It’s odd how stories come to be.
Years ago I was daydreaming somewhere (I don’t recall where) and I suddenly could see a blinding snowstorm, the sort where the wind is driving the snowflakes almost horizontally. I could see a man on a horse, hood drawn up around his face, going slowly into the teeth of that storm. The wind rises; the snowflakes swirl and the man tries to read a map, but the slashing snow cakes on the parchment and dashes in his eyes. He folds the map away after a moment and moves on.
It has been a long journey for him from where he once was to where he is now, and his heart is full of regrets, foreboding and a sort of weary, cautious hope.
He pauses, sensing something looming ahead of him. He looks up pushing his snow-sodden hair from his face. He can see something towering over him. He nudges the horse to a walk. It flicks its ears, tries to shake the snow from its mane, and then starts forward.
The wind is cut off and the snow is suddenly gone. He is before a huge, dark structure. The man’s gaze takes in the bulk of stone rising above him, the signs of neglect.
He can see the storm behind him, as though through a transparent curtain, but the wind and the ice don’t touch him. He is in the lee of the building – the gatehouse of an old castle. As he looks up at the weathered, dilapidated stone, he can almost hear the word:
He touches his heels to the horse’s side and moves in through the gate…
I will be working on this story. I blocked it out years ago and wrote a little on it. It was a magic-less fantasy – alternative history, maybe? The lands are my own invention – full of noble tragedy, courage, a love story, dying for a great cause…
I set it aside to work on more urgent things and promptly forgot about it. It wasn’t in electronic form anyhow, and I’d have to retype it…
I revisited it recently, twenty-some years later. It had changed from a tale of high tragedy to one of –
Well, let’s say I smiled as I read my notes.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized
. Bookmark the permalink