The wind's dark chimes loomed throughout the winter night
her constant battering on windows shuttered tight a reminder
of her ever present will... her desire... to break through
all obstacles and find the mortal beings who const

Samuel huddled closer around the fire, the flames heat barely
enough to keep the frost from his fingers and beard as he
listened to the churning tempest. The walls were sturdy, the
windows latched and barred, yet a strange forboding filled his
heart as rubbed his chafed palms together...
vainly attempting to bring some measure of warmth to them.


With a start, Samuel looked up to the noise as a cruel flurry
of biting wind slammed against his face, snow drifing into the
flames and dousing the feeble fire almost instanly.
"Damn da' Storm!" mumbled Samuel as he rose, arms protecting his
face, and ran to the shutter, slamming it closed. He looked at
the bar, seeing it broken clean in half, and stared up at the
celing with angst.
"Ya' be makin' it 'ard on me, aint' ya? Brakin' me shudders and freezin' me bones."
With a sigh, he grabbed an unsued candle stick and some twine
and bound it shut.
The fire gone, the small shack Samuel lived in was plunged into darkness.
Yet he knew every nook, every cranny, like the back of his hand.
With a grunt he crossed over to the fireplace and attempted
to light another fire. Minutes passed... yet tinder would not catch,
or kindling would not burn. With exasperation, Samuel threw down
his flintstone and dropped into his cot, pulling his thick bear skin
rug about him to replace the fire's heat.
Slowly... ever so slowly... he passed into Slumber.


Samuel opened his eyes with a start to the dark gloom of the cabin,
his suddenly freezing face telling him that the wind had broken
into the cabin once more. With a grunt, he shoved up from his cot,
his skin rebeling from the niche of warmth as it met the freezing air.
Stumbling, he made his way to the window, fingers groping for the
broken candlestick.
"Wot' da'?" he exclamied as he felt the shutter, still bound tight.
Slowly, Samuel turned towards the door, the only other entrance to
the hovel. In the darkness, he could see only blackness with faint
outlines, yet he knew the door was closed. The cold biting air,
however, was still present.
As the hairs on the back of his neck rose in fierce alarm,
Samuel called out.. "Who is dere? Wot' ya want?"

Silence answered him...

Shaking his head in doubt at his own perceptions, Samuel felt a
shiver pass through his body... a shiver of fear, not of the cold
that covered him still. Carefully, Samuel crossed through his small
cabin, checking every area with a calm precision.
He found Nothing.
The Cabin was empty.
With a shake to his grizzled beard, he slipped back onto his cot,
pulling the bear rug tight over his head and huddling deep for warmth...
or protection.
The sounds of the wind were frightful as they beat against the rafters,
and their normal calming rhythm only served to awaken his senses to
every noise... Ears straining for some hint of the unnatural coldness
that filled his body with aching pain,
and his heart with quaking fear.
Yet nothing amiss he heard, nothing not known to his old ears.

Slowly, he passed into slumber.


Samuel lept from his bed, reaching for his mining pick with a fear
brought forth in full force from his dark dreams.
The cold was back, fiercer then ever, and he stood ready to meet
Deamon or Sprite as a man with steel ready.
Sweat broke out across his back, his hands grown moist in fear...
Yet there was nothing.
In an eiry silence allowed by the wind's sudden lull in its bombardment,
Samuel stood within his cabin and heard... nothing.
Slowly, his wits returned. He moved about the cabin three times,
checking every square inch... yet nothing was amiss.
All was as he had left it.
"Blast da' damn storm!" he mumbled as he trudged back to his bed.
He placed the pick next to him, one the floor within easy reach,
and slipped into the covers once again.
His heart, still beating from the fear, calmed itself to a steady rhythm.
The wind picked up again, continuing its beating against all things in life...
And Samuel slipped into his troubled sleep once more.


Samuel lept from his bed, heart racing... his fingers grasped the haft
of his pick. He knew he had not imagined these noises.
There was something there.
Something OUT there.
With a fevered silence born of fear, he crept to the door.
Clad only his nighshift, he hefted the pick ready to smite whatever nightmare
had crawled from his dreams and into his life.
Slowly, he slipped the bar from its jam...

With a great heave, he threw the door open and began to swing...
A dark figure, strangely shaped and ominous, came sweeping towards the door...
A growl left Samuel's throat, his shoulders propelling his pick into whatever
creature had chosen to assault his slumber..

His pick hit its body as it rushed forward, yet instead of biting, it turned
within Samuel's experienced hands and came back AT him!
With a moment of pure fear, Samuel tried to stop the pick's return...
Yet the beast held the bit tied, and its strength was greater then his.
The sharpened bit thrust out of Samuel's arms, and buried itself within his
head to the haft.
Blood dribbled down Samuel's eyes as he slumped to floor, his hands reaching
out to grasp his opponent in his death... yet he grasped only branches... wood...
With his dying breath, Samuel recognized his nightmare.
A broken sapling, caught on his roof, and swinging in the wind. *pauses*