Late at night the morbid thoughts creep upon me. I listen to a slow metal dirge that recalls the fetid summer. But now it is winter, and the iron cold sweeps down with blades of icicle-sharp. I hear the whisper of dead leaves stroking my windows; I hear the brush of the oak’s barren limbs upon my roof.
Outside in the night, I know the black horse rushes past on the Wild Hunt. And I know who rides upon him. I see his limbs, like sabers. I feel his eyes from the dark upon my face. They are curved like the stings of scorpions.
I wonder if I should put on my coat of silver. I wonder if I should set my mouth for war. The hunter and his wolves beckon, and in days past I would have joined his gathering and ridden fast to the vicious skirl of the horns.
But in those days my soul was quick; my youth was armor. Tonight, I fear, my weakness would make me prey.