Snowcase #32 • 5 October 2007 • The SnowBlog

Snowcase #32

          Claire is a twenty-nine year old deputy head teacher who has a passion for writing.  She is currently working on her second novel.

Under the Ice

As Josh struggles to uncover the mystery surrounding his brother's disappearance on a New Zealand glacier, he reveals a seemingly impossible chain of similar cases tracing back almost a century. Under the Ice

Theres something down here
Hermitage Hotel
Aoraki/Mount Cook  New Zealand

It was still dark.  The moon was a crescent slip, yet it gave enough light to capture the snow covered peaks of the mountains.  The stars were suspended shoulder to shoulder as they decorated the black sky.  Through the hotel window, Harriet Roseby stared at the silver points of snow and shivered with anticipation and excitement at the thought of climbing into them.  Her eyes travelled down past the peaks and into the heavy moon shadows below them, until she could make out the outline of the valley below.  On the track, which was a lighter strip in the black and grey night, something moved.  Harriet pressed her head onto the glass as she leant forward to try to make it out.  She wondered if her eyes were playing tricks on her, as she watched the shadowy figure making its way towards the valley of shadows that led up to the mountains. It was four oclock in the morning, yet someone was walking out there alone.  She rubbed her eyes to make sure that she wasnt still dreaming and when she opened them, expecting the track to be empty, she had one fleeting glance of the figure before it disappeared out of the light of the moon and into the shadows.
She wrapped her silk dressing gown over her shoulders and shivered with a strange feeling in her stomach that was a mixture of nerves and the adrenalin of being awake when her body clock told her she should be in the deepest sleep of the night.

Harriet was already late by the time she left her room for breakfast.  The rest of the party had almost finished, and a couple were ready to leave the table.  Harriet smiled at her husband, Henry, who had risen to greet her.
Sleeping beauty awakes, he said, as he kissed her cheek.  I thought you had backed out.  Id quite given up hope of you coming along.
And miss my only chance of climbing with you? she replied.
Well if you really are serious about coming along, Henry smiled, then you need to fill up with a good breakfast.
Henry, do you know of any other climbers doing the peaks today?
No, why do you ask?
I just saw someone on the path to the glacier just now.
Yes, you probably did.  Maybe a someone who fancied a night walk or a hunter up for an early dawn shoot.
Probably, Harriet agreed.
As she tried to eat, the image of the shadowy figure crept into her mind and she felt a stir of unease.  She wished she hadnt looked out of the window at that moment, as now she had an idea in her mind that something was waiting for them in that impenetrable darkness.


Claire Norcott
clairenorcott1 [at] hotmail [dot] com 


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