The men had been away now for six months. Justine's father, brother and her love, Chase had embarked on a voyage of salvation. To trade the rich fleeces of their prized, pure bred sheep across the oceans for bags of wheat, grain, flour, salt and hopefully a few bolts of material to keep them fed and warm through the coming winter that had been threatening to be harsh and unforgiving.
Winter was here and even more harsh than expected and yet the men had still not returned. Each day she would sit at the window, working quietly on her embroidery, Chester, ever loyal, sitting at her feet. Every so often she would glance up, looking through the icy windows out over the Loch for signs of their return. But at the end of each day as the light would fail and still no sign of their return, she would snuff out the candles and take herself to her bed chamber with a heavy heart. Chester would settle at the end of her bed where he would stay all night till the dawn would wake them and together they would spend another day watching and hoping for their return.
Today was the first day in two weeks that the bitterly cold winds and driving rain had eased over the Loch and Justine had decided they needed to get out. To walk off the cobwebs of being closed up indoors and to hopefully cleanse the ever increasing fear and worry for their return. They had walked for hours over the cold yet beautifully serene glen but now it was time to go home. The light was failing, soon it would be dusk and Justine didnt want to be too far from home in case the weather turned once again.
As they headed back home, a light dusting of snow had begun to fall, its quiet whispers filling her mind and heart with a peace she had not known since the men had left on their journey. With renewed hope in her heart they pushed on toward home and as they have came over the last hill which bought the Loch into view again, her heart caught in her throat. There, in the middle of the Loch was their ship and on the shore, was their rowboat.
Her men were home....
I dedicate this piece to
NEVER lose hope my friend.
The dog and the boat are private stock.
Hope you all like "Winter's Whispers"
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