“Dad, where are we going again?” the seven year old daughter in the back of the sled asked.
“The Avarosan tribe, my sweet,” he replied, “we should be there in another day or two. And remember that if we are ever separated, just head south until you reach the cairn of Avarosa, then head east.”
The father and daughter had been travelling for nine days, without much rest, fearing that they will be hunted down by the tribe they abandoned. The father was dragging the sled behind him, which was half full of food and child, the rest was occupied by dry fire wood, well, as dry as the tundra allowed. Suddenly a howl split the air, a long sound that stretched on and on, and made the man's spine shiver in horror.
“Dad? What was that?”
“Nothing to worry about,” he said as a shadow swept past them. He glanced at the sky, and saw the source of the shadow: converging clouds, “hopefully the blizzard will drive them off,” he muttered, the rising wind muting his voice further. He quickly glanced around and saw, not that far away, a cave entrance, neatly tucked away in the side of the hill they were climbing. By now the wind had risen to a gale, and the howls were much closer, and dark shapes could be seen moving at speeds across the icy plains.
“Hurry! We need to shelter in that cave!” he shouted, his voice barely managing to reach the girl's ears. As they raced through the deep snow, the wind kept rising, the clouds grew darker and the dark shapes on the horizon got more visible. When they were a few metres away from the safety of the cave entrance, the nearest dark shape made itself clear as it jumped towards the sled, and the girl's neck. It looked like a black wolf with bright red eyes. Just before it could reach her, a wolf made out of ice leapt from behind her, tackled it and promptly vanished. The father did not have time to wonder what happened because another black wolf leapt at him, and he had to focus on keeping alive and not letting those teeth close around his neck.
“Run for the cave and don't worry about me! Just run and don't look back!” he shouted as best he could over the sound of the blizzard. The girl got of the sled and ran as fast as she could, through the deep snow that seemed to part for her, towards the cave. As she reached the cave entrance, she looked back in time to see a wolf tear out the throat of her father. Before she could collapse to the ground in grief, the cave entrance was filled by a wall of ice, just in time to prevent a wolf taking her life as well. An hour later, the wall vanished, allowing the grieving young girl to walk out of the cave to the sled and start pulling it south.
If she had looked back at the cave, she would have seen a statue of the Cryophoenix, Anivia, standing guard above the cave. If she had looked closer, she would have seen the body of a black wolf torn apart next to it. If she had looked long enough, she would have seen the statue ruffle its feathers as it prepared to take flight.
Hope u enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and please leave a comment telling me how I did.