Now that I'm finally back home, this series can start back up!
Here's from yesterday's Skype meeting.
My eyes, almost frozen shut from the snow on my eyelids and squinting against the wind, caught a glimpse of yellow. It was candlelight. It was dazzling against the gray of everything else in my line of vision. I didn't have to turn my horse toward the light; he approached it by instinct.
Soon a village appeared in relief, and at the end of the high street, what looked like a monastery. I headed for the most inviting entrance I could find. Dismounting was a stiff ordeal, and I was gratified to have the door open only seconds after my gloved fist pounded on it, shaking the snow off its wood. A monk in gray hooded habit smiled and gestured me inside.
The hall was awash with candlelight and warmth, and the smell of fire and cooking wafted from somewhere. I drank in the sensation of my bones thawing while one of the monks went out to stable my horse.
"Thank you," told the first monk.
He nodded. "Do you come from far?"
"I'm a southerner," I said, as much in apology as in explanation. He gave me a comprehending smile and led me to the kitchen.
"What brings you to our sleepy little town in the dead of winter?" he asked while I burnt my tongue on a cup of spiced cider.
I glanced around out of habit. "I'm afraid I can't tell you," I said. Even in a monastery, a spy remains undercover.
The monk raised his eyebrows but said nothing.