The Keep of Wintertown

            The gates of Wintertown closed to the setting sun, and a boy without a home climbed down from his perch on the wall. Scy, as he was called, was scrawny and orphaned. He spent his days watching the gate and the nights in a hole in the ruined keep.
            The keep was once a stronghold, but was now even defeated by the rats that still prowled its cellars. Wintertown was ever harsh, this true of both its weather and its people, but it held through the politics that fell lesser and larger fortification.
            Rain puddled in stone-walled yards, and flooded rooms that could no longer boast a roof. Scy leapt over fallen walls and scampered beneath creaking archways to his hide-a-way deep within the abandoned foundations. It was the kitchen, with its enormous hearth and once impressive chimneys. The chimneys had mostly collapsed, but one had plugged itself, and here Scy found his shelter during the storm.
            It always rained now, here in Wintertown, now that it was spring. The air had warmed considerably, though the stubborn citizens still wore their furs. Scy would also, had he furs, but instead wore thin rags, soaked through with the bitter rain.
            Eventually, Scy slept, soundly at first, though the dreams would always follow. Dark dreams they were, and green, and true. He saw the winterwoods that grew close to Wintertown, dripping and sighing in the ever grey nights. The wood yearned for stars and moon, but these were denied to them as much as a family to Scy.
            One dark night, Scy woke to footsteps. A tall man stood before his hearth, and Scy saw behind the man full walls and felt fresh soot on the floor. Fragrant bread wafted toward him and the man smiled. He reached to Scy and helped him stand, then took him out of the ghost tower. Before them, Scy could see the white of winter and the glittering of a clear evening sky; and he knew that this was no dream.
            Come with me. The scrawny boy nodded, and followed the tall man into the new, growing settlement that would, one day, be known as Wintertown.

The End

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