Tangled vines and brambles mounded up from the ground, nearly blocking out the sun. Humbled before this mass, Chelle could only gape. An enormous set of double doors had been set into the otherwise natural accretion. Bound in bands of brass, the massive slabs of oak easily doubled Chelle’s height. Despite the howling wind, steady light blazed from torches set on either side of the portal.
Chelle took several steps closer, and her feet stirred a swirl of snow from the ground. It had been an unusually cold fall, and the first snow had fallen several weeks earlier than anyone in the Duchy had ever heard. Several old crones claimed it was an omen, something they had seen in their youths. Chelle wasn’t interested in old wives tales about the end of days. She was here to bring it about.
Unconsciously, her hand crept to the pouch on her belt. Clasping it, she could feel the flensed and polished bones rattle against one another. Two-hundred years and unknowable lives it had taken her to reach this point. Pacts made and broken with gods since vanquished had carved this path.
She stepped forward again, and the doors began to open.
Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction.
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