This story is copyright Emily Rush, 18.April.2014. All rights reserved. Yadayadayada.
He grabs is lance and begins the trudge through the snow.
His footfall breaks the freshly laid snow. He is the lone beacon of humanity in this godforsaken place. He knows that others will inquire if there has been any sign of the beast. He’s not sure if the asking is out of sincere interest or to mock him as he stands lone sentinel in the cold and snow, waiting patiently.
He sighs deeply, taking in some of the ice-cold air. He shivers a moment as he takes another step forward. It’s a daily vigil where he stands guard.
He looks up to the sky, what was grey and drab the day before has become a brilliant blue and bright with the long absent sun that he’d been missing for many a day. The snow’s surface reflects the light like a brilliant frosted mirror making this otherwise drab canyon vibrant. For the first time in… well, sometime as he couldn’t quite recall when, he heard the chirp of birds, awakened from their chilly and dark slumber into this vibrant bright winter morning.
He sticks his spear in to the snow. It was much deeper than he thought it was. He didn’t remember it being so deep the day before.
“It must have been quite the snowfall last night..”, he aloud to himself.
He sucks in some more of the frigid air as he thinks about if he missed the creature again last night. Once again his brain raced, trying to think if he might have missed any clue, any bit of visual information as to whether the beast had moved in the night. His eyes dart back and forth looking for any little clue, any shred of evidence that this creature did indeed still live in this cave.
No matter how hard he searched, he found nothing. Just the pristine white snow marred only by his footfalls. He couldn’t recall any bellows in the middle of the night, no sounds of loud crunching… everything he recalled when the beast had stirred and reared his gruesome head, baring red, barbed fangs and acrid breath, everything that stirred fear in men. It was a brutal day of carnage, one that he had never experienced before or since.