They had been walking for over ten hours when they simply couldn’t any more. They might not have been built like the common men but they still had their limitations. At the core, there were still limitations on every race. Heather sighed as she stopped and looked about. Snow stretched on, miles and miles of it. There was no end to the snow or so it seemed. They had not thought to reach the castle by the end of the day, no, it was too far for that but they had hoped for a shelter. A cottage, hell, even a barn would have been welcome at this point.
Susan grumbled something under her breath as she too stopped and tried to get her breath back. The land was as unforgiving as her father was, and colder still. She wasn’t used to such weather and it showed. Her light brown face was about as red as it could get, her breath was short and her hands lightly trembled despite the heavy furs. There was nothing to it, they had to go on. Their tent was available to them but Susan wondered if it would outlast the winds.
“We can’t go on, Susan, you know it. We need to stop or we will die in the cold.” Heather muttered as she rubbed her gloved hands, no comforting heat was there. Nor anywhere else. Why had they decided to leave in mid-winter? What had possessed them? Ah yes, Susan’s father had thrown them out after realising their truth. Heather wanted to snort in derision but she didn’t. She knew Susan would immediately suspect the reason and she didn’t want to bother Susan over this. Anything but this, really.
Still, they were together and there were no doubts anymore.
Susan tried to think of where they were, she had done an extensive research on the land, her father hadn’t minded that she had been far too curious about the things that ladies generally didn’t lean towards. He had been on her side when her mother had muttered about unseemly interests, he had winked at her and told her to go do whatever she wanted. Now it all seemed a distant day dream. Where was that man who had been so progressive? Where was he when she had needed him the most?
Finally, they decided on braving the winds. Both started to work on pitching the tent. After almost thirty minutes of beginning, they had their tent ready. They both looked at each other and sighed. There was their shelter for the night and it seemed to be standing under the winds for now. How much it would shelter them during the night was a different question altogether. Still, they entered the tent with a relieved sigh. Susan immediately started setting their things about. They only had few things with them, just things Susan’s old maid had pressed into her hands as she had left her home.
Thinking about her home stung her eyes even more than the winds. She finally took out the food. They had enough for two more days, the cold could keep it edible but beyond that, Susan didn’t really know what would happen. Heather had some money of her own, not enough for them settle anywhere respectably but enough that they could survive for a few weeks. She quickly took out the loaf of bread and tore out enough for two people. Susan knew she didn’t have enough funds to help out but she did have a few jewels that she had inherited from her grandmother. She hoped they wouldn’t have to sell them.
Heather was a seamstress and she had enough skills that she had been one of the most sought after in their village. Susan, on the other hand, knew nothing of any use. Not really. She had never really had to learn anything more than being a lady. Still she had been taught by her maid how to bake and how to cook. She had spent far more time in the kitchens that her mother had ever been fond of.
As if sensing the direction of her thoughts, Heather took Susan’s cold hand in her hands and rubbed them. Warmth took a while to come but it did and Heather smiled tentatively. “Don’t worry. We will find some work and we will find some place where we could be happy. Just wait and see. Don’t lose hope. Not now. We…we are together, Susan, we are together in this and we will make it work.”
The words seemed to tumble out of Heather in a hurry. As if she wanted to comfort herself as well as Susan and Susan smiled and clutched Heather’s hands in return. Yes, they will have a future. They will make it work, this was but a hard time before their success. Surely. Doesn’t every story end happily ever after?
Heather laughed and said fondly, “You only read the ones that have a happy ending, darling.” Susan looked in surprise, she hadn’t realised she had spoken out loud.
The winds rattled their tent, there was a cold that never seemed to go away but Heather’s hands were warm and there was hope in their heart and fierceness to see it through.
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Author’s note : This is my first real attempt at writing fiction. I hope it’s not too disappointing and riddled with errors. Any constructive criticism is welcome. After all, I have leagues to go when it comes to writing. Do tell if you want more of this. Also, are there any more tags that I should use? I would really appreciate the help!