The mountain air stung inside Ranulph’s throat as he plunged one
snow-weighted foot after another up the narrow pathway of white-buried rocks, but
despite the pain and effort and slight light-headedness from exertion he was
content. As he entered the forest the light changed from the open, dazzling
white of the clearing to a softer, more mystical grey of the woods. The
flurries of the already melting fall slipping in cascades down from the
winter-beaten branches, sprinkling their beckoning calls all around him.
‘Come join us,’ the sounds seemed to call out to him, as he
stopped to drink in the serenity of the snowed wood. I love this
place, he thought, the stillness, the quiet. It was peace to him and he felt
his heart quicken, this time not from the climb but from his own sheer
excitement at being alone with nothing but his own mind and the wind and the
Then a sudden flash pulled him rudely back from his dream. A
stray sunbeam had found its way through the clouds to meet him, casting
momentary spindles of magical stick shadows all over the smooth, white carpet
ahead. The shadows curled and waved to him, arm-like. They were drawing him in,
too, just as was the tumbling branch-snow. Everything wants me here, he told
himself, the woodland is calling for me and I am following its call.
He started walking again, feeling the slow crunch of the icing-like
covering below him as he placed his feet more gently now so as not to break
the sacred aura that radiated from the soft floor. I’ll never leave this place, he mused happily, freedom flooding a path through his limbs as he ventured further and further
into his forest.
©Davey Northcott 2014