Jane Jago’s medieval fantasy is being presented by Tall Tale TV
It was the longest night, and the cold was such that standing still would be a death sentence. There was no snow, but the frost was so deep that the world shone coldly white in the moonlight.
A procession of dark-clad figures marched through the forest, moving in and out of patches of moonlight so they seemed to appear and disappear like demons or frikii. Nothing could be seen of the figures except their silhouettes, as each was clad from head to foot in dark coloured fur, and had a deeply cowled hood obscuring his or her face, and they kept their hands tucked inside the wide sleeves of their robes. Their pace was a measured one, taking into consideration, one has to assume, the smallness of some of the party and the consequent shortness of their legs.
Nobody spoke, and it wasn’t until a dog fox coughed somewhere in the undergrowth that the solemn processional progress of the group was interrupted. A small figure in the centre of the line jumped, and gave voice to an undignified squeak. The figure behind her, reached out a hand and briefly touched her shoulder, for this was surely a young girl by the voice,.
“‘Twas naught but a fox,” the voice was deeply masculine and amused, though not unkindly so.
They fell silent again, and the only sound was the crunching of booted feet on frozen loam. As they came out of the shadow of the trees, the air behind them was rent by a scream. It was the sort of a sound one might associate with an animal in a trap so desolate and fearful was the sound. Only this was not an animal in torment, this voice was human. Each figure in the procession bowed his or her head a little lower, and the leader made a sound of disgust deep in his chest.
“If only we had time…”
“But we do not.” The voice was female and authoritative. “We must keep moving. The lady is almost at her time and she must be somewhere warm.”
The leader shrugged his heavy shoulders and the column moved on…