Wednesday, 12 June 2013

I haven't slept with the prehistoric tool for a few days. I didn't last night. I dreamt about the tundra anyway.

The old woman sat in front of the fire. A gust of cold wind blew a shower of sparks into the night, and she pulled her animal skin tighter around her shoulders. I showed her my empty hands and she laughed. She told me you can drive a deer through the scrub, but once the path is there, it will walk it of its own accord. She laughed again. Then her face returned to a scowl, and she began to speak.

She said the land despised them, and it would take them. If the cold didn't kill you, or the hunger, or a beast, or a man, or a sickness, the land might take you for itself. Her grandfather had told her that the land took no one when her people first arrived. In her grandfather's lifetime, no one was taken. His grandfather had known someone who was taken, but that was many, many years before the old woman was born.

The land took no one until the old woman's thirtieth winter. It took her son.

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