For over six long weeks the Father and Son had lead a dozen of the Kings finest Footmen South-East through the mountain pass, beyond the Kingdom of the colours they wore.
Following an invisible thread – woven between two souls for countless lifetimes.
No map nor compass could aid their trek, just instinct and dreams. A thin hope that they would somehow stumble across the missing Princess.
Nothing beyond the mountains resembled any form of civilisation, vast rolling moors, scattered naked trees, meagre settlements of wild folks, freezing marshes and the constant forlorn cry of the bitter east wind.
This was an exhausting march and the further from home they travelled, the further into the eastern realms, the harsher the weather, as winter decended upon the empty planes.
A thick blanket of frost smothered the land, carrying with it the threat of bitter weather – more hinderence to an already futile journey. There were no suppiles, nothing to hunt, the dead trees, decaying and rotten would not burn and there was no shelter against that relentless cutting east wind.
Yet still the boy drove onwards in his desperate search – further from people, further from normality… Marching onwards beyond the edges of carefully hand drawn maps…
… into the realms of roughly sketched outlines, crudely drawn by wild hunters – Yet even those native to this land were wise enough to have packed up their camps and resort to the west, to more barable climates.
The search party passed several such caravans – beastly men and their scrawny women, packed up on yaks and sledeges, destined for a winter gathering at the base of the Eastern Mountain Range – Beyond the reach of the vile winter…
The betrayal came, not through design, but by desperation.
Subtle secret exchanges took place, a series of left signs, silent indication of intent. Followed by a single face to face meeting twix the wild men and the starving soldiers.
An arrangement was laid in place.
A price negotiated and the scene set.
Late, on another freezing night, as they huddled and struggled to burn some damp wood… The dozen guards struck as one, in a blur of activity they errupted into violence to enact the carefully laid plan.
Blood stained the frozen ground – steaming as it poured generously from devistating fatal wounds.
The boy was screaming for his father – the wind caught his hysterial cries and tossed them around the vast bleak landscape.
Bloodstained and remorseless the dozen men bound the teenanger tightly, face down against the solid earth – yet they made no attempt to silence him… His screams were a beacon for the natives to engage with the soldiers.
Their bargian – the boy in exchange for passage home – the price… Kane’s lifeless body slowly freezing against the bitter solid earth…
Anne Harrison 01.10.17