TEVERIUS - Memory of a Death in a Cabin
Northern Netherwood, Netherlands
A fortnight later, Teverius slid down the rope and wandered from his hut for his morning hunt. Spotting a layer of fresh snowfall encompassing the base of the mountain. It was one of the series of Black Mountains. Named for the ashen tinge of dirt rolling between the trees in the summertime. Making the snow all the prettier. He couldn’t resist taking Serdephe to see it.
She was impressed, noting the glittering rainbow of colors in the sunlight. She giggled as he laid down and she climbed up his furred black. Embedding her fingers as she clung while he tore rampantly through the mountains of the Netherlands. A pace he’d not matched in years. His heart hammered in his chest, but he was motivated to run faster by her giddy shrieking.
Serdephe’s purple hair flew as she gripped his fur tight enough to hurt.
He didn’t slow. Blue eyes shining in the dark of clustered trees on the mountain top. His paws tore up the white snow. Flinging it up around their heads.
She stuck out her fingers to catch a handful. Laughing gleefully as she crumbled the flakes. Her teal eyes shined.
How long has it been since I brought anyone joy? I can’t even remember anymore.
When finally, Tev could go no further he came to a stop. I’m fatigued.
She climbed from his back. “That was beautiful, My Wolf.” She said.
I’m glad you enjoyed it.
“Why are you brown today?”
He winced. He’d decided to hide his coloring in the hope he’d seem less memorable. He shook his fur to toss off the frost accruing. Soon I’ll have to stay away from her. Fade into her memory. She’s young enough she’ll forget me quickly.
He’d not realized how far up the mountain they’d gone until she cried out, pointing.
“My Wolf! Over there, look at that tree!”
Tev head swung and he recognized it immediately. Stomach dropping. Somehow, I found my way back here…of all places.
His eyes scanned the distance and spotted the worn black cabin, but he remembered it how it’d been that fateful night when he had arrived. Nearly ablaze from the Sarabi scattering the fire in its frenzy.
I’d have never brought you hear apurpose. His head flipped to her, but she was tossing snow and dancing as it fell.
His eyes returned to the shell of a cabin; she hadn’t yet spotted.
But her gaze followed his.
“What is it, My Wolf? I feel your sadness.” She was suddenly at his back. Sinking her fingers into the dense fur there and squeezing it reassuringly.
There’s no reassurance for these memories. He swallowed a lump forming in his throat.
How did my legs find their way back here?
To this cabin of pain…The structure his Captain had built in two days, with his bare hands, out of raw desperation.
It’s a rough sight now. The ceiling made of plain wood with nothing to spare it from the rain, but mud, now folded in where the wood rafters had split.
It was dark. No candle burned there any longer. And never will again.
Not since that night.
Tev knew the story. Knew now, what’d happened before he even got there. He leaned up, as the brown and white wolf, onto bent back legs. Tev changed slowly, to keep from alarming Serdephe. Assuring clothes poured over his human skin as it pulled through the fur.
But she turned to give him privacy. Used to the sight of him changing.
“Will you tell me now?” She asked from behind him.
He turned around. A green tunic covering him and a white cloak resting over his shoulders.
“Come.” He gestured. Twisting the cloak to make a blanket for her to sit on. He sat on the snow across from her, unable to feel the cold. “It’s not a pleasant story.”
She eagerly sat, waiting for his words. Crossing her calves before her chest and wrapping her arm about them.
He cupped a handful of snow and let it sift through his fingers thoughtfully.
“It was an extremely cold winter in 1482. The Captain had to take his love up the mountain for the first time. Bast was building the stronghold as a sanctuary for them. He painstakingly built it stone by stone, creating a stable to shelter them while he worked the rest.” He paused. Head falling. “But they never made it.”
“Why not?” She was breathless. Teal eyes huge.
“She’d fallen from her horse and shattered her leg, you see?”
“It gets worse.” He gave her a sideways look. Light blue eyes offering her warning. “Are you sure you wish to hear it?”
There’s no beauty in it.
“I love your stories, My Wolf.”
“As that first night came, the snowfall was too dense to take her further. The Captain went to work building that cabin there.” He pointed.
Serdephe nodded in understanding.
“It doesn’t look impressive now, but he’d made it from whatever he could find through the snow. It was barely enough to get her through the night, but he’d held her under every fur he’d had the foresight to bring.”