The pair of Eastlander militiamen lay in a hidden sniper den. The land was perfectly flat. A horizon of white snow and black spikes of pine trees. They had a good view of the road along the small stream. It wasn’t a commonly taken route.

“Why are we even here?” groaned Sean, wrapping his wool blanket tighter. His red beard sprinkled with frost. The den was barely more than a closet. A lookout post for their Yarl, Ivar Johansson. The tyrant-cripple of RokHeim.

Murphy ignored his compatriot.

 “Can’t believe we have to stay out here until Monday…”

Murphy was getting annoyed with the belly-aching.

“We could be-“

“You want our Yarl flanked? You want raiders on our asses?!”

“No one comes here!”

“They might. One day when they do, the Yarl will be thankful he had two warriors watching his back. So just shut up.”

Sean did, he chewed his lip as cigarettes were not allowed.

Murphy returned to viewing through his scope. Careful not to touch his eye to frosted metal.

Beyond the lookout position was the frosted stream. Cold water still rushed over polished stones. A few naked trees grew sparsely in the field before the dense forest in the distance. Tuffs of frost bitten foliage and grass shuttered in the wind. The white, blue and pale green terrain was picturesque in its simple beauty.

Murphy gasped. “Oh no.”

Shadows moved in the forest. They just appeared from between the trees. They were moving fast towards the lookout.

He cocked the rifle.

“Get the radio!” he screamed.

There was a thud atop the den.


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