Lint, the Shepard's Son ran. He ran as fast as his frost-bitten feet could carry him, but the wolf's howl followed him on the wind, tearing at his clothes, as violent as his father's fury.
To the hill, his mind screamed over the storm's roar. Then to the other side. To safety. He reached it and began to climb. Higher and higher, even his boots struggling to grip and keep the cold out.
Something sprawled out on the hill's rounded tip caught Lint's attention. Was it an animal? His fingers twitched towards the stake concealed within his layers, his steps lost all sound and his eyes tried to focus through the falling snow. If he could just get to it before it noticed him...
When he finally stood only a few yards away he realised that it was not moving. Was it dead? Cautiously, he edged closer until he was able to nudge it with his boot. His stake was out and ready.
It shifted, causing snow to slide off its body. Then its eyes snapped open and stared up at the boy's pinched cheeks and frightened expression.
"W-wa-what are y-you?" Lint asked through chattering teeth. Now that he was near enough he found himself looking down at a man. At least it looked like a man. But the blood-matted hair, black eyes empty of hope and other untraceable alien features made him appear other-worldly.
"You're right. I'm not from here," it answered Lint's thoughts and ignored his question. Before Lint could open his mouth to ask about its origins, it continued talking. "Where I come from is not important. And I've traveled to so many places I doubt I even remember its name. What you need to know is how I got here."
It jabbed a finger over its shoulder. Lint squinted into the distance but all he saw was more snow.
"Look harder," it hissed.
"I don't see any-" he felt a hand clamp around his ankles and drag him downwards. He fell to his knees, his face now only a few centimeters from its. "Please don't eat me!"
It laughed. A dry, sarcastic chuckle. "Eating you won't change my fate." It dropped a tattered notebook into his lap.
"I sensed your desire to escape miles ago. It's too late for me, but what I gave you is the key to the Door and a new beginning. Read it and remember: travel wisely."