The world was white and blue.
Silhouettes of hills far off sat idly behind the canvas of winter, their images fading slowly, appearing as if they'd been created by smoke. Trees stretched out their long arms and chose to take advantage of the ice-biting weather and shed their summers glow. They didn't dance like they used to, instead, when the harsh winds wrapped around their bare trunks, they barely moved. Solemn, tired, and aged by fatigue, their leaves turned as white as, well, snow. Though I didn't glance back, I knew with each icy crunch, that I had made an imprint with my boot on the frosted grass beneath me. My breaths were short and hollow and the wind that howled past, seemed to mock me, declaring, with each whoosh, that my very breathe was no match for theirs. I was never fearful of winter, never cared for the icy chill it brought on its coattails, but this year… it was different.
The queen said the Gielyns were angry, she said they wanted war on our kingdom because we refused to agree to their demands: peace in exchange for a third of the outer borders of our land, and they promised they wouldn't attack. But I guess the queen didn't care for that. Many assumed she was too arrogant to comply, I just laugh at them for their foolish naiveness.
"How funny, thought you would come around here," a shrill melodic voice spoke, breaking any structured thoughts that crossed my mind and muddling my common sense. But I guess that's what Feraturs can do to you.
With steely playful eyes, the Feratur wandered out in front of me about fifteen feet away, allowing the snow fall to disguise her frightening appearance into something of a mysterious wonderment. If I was ignorant, I'd be pulled to her, wondering what beauty would befall me if I only got close enough. Thankfully, I already knew what they looked like; my brother had told me stories of them when I was younger, and up until now, I thought the tales were just attempts to frighten me, guess they were more of a warning.
"They look like large hairless dogs," I remember him saying, "their eyes are long and dark and their front paws have these claws that can cut through the sharpest metal our kingdom has. Don't be fooled, they may try and entice you with trickery, but they'll just attack the second they can."
Suddenly, that sickening voice brought me back to the present, "since you are here… tell me why…"
"That really isn't necessary, isn't your kind supposed to be quiet in the winter time, anyway?" I inquired, hoping to turn the conversation elsewhere and find a way to get her away from me. I could see she was slowly edging closer.
"Hmm…" she hummed into a small chuckle, "you're a silly young man… alas, yes, we are at our.. best, I guess you could say, during other seasons, the cold isn't the most pleasant," she cringed, her eyes solemnly dancing around the scene before her, probably wishing for the warmth of summer, but then she continued, "however, things have now changed. We have been granted permission."
I couldn't help my curiosity, so I let myself ask.
"Who granted you permission?"
She giggled and twirled her stringy red hair around what looked like a claw, but the image quickly faded into a long and thin finger.
"You're fun to talk to and you have sooo many questions, come near, let me answer them…"
I touched the hilt of the sword that hung at my side, gripping it tightly, ready to fight.
"Aw how cute… I'm impatient and cold, why won't you come here to me?" Her face drooped into a playful pout and she outstretched her hand and I noticed she was getting closer.
Her voice started pounding against any sensible thoughts that I had, and the cold suddenly felt suffocating; wind and snow seemed to pick up rapidly off the ground, shoving me to the sides, making me unbalanced. With her hair wildly waving in the wind, it looked like pleasantries of fire: warm and enticing.
Angrily and confused, I unsheathed my sword and swung it to the side, and to my surprise I hit something. Shortly after, a vicious screech consumed the air around me and I noticed I had hit a Feratur.
"How many of you are there!" I shouted, rapidly regaining my focus. They replied with a chorus of furious growls and the image of beauty stripped away into its naturally ugly state. Surrounding me were seven pairs of wretched black eyes and with a unison scream, they lunged.
My blade sliced the air, making contact with two Feraturs.