I lie down, and the force of my body hitting the hard ground pushes a sharp "huff" of air from my lungs. The damp instantly begins to saturate my clothes, but I'm beyond caring.

I've slid back down the mountain now, and my house is in sight, bright lights twinkling, smoke curling invitingly from the stout chimney pot.

Mother is in there, fussing and worrying, twisting her frail fingers together in her apron as she stares out of the front window, waiting for me to return. I don't like to leave her in distress, but I feel odly calm.

Night has fallen, and a huge silver moon hangs un-obtrusivley above the distant hills. The rain has stopped, at least for a while, and I enjoy the view. I can see the whole valley from here.

The small town of Terringbourne is all but forgotton by the rest of the kingdom, beyond the mountains, out in the flat land beyond. It lies comfortabley in a small, wind swept valley, protected from the vicious sea winds by the hulking bodies of the mountains.

At this time of year, the mountains are swathed in a royal green, that deepens in intensity at the bright river the swells through the valley. Our life source.

The deadly sea lies un-visited, un-mentioned behind us. It is the bringer of foul storms and famine, nothing but poverty and miserable people.

The mountains are our friends. Our family.

I lie for what feels like hours in the soft moon light, contemplating. What was life like, out of the valley? I had never vetured beyond Terringbourne, and few ever did.

There were stories of glorious cities with un-imaginable wealth and beauty, were women did not work, but swanned about all day in silken gowns, with softly curled hair and made up faces.

I once dreamed of visiting the outside world, but I know now that this is impossible. The word of the matriach is not questioned.

The End

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