The violent winds outside roared as the spiraling mass of snow and jagged chunks of ice passed by the mouth of the cave. The sound was loud as thunder, Reed covered his ears and shielded his eyes from the snow that spun and flipped around in the cave. He waited it out, this was not the first time the cyclone has passed by their home.
Reed pulled an animal skin blanket over his head, and fully covered his wife who was lying on the floor beside him. She was as still as a statue laying there. Together they waited for the storm to pass, as they held hands Reed could feel the tension in Elicia's hand as she squeezed tight with her cold hands. Her eyes we closed.
They didn't have to long to wait before the wind died down outside. He could still hear the cyclone in the distance as it made its way through the mountain pass that surrounded them. They had been here for over a month now, barely surviving on small rations of frozen rabbit, that Reed was able to hunt on the clear days, the few they were able to get in the winter. Throughout there life to gather they have never been wealthy but has managed to always fill there stomachs, that was until they had to flea to the mountains.
Reed pushed the blanket off his back and walked to the mouth of the cave. Out on the rock ledge he was gifted with a panoramic view of the terrain around him, beautiful when the storms had passed. He looked down the vertical slope, and noticing the trees below had been pulled up from their roots and thrown about the mountainous floor. In the distance he could still see the cyclone; it was as tall and wide as the mountains surrounding it, whipping and pushing its way through the steep ravines that even the sun could not reach the bottom of.
Reed walked back into the cave, the fire cast large shadows of him on the walls, like a single puppet telling a simple story.
He knelt by the fire and placed his hand on his wife who was stretched out on a straw mat. Looking at her you would think she was peacefully resting, not struggling to stay alive as her body slowly was shutting down. She had pulled the covers down below her naked breasts and looked up at Reed as if it was the first day they had meet.
Elicia, had come down with a sickness that they were not able to beat. Her joints had locked up and her lungs were quickly losing their ability to pull and release adequate breathes. Reed figured she might only have a few more days to live, but this was something they did not talk about. She was a strong woman and held strong to maintain a good optimistic view, even close to death she managed to pull out a smile when appropriate.
Every morning as the sun came into the cave she noticed she was losing her vision little by little each day. Soon she was forced to look around what appeared to be spilled ink, the black blotches far darker than any pitch she had ever seen.
She rolled over and grabbed Reeds hand. "The cyclones seem to be happening more and more."
"I know, I'm not sure what is going on. But don't you worry about it, they can't get to us, we're safe in here."
She smiled at him and closed her eyes. Reed stood up and walked out to the overlook. He clenched his fists tight and slammed his foot down in anger, a cloud of snow shot out over the edge. He was filled with sadness and rage, he did not want to lose the only person in his life, and he knew if he was to stay here longer the frequentness of the cyclones would soon make the cave, his home, come down on its self. He wanted to scream out at the jagged cliffs surrounding him, but didn't want Elicia to know the toll this was all taking on him.
The sun was high in the sky and it was time for him to go on his weekly hunt. The cyclone was far in the distance, and he knew he had time before the next one came through.
The sky looked clear, no sign of a snow storm, blue skies with thin clouds, and the birds were back out, a good sign for a successful hunt. He gathered his things and kissed Elicia on the forehead, she smiled up at him. Before he could ask, Elicia let him know she would be just fine where she was.
He pulled the hood of his wolf skin cloak over his head, and tied his bow to his backpack. The soles of his boots were still thick and the laces still strong, he pulled them tight.
Out of the cave the winds had calmed, but he noticed dark gray clouds coming in the west. This would be the only chance to find food for the next week, he had to commit to this task. Reed grabbed onto the thick rope and started to repel down the face of the cliffs.
Once at the bottom he looked up, but couldn't see the cave entrance above him, it blended into the rest of the snow that covered the mountain. He grabbed a branch and tied the end of the rope to in, stuck it in the snow, and tilted at a forty-five degree angle. This was so he could find the rope if he didn't make it back before the next snow came. It had worked once before.
Reed looked to the west, the snow on the ground sat untouched and pure, it sparkled from the sun. He placed two fingers on his tongue and let out a shrieking whistle that echoed through the mountains. He waited.
In the distance climbing down the cliffs, came Jonas. His huffs clacked as they penetrated the snow, gripping the jagged rock below. He held his head high with pride, and his white beard swayed below his chin as he gracefully made his way down the steep rock.
?Jonas walked up to Reed and stood there, his sharp mineral horns aimed at the sky like daggers, gold, silver, and copper, formed spear like weapons. Reed scratched the top of his head, his hair was thick and matted, and his eyes like orbs of ice, clear, and stunning. His eyes were the only way Reed could see emotion, he is a creature yes, but the looks he would give him were intelligent and insightful.
Jonas accompanied Reed on all his hunts. He was able to carry much more wait upon his back, a service that he seemed more than willing to lend. Reed was never quite sure why Jonas helped him, but he assumed that his life was somewhat, uneventful for a solo goat out here in the arctic waste land. Everyone needs a friend, human of animal.
Jonas turned and headed west, Reed followed closely behind him.
There was not much to hunt in this area, he knew he would have to make his way deeper into the mountains, where there deer and rabbits come in from the valley to the west.
They side by side pulled through the snow. They were both quite as they walked, only sounds of the packed snow and ice shifting could be heard throughout the canyons.
The mountains opened up and they both stopped, this is right where they needed to be. This is where they would sit and wait for the lucky break. There were many days they would sit in their spot for hours, forced to leave empty handed.
The day was getting colder and they were moments away from heading back--when a large elk came walking right past them. They both did nothing at first sight of the creature for it was magnificent. If he wasn't starving he would like nothing more than to just sit and watch as the massive creature past. But he knew if he did not come home with food they would not survive much longer.
He lifted his bow from his back, pulled out an arrow and aimed...
The arrow sunk into the elks shoulder, falling in the snow. Reed had placed the perfect shot.
Jonas was first to approach the animal. He walked around to the head of the elk, and positioned himself in between the antlers. The elk was still breathing. Jonas turned around and released a powerful blow to the skull of the elk, and when he turned this was one of the times Reed could see emotion in his eyes—Reed saw respect.
They both heard it at the same time, that oh so familiar sound in the distance, another cyclone was coming.