Good morning all. I’m getting a late start today. Well actually it isn’t me getting the late start. The internet was down. It was promised up by eight, flickered back to life at 8: 28, went down again at 8:31 (I’m guessing because everyone jumped on it at once) and now at 8:36 it appears to be holding steady. Lets hope it holds. So ready for Friday’s writing prompt? Good lets get to it then…
Okay now I want to know who is in the valley… I do know for certain the man in the cave is not going to have a quiet night of it.
Friday, March 5th: It was a dazzling sight to behold.
It was a dazzling sight to behold. There he stood alone on the mountain looking down into the valley. The usual winter brown was covered in gleaming white. First snow and then ice descended from the mountains and the frosted white was now gleaming as though the snow was trapped under glass. The trees looked like delicate things designed by a master jeweler rather than anything nature produced. Overhead the last of the sun was sinking behind another ridge. The sky above was streaked with gold and crimson while long fingers of shadow stretched out across the valley. It made the few trees still standing in sunlight stand out more as there became fewer of them for the eye to see.
There was only one house in the valley. It stood in the center and was already bathed in shadows. No lights flickered in the windows, but he wasn’t fooled. He knew there was someone home.
He stood there watching as the shadows lengthened. He knew he couldn’t get down into the valley before night fall and had no desire to descend in the dark. There was no clear path and he would have a hard time of it. As the man in the valley did not appreciate visitors, he suspected there would be more than just brambles and rocks strewn across the pathway. Tonight he would make camp up here. There was a cave not to far from where he stood. It was dry and empty of any native occupants and would serve well in blocking the night winds. If he waited until after dark to get his fire lit, then it would also conceal his presence. The light would be blocked and the smoke would blend in with the night.
He frowned. He was of two minds about that. He didn’t know if concealing his presence until the last was best or if he should let his presence be known so that his arrival did not come as a surprise. He wanted the man in a good mood.
Likewise he was uncertain if his arrival should be during the day or at the end of it. Should he decend as quickly as possible in the morning or wait until later? If he arrived too early he risked being refused and sent on his way, if he arrived later in the day he might be allowed to stay and depart in the morning, even if he was refused. He was anticipating refusal. It was to be expected, but he believed with time he could change the refusal, blunt the arguments and convince the man in the valley that it was worth his attention. For that he needed time.
He backed away from the ridge and made his way to the small cave. His horse was of no use in the mountains and he turned him loose before he began to climb. All of his belongings were carried. They were significantly lighter than when he started. He piled them in the cave while he scouted around. At the moment he had enough provisions to make it back down the mountain and with luck he could stretch them until he reached the nearest town where he could restock. He would have to keep himself to rations.
It was not something that came naturally to him and as he portioned out his small nightly meal, his mind turned to the feasts that were common in his home.