Our carriage came to an abrupt halt at a crossroads, the driver and footman muttering to each other, before one grew courageous enough to answer my inquiry as to what could possibly be the matter.
“We do not know the roads here,” the footman said.
“To put it truthfully, you are lost,” I said, with an irritated shake of my head. The footman offered no reply, knowing that what I said was correct.
I turned to my companion for advice. He was a native of the region and familiar with the roads and he suggested we disembark from the carriage so he could ascertain where we were. With great reluctance I agreed to this course of action, seeing no other. It was a cold and blustery day, the clouds in the sky promising snow.
We walked a bit beyond the crossroads, leaving the carriage to the care of the driver and footman, my companion casting about for some landmark to spark his memory. I was no help, for I found the region to be a desolate place, all rolling hills, stretching on forever, with hardly a tree to be seen. The wind grew vicious and I had to turn up my collar against it, grimacing. My companion, noting my discomfort, suggested that we return to the carriage and carry on in the direction we had come, at least until we came to something he recognized.
That we did, and not five minutes later there came a call from the driver that there was a tower ahead. My companion glanced at me and frowned. He knew of no tower in the area. We both stepped out of the carriage to look at it for ourselves. What I saw gave a me a chill deeper than any the wind had that day. The tower sat atop a hill, and was so tall and broad I was surprised we hadn’t been able to see it from the crossroads. Its stones were a deep black, as if they were made of obsidian, and worn down by the elements, giving it the appearance of being ancient and of another world. I had the impression of shadows and movements where none should be.
Read the rest at Circumambient Scenery.
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