Ice and snow filled her vision.
Feeling more alone than ever, she scrambled further up the winding mountain pass.
“As long as no Mountain Trolls see us we’ll be fine,” said a voice from behind.
Mitch trudged upwards too.
Diana heard him slip and turned around.
A full year younger than her, Mitch was her brother and best friend.
“Are you okay?”
Mitch was looking over his shoulder, a scared grimace on his face.
“Trust me, there is no such thing as a Mountain Troll,” Diana admonished him.
A soft swear word was caught in an echo, the sound gaining momentum before disappearing into silence.
The mountains this high up were unforgiving. Snowflakes began to spiral downward.
Mitch after catching up with his sister stared at the sky.
“Diana, that doesn’t look good.”
Through the white landscape, a dark smudge indicated a ledge in the rocks ahead.
“There, Mitch. Can you see it?” She pointed towards it.
Squinting, Mitch set his face in a stubborn scowl.
Silently now, both sister and brother climbed towards it. As they neared, a tunnel reaching further into the mountain became visible. The two teenagers continued past the entrance.
The tunnel was high and roomy, with enough space for the siblings to walk side by side easily.
Warm air drifted through the tunnel towards them. Walking around a bend, a rosy glow greeted them. Going in further, the rosy glow became a cheery fire.
“Hello strangers. Welcome.” A little creature, the colour of sandstone and with a hide just as rough and hard, was sitting by the fire, waiting for them.
“My name is Alistair. What’s yours?”
The little creature beamed.
“Err…” Mitch turned to his sister and whispered, “what is it?”
Before Diana could answer, Alistair cocked his head to the side, still beaming.
“I’m a Mountain Troll. And this.” He swept his arm to take in the cosy room.
“Is my home.”