Jenny: Stormclouds

The Guttersnipe pulled her eyes away. "Nothing," she said, shaking her head idly. She moved forward on the rock into the water, turning round as she slid downward. The water met her, cold as the first blast of air on a newborn child's forehead. She hissed, teeth on edge. "What did you want to ask me about?" she returned, hoping it would divert Domitia from her depression.


The waves pounded against the rocks in constant rhythm, rushing forward to roar upward in a fitful, angry white spray, and falling away again into a mournful hush before renewing their attack. Like the Greeks before the walls of Troy. The white gulls whirled in the spray, always crying, always diving back and forth between the jagged sunlight and drenching shadow of the clouds, borne on the driving wind. Out from the headland northward raged the open Ocean, its whitecaps flecking it far out to the horizon. The wind was whipping it up, whipping up the pale froth and blowing it up on the grassy sward above the cliffs to howl through the snapping red hair of the two young men who stood, faces into the wind, faces to northward, looking out to sea.

They both had about them the lightness of hunting cats and the reserved, cold mystery of the northern people in their searching eyes. But the elder, lithe and fine, had scars on the backs of his hands, while the younger, only a few years into manhood, had not even dragged a razor across his chin. But in their eyes was the common will to fight, the youth no less than the young man, and the patient sort of understanding of those bred in the wild. So when the elder of the two spoke, the youth heard him out with a solemn stance.

"We should go soon, before the winter closes the seaways."

The youth lifted his face to the wind and pulled in the salty, wintry tang. "There is a storm on the horizon," he said.

"Yes," said his older brother, with a sudden dark frown. "And we are riding into it."

They turned as one with the wind at their backs and mounted their waiting horses. The booming lion's roar of the ocean fell away behind them.

No comments:

Post a Comment