Far to the North (Chapter 12)

“Hey,” Hemmett says. “You ready?” Anna looks over her shoulder at him, not turning her body away from the view in front of her. Seeing a distant longing in her eye, Hemmett pauses. “They’re leaving now. We should get going too. Our walk will be harder without the luxury of the road.” Anna nods. “Okay. … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 12)

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Far to the North (Chp 11)

“ArrrrroooOOO!” Anna bolts up from her bedroll with a gasp. Eyes wide and heart pounding, she stares at the inside of her canvas tent with a certainty that all is coming to an end. Wilder is trampling through the campsite in a frothing rage, stampeding in her direction with head down and horns ready. His … Continue reading Far to the North (Chp 11)

Chapter 10 (Far to the North)

Falling from a starless sky, heavy snowflakes flutter down, swallowing sound and muting the world. They blanket the forest, bury fledgling pines, and cling to rocky shelves in growing piles before spilling over. In the silence of it all, alone and afraid, Clarence stands. His fragile body trembles with cold under the growing storm. Small … Continue reading Chapter 10 (Far to the North)

Far to the North (Chapter 9)

The poles of the telegraph junction huddle together like a lost patrol regrouping in the forest. At their center, looping lines form a webbing of cables before splitting from the station, each connection ducking its way through the trees to rush toward distant towns. Hemmett climbs down from the final pole, ninth in all, while … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 9)

Far to the North (Chapter 8)

With Wilder satiated and Anna forgiven, the Walkers continue north. From the day’s onset, Anna struggles. Her legs move as if filled with fresh concrete, thick and heavy and threatening to dry to permanent stone. Stiff muscles pang with soreness in spots she never knew existed. It’s these damn snowshoes, she thinks. Stupid things. They’re … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 8)

Far to the North (Chapter 7)

Anna opens her eyes to the soft glow of candlelight inside her canvas tent. Gentle cracks and pops of burning wood float into her ears. From nearby, she hears a soft snoring. As she awakens, a dream flees to the distant horizon of her mind and escapes conscious thought. “Ms. Holt,” Wynn says in a … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 7)

Far to the North (Chapter 6)

Tis a curse, he thinks to himself. A terrible, bitter curse. And they warned ye, didn’t they, Clarence? Those folk warned ye. “A poisoned hole. The death of man. Darkness hangs over that cave and dwells within. Stay away.” Clarence digs at his dirty nails as the warning echoes in his mind. Stay away. But they … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 6)

Far to the North (Chapter 5)

Daylight retreats, slipping away behind a mountain range of jagged stone. Oranges, purples and reds spill across the underbelly of sparse clouds. Three Walkers stand together near a small campfire while Hemmett stirs a cooking pot simmering with potatoes, carrots and large chunks of rabbit meat. As he meddles over their dinner, Wynn and Anna … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 5)

Far to the North (Chapter 4)

After twelve weeks of infantry training, training consisting of sprinting up lowland foothills and crawling through sloppy mud, of wading through thick swamps and muck-filled streams, of marching with fully loaded packs and her weapon raised above her head until her shoulders are numb and her legs feel like wet noodles, Anna learns a surprising … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 4)

Far to the North (Chapter 3)

(My apologies for the delay in Chp 3. 'Holidays' will be my chosen excuse) Under a waning sun and clear sky, the Walkers, now four, travel northwest along a pathway of packed snow. The trail rolls with the countryside, sometimes drifting away from the telegraph line and sometimes passing directly beneath it. With the line … Continue reading Far to the North (Chapter 3)