The Village

Deep within the mountain ranges of the high North on a planet called Iceland lies a village.
The village is sheltered by three mountains, one to the North, West and South. It is only accessible from the East where a huge ocean seems to flow into infinity. 
Life has always been hard here. People knew and yet they still came, for people seek challenges. So many time had passed that the people in the village didn't know a world without ice anymore. For them living was always this hard and they had adapted. 
About 50 or so snowy mounts could be distinguished in the snow. And in the center of those 50 a huge mount lay. Smoke and sound erupted from it, that mount was the midst of the activities in the village, a place where people lived. The smaller mounts were only for sleeping and giving birth.
Other villages lay to all sides of it, some close and others far. Trades and marriages forged the villages closer together. No-one stood alone in the Villages of the Ice.

The People

A large dog with thick white fur ran past. He was followed by three young children trying to catch him. The dog roared and showed his teeth while the children giggled and screamed in make believe fear.
Inside the big mount women and men sat together working. They followed the children carefully, life in autumn was dangerous, but not as dangerous as life in winter. Soon they'd have to leave again. When the first snow started falling...
"Ysvelt, come see!" Greyne shouted at her husband. 
Ysvelt came closer and grabbed her from behind, planting a soft dry kiss on her cheek. 
"What's so important love?" he asked.
"Look at the children..." she sighed.
"Not now, I'd say, not right before the crossing, it will be hard enough as it is."
"True, but I  can hardly wait to have another you running around."
"One of me isn't enough then?"
"Not if that one of you gets killed out hunting. I know it's foolish, but I'd feel better."
"Then by all means, we'll work hard when we're at the ocean." A grin appeared on his face.
"You'd like that won't you." She giggled and ran off, behind the children and the dog. Screaming as he reached her.

The Hunt

Lityan stood silent...this was it, not even the wind could muck up this shot. She pulled the string of the bow tighter. The tip of her tongue sticking out of her mouth, damping a bit in the cold air of late autumn. She pulled and felt the arrow rising. She closed one eye and aimed for the fox. Fox meat was good as long as she didn't have to cook it.
She looked up in rage as the sound made the fox flee from the stream he was drinking from. She took up her bow and aimed it at the nearest bush. Chaltyk's loud footsteps could be heard miles away, if he wanted to be heard.
"Oooghh." he yelled as he noticed the bow. "Little girl, keep that thing away from me."
Lityan had been mad, now she was coldly driven to kill a certain man.
"You cost me a fox!" she yelled at him.
He laughed sweetly at her and said: "You should have heard me coming."
"Well, I didn't. Can't I get some peace and quiet to kill a bloody fox if I want to?"
"Of course you can, but not today, we're going back. Elger says the snow will start falling soon."
"Yes, come along girl." a smile briefly flashed on his face as he saw her getting mad again. She was so easy to enrage, he thought, but not bad company once you knew her.
"And to show you I really care, I'll share some of my meat with you." Then he ducked to make sure her blow didn't hit him on the head. So easy. He laughed.


Ysvelt ran as she saw Greyne waiting for her. 
"How did the hunt go?" Greyne asked.
"Good, too bad that moron of a Chaltyk cost me a fine fox." she grunted as she thought of it again.
"Don't let him get on your nerves like that, he's only kidding."
"I know, but still... I can't stand it!"
Greyne laughed and pulled her inside the little mount that was hers and Ysvelts.
"He agreed!" she suddenly cried out.
"Why wouldn't he? I told you he loves children, I've seen him with them."
"I know, but still...I thought he felt he wasn't ready." Greyne said.
"As if men ever are! I'll be  waiting a long time if I want me a catch as good as your Ysvelt. My dad feels I should have been married last year. He even gave me some likely choices. Bah."
They both giggled.
"We need to catch up, I've missed you so." Greyne said as she turned to the fire and got them both soup to warm their bodies.

"Chaltyk, how was the hunt?" Ysvelt yelled as he spotted his friend on the way back in.
"Splendid, my friend, but not everything went as planned."
Ysvelt came closer and softly said: "I told her you shouldn't tease her anymore."
"I just can't stop, she's so cute when she's angry."
Both men snickered as the said: "Women!"
"Come drink some ale with me. I can't go home yet anyways, they're gossiping."
"Oooh, we should never interfere with those important traditions, ale sounds good too."

Continue to Snow and Ice

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Chaltyk, Ysvelt and Lityan are Candidates for the Ryslen Flurry 2002