Book Reviews





#ATaleofDiceandFire - day five

The final day has arrived! - or has it? If you have enjoyed this feature please pop over to DorristheLoris and take part in her poll. Perhaps we can make it a monthly storytelling meme?

Today's dice were just my kind of thing. Remember, if you take part please leave your links in the comments below :)

Time travel, Storm, Moon

It was a few degrees below freezing when I entered the forest, and it only got colder as I made my way through.  My skin pricked and bristled against the temperature, but inside I was a furnace. I burnt up with anticipation. I think I was probably sweating, despite the fact mounting snow pulled the clouds so low they almost embraced the tree tops. They were going to burst their white confetti free at any moment – an impending snow storm – as soon as the dawn sun brought new warmth to the promise of tomorrow. That’s what was kindled the warmth inside me too, I thought; the promise of tomorrow.

There was already snow underfoot, settled hours before I began my journey. It crunched beneath my weight and in-between my toes; I had abandoned my shoes at the edge of a lake before the forest, where I had also laid the rest of this life to rest. I’d burnt all of my clothes and letters – the only things I had left – and set the ashes to the ice cold water in ceremonial silence. Now, it was just me, making my way towards the path that was set ahead of me. Naked, hot, cold and walking. It was the path I was determined to take. I was full of purpose and confidence.

Everything was lit in an eerie silver glow. Any light that escaped the surface of the moon in breaks of cloud was trapped between the icy earth and the suffocating sky – doomed to bounce from one to the other until either one gave way.  I thought of an injured bird, fluttering helplessly against the hands of its captor, and shook myself free of the image as quickly as it came. I was too aware that my feet were suffering the human weakness of flesh. I was leaving blood trails for miles, anything could have tracked me. I felt guarded yet guided as I pushed myself beyond my body’s limit, believing in the goal.

As I finally came upon the last row of trees, I suddenly felt my nakedness. Before me was a stretch of pure, untouched snow – a cotton white blanket as far as my eyes could see. I was a small speck of dirt at its perimeter, and not the naked exposure of my body, my soul or my fear could have made me clean enough.

My first step onto that field was like stepping over the threshold into an unknown land. Leaving the reassurance of the trees behind me, and the footsteps that betrayed where I had come, I felt unworthy of my place. Each step made me smaller. I walked until the trees had disappeared and as I turned in a circle the sky and ground were one. In all directions, there was nothing but the white snow – fallen and to fall – in the eerie glow of trapped moonlight. I fell to my knees under the weight of it.

Very soon, I was joined by another.

“Where next?”

“I’ve reached my one hundredth, Sir. I... I would like to become human and return to the day before I learned of my wings. I want the next time I reach heaven to be the time I am the guided, not the guider.”

“Congratulations Michael. As you wish. You will have no memory of any of this; you will live your life from that moment along a different path.”

“Thank you, Father.”

Everything merged beautifully as dawn came and the snow storm swept around me. The sky fell and the ground reached up to greet it. It was then that I felt every inch of my skin, and it was cold, icy and painfully frozen. I felt every second of agony as I passed from whiteout to darkness. Shivering seized me violently and my chest felt tight and small. And then it was peaceful. Everything was soft. I woke in my parents’ house, 100 years younger, with no idea of my destiny. I had a life – a real life – laid out ahead of me.

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