Tuesday, 25 December 2012

12 Days Blog Hop 2012: Snow

Merry Christmas one and all!  I hope you're having a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas, but even if the turkey's burnt and your stocking fell into the fire, here's a thing to cheer you up: it's day one of Stacy Bennett-Hoyt's (AKA @rowanwolf66) festively fabulous 12 Days of Christmas blog hop.

12 Days, 12 Stories, each 200-300 words.  The contest theme is gifts and each day has a prompt.  Today's is:


Blood thundered in her ears like a bass drum. Her chest was tight, torn with ragged breaths as she staggered forward.

Don’t look backJust keep running.

Seemed like days since the hunt began.  Her brothers had been so hungry, their stomachs distended and their cheeks jutting like broken flint.  They’d been digging for roots in the hard earth when the hunting party burst through the trees, hooves flying. 

It was bad enough that the village was starving, without those aristocratic bastards pillaging the forest.  Hard to remember it was the King’s forest.  His hares. His deer.  One deer would keep them fed for a month. 

She barely remembered picking up the stone.  Shouting.  Throwing.  She’d been so angry, so hungry, her rage just burst from her throat.

Retribution was swift.  The only thing the King liked more than a pretty girl was a hunt. Creative bastard, he was.  No stocks or hanging.  He stripped her bare and tied antlers to her head like a broken spirit of the woods and gave her twenty minutes head start.

Then he let the hounds loose.

She’d been running ever since but she was tired, so tired.  Soon she’d be in open country. They’d see her tracks.  She could almost feel their teeth on her ankles, tearing her flesh.  She’d seen a man torn apart once.

Doubling back around a rocky overhang she heard them howl in the distance.  There was a cleft in the rock.  Ducking inside, she flung herself down on dry leaves, breath shuddering.

She was dead, unless there was a miracle.

Closing her eyes, she slept. 

She didn’t feel the first flake drift in to settle on her matted hair.  Didn’t hear the sounds deaden as the storm descended swirling across the land.  Covering tracks.  Hiding.

A miracle.


Stacy Bennett said...

I loved it, Meg! Breath-holding, heart-racing tension and then the miraculous gift of snow, in true Meg style. Thank you so much! ;)

Meg McNulty said...

I particularly enjoyed writing this one and Love and Moon. I had a strong sense of the characters in them.

Cameron said...

Fabulous as ever - I was there!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this, got really caught up in her emotions and was so pleased that the snow provided a miracle for her. :)

Diane J. Reed said...

So beautiful!!! The details are elegant yet so visceral I felt like I was inside every single moment. I am waiting with baited breath for a novel or short story collection from you--consider me the first in line! Love-love-love your work, Meg : )

Lisa Shambrook said...

Always a joy to read! Got so caught up in the chase, it was a relief for the snow to rescue her!

Bullish said...

I was caught up and pulled in and don't think I dared to breathe the entire time I was reading!! Wonderful snowy gift!! xo

Unknown said...

This is amazing! I love the tension you have created, the hopelessness. And then the snow. Brillianrt writing. xx

Kern Windwraith said...

This was go, go, go from the start. Great pacing, great story. Amazing job, Meg!

Unknown said...

Very "Dangerous Game", with a great twist. <3

Sophie Moss said...

Wow! This is fantastic. There's so much going on in so few words. I want to read more!