A fleck of blue gleamed in the sunlight on a patch of white snow and gray sand.
"A flower on a glacier?" Einar asked himself as he scrambled up the slope. "A single forget-me-not?" The sight of it brought to mind what he had been trying to remember all morning: today was Bryndis's birthday.
Einar was not a plant man. He was a birdman, especially when it came to the savory ptarmigan. And hreindyr—reindeer hunters were his thing now. He was on hreindyr surveillance now, checking the trails and the herds before the utlendingar came in August. He knew no bird would fly this high and hreindyr were also rare: there were no plants. Nothing more than the wind and lichens usually made it to this elevation. But somehow a seed had found the spot and a blue gleym-mer-ei had sprouted.
The flower was just outside the shadow of a boulder. Rivulets of water spilled from a pool of ice and snow at the base of the rock. A ragged piece of cloth poked through the water and the debris. Einar stepped into the pool to pull up the rag, thinking it was probably a burlap picnic sack dropped by some hiker. But when he touched the rough material and tried to tug it from the ice, he could feel the ribbed threads of woven cloth. The material was not burlap sacking and it was frozen to a hard leathery surface which he could glimpse where the stringy cords had rotted. He suspected the piece of burlap was clothing, a cloak or a hood unlike any he had ever seen before, a garment from a human body in the ice. And he was certain this find was not anyone who had gone missing recently.
A sound behind him made Einar freeze. He was not alone. A voice rumbled and boomed across the icy wasteland.
"Dammit, Roxie -- I thought I told you to clean out the ice box? There are freaking roaches in here!"
Einar scuttled away.
"And one of 'em's still alive! Gross. I'm gonna order Pizza."
Fearing for his life, Einar hid himself behind a tall Hrar-gen Dass and considered his past sins as the world went dark.
Karma. It was indeed a bitch.
Opening: Ann Cassin.....Continuation: Anon.