Silence. That is all I hear in this snow covered forest. The gleaming snow muffles any and all sounds that may be made. The birds have long gone away, while the giant bears are in their caves. There is just me and my thoughts.

Wait, someone is out there. A person in distress? I quicken my step towards the direction the person is in. I can't see anything except for the blinding white. A few spoken words; there I can see clearly once again. Against the fallen tree lies a man. He must barely be alive, but he is still living. I would know if he were otherwise.

I move to his side, and yes he is still warm. More spoken words and the heat increases substantially. He begins to stir, good, he is not yet suffering from hypothermia. A moan escapes from chapped lips and the frost kissed eyelashes open. His dark eyes meet mine and widen perceptively. He knows who I am.

Slightly amused I wonder what his thoughts are. His savior; his rescuer is a mage? A witch that could never be trusted and should not be allowed to even exist. I allow a faint smile to touch my own lips. For I know what he is as well. A guard, specifically one of the Ruler's own that would normally cull those like me.

I help him rise to his feet. A healing spell should remedy any harm that had come to him. The guard says nothing to me, but then no words are truly needed. He will not take me captive and I will not injure him. He will safely return to his people and make no mention of me.

Only his prints in the snow mark his passing. He will arrive no worse for the wear. As for me, I brush the snow off my cloak and return to the secluded path I was traveling. I become lost in thought once again, only surrounded by snow and silence.

This short story is 1999 to me, Thele. And I'd appreciate it staying here. :o)