- 5th day of Hanotë -
Part 3 - A Lonely Night
She had spent the night near the Silver Forest and woken up at dawn, shivering from cold, her blankets damp because she hadn’t had the courage to light a fire.
It had been a rather depressing morning, the world around her disappearing beneath a sea of white fog, the silence surrounding her making her feel even lonelier. But now that the trees she knew all too well surrounded her she felt unexpectedly safer and more confident. And it was as if part of her still expected to see Everlyn appear from amongst the green shadows, its white palace gleaming on the horizon.
And yet, as the day progressed, even that feeling of safety eventually disappeared as she went deeper into the forest. Instead she found herself feeling uneasy as if something in the air wasn’t quite right, as if the trees themselves whispered sighs of fear.
In truth Everlyn stood somewhere at her back, forever lost in time and only existing in her memories, and she had never ventured so far into the Silver Forest.
When night fell once again she couldn’t deny she was too tired to risk keep moving through the unknown darkness that surrounded her. The night before she had advanced as much as she could, taking advantage of the fact she’d been traveling on the road, and her sleep had been short and restless because of the cold. That night, however, she decided to make camp as soon as she found a suitable place.
She stopped on a small clearing where two big rocks erupting from the ground promised to offer some measure of shelter against the cold winds and, after clearing the twigs and stones at their feet, she unwrapped one of her blankets and sat down to eat, mainly bread and dried fruits, all gulped down with fresh water. According to her map there should be a small tributary of the Silver River not far from there. She would look for it at daybreak, she decided, to refill her flask and get some water for her horse. Sooner or later she would have to end up crossing it, and so it might as well be sooner.
After eating she packed everything as if she were ready to leave at any time and wrapped herself on her cloak. Over it she draped her other blanket, leaning against the stone wall on her back, and tried to get some sleep.