It’s snowing. Not happy Christmas snow, either. These are wet, angry snowflakes that want to smother the village in life-ending cold. This is the price.
We knew it was coming. We just didn’t know how soon. We had hoped there would be time to prepare, to gather supplies, to recite the proper incantations. The elders assured us there wouldn’t be, but several of the younger villagers, myself included, thought maybe this time would be different.
It’s the middle of the growing season. We thought maybe we’d see an early fall, lose some crops to frost in normally pleasant weeks. But a blizzard? A killing freeze in the warmest part of Earth’s cycle? That’s just the stories of elderfolk meant to scare us into compliance.
Wasn’t it enough that we humored the many rituals of planting? That we continued to do back-breaking labor day in and day out despite the proximity of advanced technology a few short miles away? Wasn’t it enough that we tolerated stiff, homemade clothes and bland meals and whole days of prayer?
All it took was one forgotten gift, one empty-handed supplicant on one day of worship to send the Gods into a vengeful rage.
*7/1/17 RRWG Speed Writing prompt – “empty-handed, cold wind”