Flashes of Sanity #104: Snow Shoes

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: Snow Shoes

Enjoy!

Each stride his chilled his feet further. They were nothing but ice on bones at this point.
Who cared? When you had been dead, is it really important?
A large wooden door arose in the storm. It radiated warmth in a world of snow. He knocked with a hand shattering with each punch.
”Yes…” the elf fell silent as he saw the frozen man on the other side. ”Who are you?”
”I am a lost man of the woods. I seek the aid from the north pole.”
The elf hesitated, then he opened the door.
”Come in, come in,” the elf said.
The man smiled as he walked in. The north polers never could say no to a lost soul. It had been part of their tribe for hundreds of years. One of tye many traits tgey could not control.
It could so easily be used. The elves knew that too.
”What brings a man from the woods to our humble quarters.”
An army, the man thought.
”Safety,” he said.
Inside, fire warmed a room so big it could house hundreds. Yet it was empty.
“I am sorry,” the elf said. “Our master is occupied elsewhere.”
“Isn’t he always?”
The elf smiled, a hesitant but still warm smile.
“Yes, he always is.” The elf scanned the thick robe on the man’s body. “Why does a man of the woods need the north pole’s safety?”
“The woods want to kill me,” the man said. “They have already succeeded once.”
The elf froze by the fire place. Yet his hospitality forced him to continue the discussion.
“What have you done to the woods?”
The man walked up to the elf. He let his robe fall to the floor showing all the holes the roots and the bugs had carved through him. His eyes were long gone. His teeth too. His skin was mold on rotten muscles.
“I killed my tribe.” His breath hit the elf in the face one rotten wind at the time. “And now I want to kill every one.”
Outside a sleigh landed on the snow. The hit thundered through the door.
“Ho, ho, ho.”
“And you will help me.”
As the door opened again, the man hit the bearded house lord and the red mass fell to the floor.
“Do you hear me, little elf? You will help me whether you like it or not.”
“Please,” the elf cried. “We want peace.”
Sam laughed. “It is too late for that!”

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Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

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