As I looked up and gazed into the sky, I felt a cold drop fall on my cheek. I felt another on my outstretched hand soon after. Within a minute, hundreds of snowflakes were slowly making their descent towards the ground all around me. The ground crunched underneath my footfalls with the increasing cover of snow.
Up ahead, I saw a street lamp flicker on. The next, and the next lamp lit up following the first. This pattern continued down the long street, gradually lighting my way. Soon, I recognized the sign that read 'Holland Road', and turned down it. Skeletal trees encompassed me on both sides as I walked down the ancient cobblestone path. I maneuvered around a few indents in the road filled with an slush. After awhile, the old cobblestone path turned into a bumpy dirt road. The path turned a corner, and suddenly the skeletal trees surrounding me disappeared as the road began downhill. I tried to control my pace down the steep and winding hill, but the combination of speed and ice did not help.
I nearly slipped as I came to a halt at the gates blocking the road. Fishing in my left coat pocket, I found a black, skinny, and ice cold key and turned it in the lock on the gate. I removed the key from the lock and pushed the gate open. Walking though, I pushed the gate closed behind me with my foot. The rough downhill road gradually turned into a smooth rolling slope. Shrubs dotted the landscape along with numerous boulders, all vaguely visible in the darkness that swept over the hills. Although the stars shone clear on the moor surrounding me, they were only a dim spotlight to the beauty that was all around. The moor appeared slightly green, for the northern lights were casting a green hue across the land. Mesmerized, I nearly stumbled off of the path multiple times. The northern lights weren't supposed to appear here until 1868, but a year early wasn't bad at all. But soon, I saw the lights of a warm home up ahead. I quickened my pace, excited to arrive. The icy gravel crunched under my boots as I walked up to the door. I took a deep breath and rapped on the door four times. I heard the quick pattering of feet inside the house, and locks being undone on the door. The heavy door creaked open slowly, as a woman looked at me from behind it. Her face was thin along with her her fingers, and her black hair hung limply by the sides of her face. Her brown eyes widened as she took in who I was. She pulled the door open fully and embraced me tightly, as if the winter winds would sweep me away if she let go.
"Erlina" I whispered, surprised.
"Alastar! I didn't expect you for another month! How are you?" Erlina inquired.
"I'm wonderful now that I'm back!" I replied, smiling.
We walked into the kitchen, and I took my hefty bag off of my shoulders and set it on the kitchen table. As I began unloading it, Erlina got a look of astonishment on her pale face.
"There's more than enough food here for the winter Alastar. I thought your brother wasn't sending any more for at least a fortnight!" Erlina exclaimed.
"I know, it took my by surprise. I left as soon as I received it." I commented,"It looks like we will make it through this famine after all."