It ended in winter.
The nights had grown longer and the snows deeper. Anouc, looked out the window once again praying to Elt that the sun would once again rise. She had seen it once before, she knew she had, but it had been so long it felt as though it were a dream. The glaciers sat in the bay, as though dead, but to Anouc, everything seemed dead…
Her love Bran, to whom she’d been wed a year, had given up on her, on life, and on everything but drinking. They had lost their farm, and their first child, and moved into her families old hut near the fields. Drunk each evening, her father and her husband would carry on late into the night. Raucous, and unabashed they disenchanted the girl of her dreams with every toast to their manhood and prowess, though how much prowess it took to stalk and then capture a mug of ale, she being a woman, was just not sure.
She lay in her bed flipping over and over again, thinking of how nothing in her life had turned out the way she had expected it to…she merely shivered against the cold and waited for the dawn to come again.
With the loudest crash, Bran burst, still drunk into their small room, smelling like shit and vodka. She looked at him, appalled, and made a decision then and there to leave. Forever.
Anouc got up, and pulled off her shift to wash. Bran mistaking her intention glared at her with selfish hunger, grabbing her by the waist and pulling her close saying, ” Frisky eh? Les see wha we can do abou’ tha’t!”
“Get off me. Bran. BRAN! Le’ go. Let me go!” Anouc cried as she tore herself away from him.
“A’ right girl, a’right then. Leave. Leave wit ya. But don e’spect me to come an fetch ya. Don ya’ e’re come back. Who needs ya…sure as Elt not I. Bran lumbered across the room and plopped his great self down onto their cot.
Quickly she pulled on her dress, and tied on her outer garments, then grabbing up her cloak, she went out the door, numbly, for she knew no other way to feel.
She quietly walked past the other rooms to the fireside, pulled a sack of smoked fish from the store, and a couple bottles of ale. She stuffed these things into another bag, along with what precious few possessions of hers she could gather from around the house, a bit of cloth with stitching, her needles and thread, a round glass that had been her mother’s, and the corn doll she had made for the festival a few days hence. With those things in her pack, she left the cottage farm and told herself that she would never come back, and she didn’t.