A fire in ice

Toiréasa was made of fire.

That was what her father had always said. It was what kept her going in the increasing chill of what should have been summer. What kept her going when the food came scarce. What kept her going when she was face to face with a beast, the likes of which she had never seen before.

It was a hound of some sort. A wolf, maybe. Too large for either of those, Toiréasa reckoned. Red fur, except for the black of its back, made it obvious against the backdrop of snow. Enormous teeth that fit into a similarly enormous mouth. Another odd beast, like the many others which now had accompanied the strange weather shifts.

The beast would eat her. Toiréasa wouldn’t make it easy. She screamed, a throat-tearing sound as she readied her practice blade. The canine’s wide chest looked ready to deflect any strike, but Toiréasa didn’t care. She was ready to strike with what limited abilities she had.

With a few bounds, it was upon her. Toiréasa yelled again and put her sword out, though she had already fallen on her back in the white cold, those teeth snarling above her. She brought a foot up and kicked the creature in the stomach. The beast didn’t budge, merely roaring in Toiréasa’s face.

Toiréasa roared back.

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