Airien left the hut before the sun peeked over the horizon. The cold wind chilled his cheeks, biting hard at his lips. He hated himself for leaving, but hate was better than death.
Inside the hut Mara slept, her belly swollen with her soon-to-be-born baby. A boy. She knew the baby was a boy. She had dreamed about him. A dream where a beautiful boy ran free in the high meadows, chasing butterflies.
“The baby, his name is Mørke, will be born here or nowhere,” Mara had said to Airien. “Born in the same hut where I was born. It is the old way. The only way.”
When she had told Airien about the dream, and the hut, and the name of the boy, he had nodded, but he had not agreed.
“It’s getting too cold, too soon,” he’d said to Mara. “If...
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