We walked for most of that night, finally taking shelter under a pine tree, it’s branches weighed down with snow made somewhat of a shelter.  We didn’t sleep very well that night, and woke cold and hungry the next morning.  We had made the trip to this town, Curth I think it was called then.  But we had done it with our parents, a tent, and matches.  We didn’t have any of that this time.  Emmy didn’t complain so neither did I.

We ran for the first bit that morning to warm ourselves then walked till night fell again.  We didn’t bother with sleep, wanting only to find people and warmth, wanting a chance to think and cry.  We hardly spoke to each other as we walked still holding hands.  We found comfort in the presence of the other.

Snow started falling towards midnight that night, making it harder for us to find our way.  We again took shelter under a pine tree, huddling together under our cloaks to stay warm.  We were both famished at that point, but didn’t much care.  We felt so alone.  We hadn’t seen a soul since we left home.

“Do you think they would have seen the smoke from town,” Emmy asked.

“I don’t know,” I told her.  I had hoped they would and that they’d send some help.  But like I said, we hadn’t seen a soul.

I wondered if when we got to Curth we would find it in the same condition as our little village.  I hoped not, but reality was that this town was on the way.  Either going to or leaving our village they would have to pass Curth.  As if reading my thoughts Emmy looked at me and said:

“I hope they left something standing in Curth.”

“So do I.  Better yet, I hope they didn’t even touch Curth.  We could find out who it was that did that to our village and our friends at least.  But if nothing else a barn or house still standing would be a blessing.  I’ve never been further than Curth, I don’t know how far the next town or city or even village would be,” I answered her.

“That’s not a very nice thought Ella,” she chastened me.

Poor Emmy, she was such an optimist, and I adored her for it.  Somehow in her heart she still had hope of finding the rest of the world intact.  I wish I could share her enthusiasm.  I just felt so damn scared and worried, not to mention anguished and alone.  At least I still had Emmy.  I wondered if this would scar her.  She was such a bright cheerful person.  Certainly something like this… I banished the thought.  Emmy would be alright.   She’d always be bright and cheerful, optimistic and beautiful.

Finally it got bright enough to see again, though the storm got worse.  It snowed heavily but thank the heavens that there was hardly any wind.  I felt so sheltered and hidden in this heavy snow.  Still something felt off… not quite right.  I knew we must be close to the town.  It was very quiet and hushed.  Surely somebody must be out and about despite the snow.

The End

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