Flash Fridays: Winter’s Mountain
Lately, I’ve been so snowed under with my new job, looking after my toddler, organising a christening, setting up a new business (e.g. life in general) that I’ve barely had time to sit down, let alone find the time to write. I decided this week that it was high time I started making time for myself and my writing again. As it’s been a while since I wrote any flash fiction, I thought I’d start with a Flash Friday piece to get my writing brain back into gear again.
This wasn’t for a competition this time – it was just something I thought of while I was tramping round the farm one day last week. I still tried to keep to under 350 words, so it’s short enough for you to enjoy while drinking a cup of tea/eating cake/relaxing!
Rowan lived under the shadow of the mountain. Not a small, grassy mountain where goats can leap up and down, and which is blanketed in wildflowers during spring – no, this was a mountain so huge it blocked out the very seasons. It loomed over the village; its rocky crags blocked out the light so well that the villagers’ lamps burnt night and day. Nothing lived under the mountain’s shadow, save for the villagers and their few hardy sheep. Here, under the mountain, the Winter King blew his chill breath even as others across the kingdom enjoyed high summer.
Rowan woke up in the dark, worked in the dark, and went to sleep in the dark. Sometimes she would stop as she went about her chores and look at the blue sky on the horizon and the rolling green fields in the distance. What wonders awaited her there, beyond the mountain’s shadow? She would never know. None had left the village in a generation. The mountain’s shadow and the Winter King kept them all within their icy grip.
One day, as Rowan guided her sheep back from where they’d wandered too far into the next pasture, a movement caught her eye. She turned. It took her a moment to realise what she was seeing; the mountain’s shadow, which had always laid across the edge of the far woods, was moving. Slowly but surely, sunlight was inching its way towards her. She stood frozen, watching as the darkness receded until she could almost feel the warm breeze on her face. And then, all at once, she could hear the carefree laughter of Summer as she danced in the fields beyond the shadow’s edge.
Come! she heard Summer’s merry voice sing. Come!
Rowan hesitated for a moment. She glanced back at the grey land behind her, thinking for a split second she could hear Winter’s howl of rage at Summer’s daring.
She turned her back on all she had known, took a deep breath, and stepped forward into the golden light.