasol only had himself this winter.  He had been stationed along the western vista when the cold came.  His was to keep watch and burn the cones of colored smoke in alert, should the need arise.  This would have lasted until harvest but it was long past and no replacement had come.  No one had come.  Nothing in the western expanse but birds he could see at a distance. 

His nearest neighbor was perhaps a day and a half distant.  While not far the traveling was slow, working through abandoned halls and rooms often filled full with the decaying remains of the castles opulence.  In places he was forced to crawl through tunnels of furnishings all while working his way to high window in a lonely attic.  Nasol had piled up tables and beds and whatever junk he could find to reach the small window that was the only source of light. 

From the window was a sheer drop well over a hundred feet to the flooded and frozen plaza below.  Across the distance another window was set and he neighbor found.  Their communication often disrupted by the gails that cut through the high walls they finally arrived at passing notes and small items on twine ropes.  They had set up a simple pulley to pass food at first, Nasol had not tasted wine in months before they constructed the line.  His neighbor was hoping for a change of food.  A sparely loaded tin was the most they risked passing on the lines but it worded well for notes, on which they could converse. 

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