This is the first chapter of a book I’m currently writing. Thought I’d post it up if anyone’s interested. Comments always appreciated, thank you.
It was nearly full dark but what remained of the twilight still showed thick ribbons of smoke rising in the distance. It had been half a day now and yet the angry red glow on the horizon showed there was still wood to burn. Fine flakes of ash swirled in the air, mixing with the snowflakes and turning the ice underfoot a dirty grey. The scent of smoke on the wind was strong and lent the evening an undertone of menace.
The rider was just approaching the tree line. The cloak would have kept out the worst of the cold had it been fastened properly, as it was only the pin at the neck kept it from being snatched away by the wind. The man was almost asleep in the saddle and when the horse staggered nearly fell. Instead he jolted awake and used his gloved hand to wipe away the ice encrusted on his beard. With the dark now closing in, it was high time to make camp – but with no pack or blanket and no means of making fire this was going to be difficult.
Stroking his horse’s neck and murmuring words of comfort to the animal, unsettled by the smell of smoke, Ewan entered the woods.