The Hunt

Stefanie Waring

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 Stefanie Waring

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He began to feel restless as the long hot days of summer faded into the cool rains of autumn, though he didn’t know why. The feeling of needing to do something important nagged at him from the time he woke til the time he went to bed, and interrupted his sleep, sending him out to wander the dark streets at all hours of the night. He watched the lights and decorations go up, the people pass back and forth on errands, sometimes in the rain, sometimes under clear skies, and more and more often in the snow. The sensation of waiting for something only grew stronger as the days shortened into winter, until he woke with his head full of the gentle chiming of bells, and remembered.

He got out of bed and went outside—barefoot, bare-chested, his skin raising into goosebumps under the cold wind—and breathed in the scent of cold, looking up at the snowflakes drifting down like frozen stars. His breath steamed in front of his mouth, lit in multi-coloured flashes by the neighbour’s Christmas lights. He thought of the aurora borealis of his long-ago childhood and remembered how it rippled and twisted across the sky in long ribbons, casting its strange light down onto the deep snow and the white elk that moved through it in stately splendour.

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