Winter Retreat

Fox Hunt by Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer 1893

The falling snow piled around his hut, the shelter he’d built at the edge of the woods, from stone and fallen trees, meadow grass and mud, the retreat that was far enough away from the Hold that he rarely got visitors, but near enough that he could watch the lights wink out in the north tower when the weather was clear.

He’d strapped on skis and packed a rucksack with bread and hard cheese, salted ham, a stolen flask of honey wine, and a paper twist of raspberry leaves, orange peel, and pepper for tea. He couldn’t explain his dark moods of late, or why he was drawn to this particular spot, but he had built the hut with a sense of surety and safety that he couldn’t find elsewhere; there was something out here, maybe deeper in the woods or along the waterfall, part of which he had diverted to run under the stones that edged the hut and which always satisfied something that was a little bit more than simple thirst.

Had he asked, the adults could have told him the significance of choosing his birth spot for his retreat; it was enough for them to know that he had claimed it by his own instincts.

The hut was warm now, and he set bread near the embers to toast, and cheese to soften on another rock, while the rabbit he’d snared and spitted rotated as it browned and glistened.

Blowing ashes out of the ceramic cup he kept hidden, he poured himself a couple fingers of the golden wine; he deserved the full treatment after the hard week he’d endured.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2021)

The challenge? Write a story in 6 sentences, no more & no less, and if you’d like, share your creation or just visit and comment on others’ ideas, with GirlieOnTheEdge, Denise. The prompt is “TREATMENT”, and here’s where you join the party: Six Sentence Stories    

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