Yes, I know it’s been a few days since I came here to leave you with anything of my writing. Actually you’re correct, it’s been years. There just hasn’t been anything I was willing to, or worthy of sharing with you all. Truth is I haven’t written anything in so many years either, however recently that seems to be changing. I have picked up my pen and begun to write again, exciting right. This morning I decided that in order to help keep me writing I would share with you some of what I have been working on. There are several pages of this written, unedited, unconnected, and unsure if I will use any of it.
So please take minute and have a look from the second book of Adventures in Valdore. Remember as you read it, it is rough and unedited. When you are done please leave a comment to let me know what you think, even a simple like up helps my motivation. Thank You.
The shapes and sizes of snowflakes are dependent on nature, yet if there is no wind of any kind they do not fall to the ground; they drift. Their each shape, by natures design, allows them to drift gently or quickly depending, for the most part, on the temperature around it. The colder the air around it the longer they take to get to the ground. Almost as if it was refusing to land. Even then the lightest breeze can sometimes lift the tiny flake back into the air. While in warmer air they seem to rush to the ground, not wanting to be away from the others that landed ahead of them. Even the wind has a hard time lifting those flakes from the others.
Winter came early to the tavern in the woods. With it life would begin to become less hectic there. the first snow it would even take on a whole different appearance. A blanket of white would give the forest an enchanted look that it had at no other time of the year. It has been said that the forest surrounding the tavern was indeed enchanted, perhaps even magical. No one really knew for sure, except maybe those that lived near it or within it. And while no one lived near enough to it to say for sure those that were known to live within would never or could never reveal the secrets that the forest were supposed to hold. The occupants of the tavern were no exception to this. They spent their time readying for winter and serving those that traveled the roads through the forest. Many tales were told of the tavern and the ladies that ran it by those that had seen it happen with their own eyes. If it were tales of torture or death among the trees they would be told in hushed tones and with admonishments to never speak of them under the light of a full moon around a fire while in the forest. If it were tales of merriment and adventure they were told in loud brash voices with admonishments to never speak of them under a moonless sky while in the forest with or without a fire. No one could be sure why, as no one alive could tell the reasons behind the admonishments still none that any had ever heard took the chance to find out. Perhaps somewhere someone had, but they never spoke of it.
For the most part winter in the forest around the tavern is quiet. Travelers still come and go but there never seems to be much wind making it quite a peaceful place to be in, some might even say magical. It has been said that the forest was created to protect and hide those that wished not to be found. And that it exists only because the Ancients allow it to remain. Others have said that it was placed there by the Ancients to keep the magical beings away from the rest of the world. That it sprung up overnight around the villages and homes of those beings. Making it impossible for them to find their way out and that the tavern was built to keep an eye on them. Meaning that it was the responsibility of those living and working at the tavern to send those that tried to leave back into the forest. The truth about the forest and the tavern in the woods could have been any or none of the stories told. Only the Ancients and perhaps those that lived and worked at the tavern knew for sure. None of them however would ever say for sure which were true and which were not. The only thing that mattered was that the tavern was always a welcome respite no matter that season and no matter the reason it was there.
After three days of constant snowfall the sound of snapping and breaking branches filled the air around the tavern in the woods. The snow covered meadow in front of the tavern was spotted with small fires that did little to keep the cold and snow at bay. Inside however, the tavern was warm and filled with the stranded travelers that had gotten caught in the early snowfall. As the sun set, the cloud filled sky began to dump its final round of early winter snow. Before it was over, the first snowfall of the season would leave over three feet on the ground behind it.
Upstairs at the tavern in the woods in the room that had become his self-imposed prison he sat staring out the open window. He spent most of his days since returning to consciousness staring at something today it was the snowfall. No one could say for sure just how long he had he had been unconscious, but summer had ended and fall had come and gone almost without him knowing. The cold air from the open window was welcomed even though it conflicted with the heat coming from the fireplace. He took deep breaths of the fresh air as he watched each snowflake land against the window sill. There had not been a day since he had awakened that he did not think of the two that were no longer with him. His mind never let them get far enough away from thoughts of them to do him any good. While it was a rare day or night that he would venture down to the tavern it was becoming more frequent. Shaking his head he wrapped himself in large long fur covered robe and made his way down the back stairs and into the kitchen. Mara scolded him as he ladled up a large bowl of her stew.
“See here, what makes you think you can just come in here and help …,” she began before noticing who it was. “It is you. You should have said something I would have brought that up to you.”
“No need,” he grumbled lowering his head and shuffling out of the kitchen toward the tavern, grabbing an ale as he passed the boards.
The room fell silent as he made his way across the floor and through the crowded room without looking up. All eyes in the room followed him, but out of wonder, not fear. There were no empty tables to be had but as he made his way across the room the table he always sat at cleared. Those that sat there stood up without being asked and moved to other places around the large room. The table was empty by the time he got to it and soon everyone was carrying on their conversations. Without looking up or around he sat with his back to the wall, pulled the collar of his robe up around his head and began to eat his stew. When he finished the stew he pushed away from the table, leaned back in his chair against the wall with his head still down ignoring everyone. It had only been a matter of minutes before the noise in the room returned had returned to the level it had been before he came into the room. Laughter broke out for time to time as well as bits and pieces of some song or another story that someone was trying to remember different parts of. Still ignoring them he sat leaning back in his chair against the wall looking with his head down, looking up only when there was a break in the noise.
Up the road, in the ever darkening night the large group of weather weary travelers continued to push their way through the deepening snow. If it were not for the canopy of trees over head the group would not have been able to move at all. Three days of traveling in the snow was taking its toll on the group. As they continued on torches were lit and were brought to the front of the group as well as scattered throughout them. The horses stumbled from time to time while the men silently carried on unsure just how many more days they would have to endure before they reached the end. A few hours later they came to the opening in the forest that held the meadows that surrounded the tavern in the woods.
Once there they went about setting up their camp silence. None of the group needed to be told what to do and in a matter of an hour they were all sitting around their own fires cooking and keeping warm. After making sure everyone was taken care of the leader of the group made their way to the tavern along with two other men. The three took their time stopping at the other small encampments along the way inquiring as to where they were going. It was more a friendly gesture than any real need to know what their plans had been.
Walk into any small tavern anywhere and there is something that always makes everyone turn their heads to the door when they hear it open or close. Those in the tavern in the woods were no different as all eyes turned to the door as it opened. Wind blew the falling snow in behind the three as they entered. Everyone inside watched as new arrivals brushed the snow off their long blue cloaks, before turning back to their conversations that is, all but one. Over near the corner he never once looked up from his mug of ale. Sitting much the same way he had been from the first day he was well enough to be able to make it down the stairs, leaning back against the wall never looking up. He rarely looked beyond his mug of ale or wine and then only as far as the fire. However he would speak, but only when needed and only to the women of the tavern.
Stamping the snow from their boots the new arrivals smiled as they were greeted by Janua and Marna. They talked briefly before the new comer pushed back the hood on their cloak and gave the two women a quick hug. Each woman nodded in robed boy’s direction as they broke away from the girl. She accepted the mug of hot water and peppermint leaves Marna handed to her and thanked her as she made her way across the room to where the boy was sitting.
“I have come for you,” she said as she sat across the table from him.