• A wisp of a cloud darted across a pale moon, a man below drug himself past the shimmering waters of a lake. His body ragged, and his face torn and bloodied. His mind raced as his heart seemed to be beating its own end.

    He staggered along, aches and pains shooting through the course of his body as each step took more and more effort, taking their toll on this already broken shell of a man.

    His breath rolled out in a puff of white vapor, a chill was sent to his very bones. His eyes darted the wood line, peering through the darkness, trying to find some form of shelter, someway to keep warm.

    His body heaved and finally collapsed onto the cold earth below him. He dug his hands into the soft damp soil, and let out one final gasp of air, as he gave himself into despair, realizing that this truly was to be his end.

    He had come so far to fail now. Of all times to fail, just when it mattered most, he had to come to an end of his luck. He couldn't remember a time when he needed to get up so badly, a time when he had to keep going, nor a time when it was this important he not surrender. But here he was, already surrendering to the oppressive, shallow cold and darkness around him.

    It was than that he first thought he heard it. Singing... soft sweet singing. He couldn't believe it at first, but there it was again, looming closer to him. He tried to get up, tried to stand, but he could not.

    He tried to call out, but his voice was so cold and thin he could barely utter a sound. He smiled in the end, at least glad that he could hear something so beautiful, so pure, so sweet before he died. It was a most strange song though, no words; yet he knew that no instrument could make such a clean and crisp melody. It was as if the very forest itself were alive with the music.

    His strength had long left him, as the cold seem to close around him, in a tight choking blanket. He could have sworn that he felt the very fingers of death p***k at his skin. Digging their way down into him, drawing the last vestiges of warmth from his body.

    Wrapping its foul fetid hands around his spine, moving to choke his heart... to frost his lungs robbing him of breath, of warmth... of life.

    He let out a long quiet sigh, as he prepared himself to be taken by the release of death from his already frigid torment. His body was near-to giving up on clinging to life, as the cold pressed around him. He let his eyes close slowly as his body seemed to slump further down into a disheveled mess. His very existence and being seemed filled with a longing and sorrow. Though he found himself having a harder, and harder time caring about anything. He was so tired all of sudden, and with each moment he grew more and more weary. All he wanted to do now was sleep, sleep and let death come for him, and rob him of his dreams... Of life.

    He let out one last horrid sigh, as his body failed, each part of him beginning to shut down one by one, as his mind gave into the despair that now gripped his ever still heart, like an ever tightening vice, the cold closed in around him, stealing away the last bit of warmth his body clung to, leaving only a dull empty numbness that enveloped and washed over him.

    He awoke many hours later, a warm fire cast a glow over his body, and he found that he had been wrapped in a great deal of warm furs. His body still ached, but the pain was greatly diminished from the ordeal of suffering that he had recently incurred the other night.

    As his vision cleared he made out the slender shape of a young girl. Her hair was a fiery red with pink highlights, kept short and neat, she sat across from him huddling close to the fire. Her arms were stretched about her legs, her skin a light olive tan. She wore a thick winter coat, opened just enough to let the fire dance across her legs. She seemed lost in the flickering firelight, which danced across her skin like the misted moon over a gentle river.

    What caught his attention next took him entirely by surprise, for standing next to her was a hulking creature with amber skin. It stood at least eight feet tall, while it was hunched over, its arms dragging near-to the ground. Most of its size was in its long slender legs that connected awkwardly, as the creature’s waist was much thinner then its thighs. Its body went up a ways, amber and thin, till it reached its ribcage, which jutted out in a way peculiar for the width of its waist.

    The creature, almost resembled an amber skeleton, with deep haunting eyes the very color of the mist covered moon above. Whatever this creature was, its movements were slow and precise, almost as if it were a practiced dancer going through a familiar routine. It held an air of seeming grace, every action it took a reflection of the beauty and sorrow reflected in its eyes.