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Winter writing topic!

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  • Winter writing topic!

    Write a short story involving winter and Highlander because winter is coming and that means people can huddle up someplace warm and read/write brutal Highlander X-mas stories!

    Here's a picture to get inspired:

    May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

  • #2
    A cloud moved in front of the moon, creating an eerie dark environment even though most of his surroundings were covered with a thick blanket of snow. What was not covered in snow were exposed patches of bedrock, dangerously slick and freezing cold, and a large frozen lake, now looking pitch black.

    The young Immortal stopped, turned around, and looked up at the sky. He took note of the fairly low top of that distant cloud, which told him there was a storm approaching. He had taken this little one man expedition to prove to himself that he could overcome the unforgiving conditions of the Arctic with proper preparation and a ‘do or die’ attitude, but with the same limitations of the old explorers a hundred years ago. He had plotted out a course to an isolated area, his supplies sufficient to last him well until he reached the cabin where he would rest for a few days, enjoy the magical display of the Aurora Borealis, and restock for the way back.

    It was to be a test of his mind as well as his body, to reach closure for the failure he had experienced a long time ago.

    The wind started picking up and while he shivered and waited for the moon to re-illuminate the icy world around him, his mind wandered back to the first time he had visited the vast cold sections of Mother Earth.

    1912: Antarctica
    The expedition had proven to be a failure; they had not been the first to the south pole. After weeks of hardship they had realised it had all been for naught. The way back was tortuously slow, supplies ran low, and the fur shoes had worn out so he had continued on in his socks. Pulling on his sled full of gathered materials, progress was incremental, and his feet started to hurt badly. As melted ice refroze at his feet, it felt like a thousand needles were thrusting into his skin with every step. Changing gear became nearly impossible because of the pain. Provisions were gone after a storm had set their progress back for days. Fatigue and illness had lowered morale beyond the breaking point and had claimed one life already.

    Titus would be the next to die. They all knew it. With his hands also nearly frozen he realized he was no longer an asset. He slowed down the team, reducing the already tiny chance of survival to next to nothing.

    One night, after waking up in agonizing pain when he neither expected nor wanted to any more, Titus made a clear decision. "I am just going outside and may be some time," he said, and left the tent.

    In that blizzard he had wandered for what felt like hours before the cold caused him to slip out of consciousness, falling into darkness.

    Present day:
    Titus grimaced behind his mask. His intended sacrifice had been for nothing too, after all. He had wandered off so that he would no longer be a burden, thus securing the others’ survival.
    But the others had not made it either.

    He was found months later by an Immortal accompanying the search party, unceremoniously wrapped in blankets and strapped to a sled, then transported anonymously as a pile of equipment and a stowaway back to England. Thawed and healed on the journey home, he was informed of what he was, about the Game.

    But Titus knew what he was, a failure, and therefore he had to overcome this self-sought hardship to make amends.

    The cloud let the moonlight through again and he tried to get his bearings. The cabin he was looking for should be along the path around the water. But that would take at least a few hours. His limbs were starting to feel numb and he was getting hungry. He had been out in the unforgiving conditions for a long time already. And looking back at the seemingly rapidly approaching storm, he realised he needed to find shelter soon. It almost felt like it was actively chasing him. He shook his head and smiled wryly at the thought.

    To save time, he decided to leave the trail and continue across the lake. Pulling his small sled of provisions over the ice he made quick progress and because of that the slow creaking under his feet didn’t concern him much. The increasing wind behind him seemed to push him along, and he started feeling less cold and stopped shivering.

    After a significant time he noticed a cabin on the other end of the lake and slowed down to take a better look. Almost instantly, the creaking of the ice turned into a sharp snap and Titus fell through. Shocked, he tried to get himself out by pulling on the leash to the sled, only to cause the sled to fall through the break in the ice, too. Forced to let go of his sled to prevent him going under with it, but thankful his modern gear protected him from getting cold shock, he manoeuvred his body to the edge of the hole and slowly pulled himself back on top of the ice.

    On hands and feet he continued to move away from the ice hole and towards the shore. Rolling onto his back on the riverbank he yawned from the exertion and got up. Sharp pain, as if hundreds of needles were pushed into his lower bodyparts, alerted him to the fact that water had seeped through his clothing and was now freezing.

    He made his way to the cabin and entered through the door. It was empty, but not in a good way. It seemed it was abandoned a long time ago and at first glance there seemed to be nothing of importance there. Titus frantically started searching for supplies, anything that would help him for the long way back, but he found nothing but an old blanket with more holes than fabric, which he tossed into the fireplace.

    Frustrated, he smashed the chair and window frames in an attempt to get small pieces of wood for a fire. But with his supplies at the bottom of the frozen lake and a nasty cold draft through the cabin, his numbing hands made it impossible to get one going. He decided to hang some clothing over himself and the bed frame in the hope that they would dry while he huddled against the bed frame with the rest of his clothing and his sword, trying to sleep.

    Not long after, the storm reached the cabin and the wind howled around and through the seams, cracks and broken windows. Titus cringed at the sound and feeling of cold air rushing through his makeshift tent of clothes and snowshoes. Nonetheless he jumped up at an unmistakable feeling seemingly growing stronger with the storm. There was another Immortal approaching.

    He shouted out to the other Immortal: “Show yourself! I know you’re there!”

    There was no response, the buzz faded away and after some time he calmed down.
    But still, the uneasy feeling that he wasn’t alone out there wouldn't leave his mind.

    Time and again the Buzz would swell, causing Titus to raise his guard and search through and outside the cabin, trying to distinguish something, or rather, someone, nearby.

    When lightning seemed to strike nearby, he clumsily grabbed one of his coats from the improvised tent as well as his sword and went outside chasing the sound. In his mind the air sizzled with electricity, creating a distinct lead up into the hills to where the other Immortal would be. Suddenly, while stumbling through the deep drifts and partially blinded by the falling snow, the deep rumble of the Buzz again entered his mind. And mere seconds later a full blow to his face followed.

    He scrambled away with blurred vision and swung his sword wildly at where he expected his assailant to be but hit nothing. A hint of red and white seemed to move on the edge of his peripheral vision, so he turned around and stepped sideways, trying to follow the movement.

    The very next moment a sharp pain in his side caused him to bring down his sword and smack the object away, while he tried to grab hold of his opponent. His cold hand caught something soft and prickly, covered in snow.

    A beard?” he thought for a moment before he tried pulling it down. But his icy hand barely had the strength to grip tight, slipped and caused him lose balance. And he fell, sliding several meters down the slope, landing hard on an exposed part of bedrock. The pain from his side now spread through his entire upper body like an intense heat.

    The red and white blur of his perceived opponent seemed to mock him, as it moved effortlessly over the snow-covered slopes above. He removed his coat and threw it at his attacker, whilst trying to find steady footing on the icy patch of rock.

    Meanwhile, the storm was dying down. It stopped snowing and that allowed Titus to look around for a better position. Back and to his left were several large rocks which could provide him with cover. As he looked back up in the direction of his opponent, he noticed the buzz had gone as he saw the red and white form disappear over the top of the hill.

    He’ll circle around to finish me off,” Titus thought, and slowly made his way to the largest rocks. He pressed his back to them, slowly moving sideways in preparation for the expected attack. In doing so he found a small crevice between the rocks, just large enough for him to fit in a crouching position. “I’ll overcome this,” Titus imagined as he burrowed in between the large rocks. He crouched into striking position, clutching his sword in both hands and pointed it towards the only way out. “I will overcome this...”

    And as his body slowly froze solid, fresh snow started to seal off his icy tomb.
    May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...