I was nine when the first dream of an old god took me. I was the third of eight children to be contacted in our village before they found the shrine, and burnt it. I did not know it at the time, but everyone’s dream is different.
I dug a trench in a forest clearing, the drifts as deep as my thighs, far from any light but that of the moon. I kept digging but finding nothing, though I knew there was supposed to be something here. That nothing came the more I dug only turned into mounting distress.
It was not until I collapsed from exhaustion that I understood what I was looking for. For the first time in hours I felt calm. I laid very still, and waited. The kiss of the freshly falling snow felt like a benediction.