Stranger in the Snow
It’s cold. He can’t feel it.
He’s never been able to.
Yet another point of contention between him and the citizens of Yharnam. Something else for them to eye him strangely for, to whisper about behind his back, to throw at his face as an insult.
Cold as a corpse, they sneer. Unnatural, they jeer. Inhuman, they taunt.
That damned name, clinging closer to him than his own shadow. It hangs over his shoulder. It’s what people are staring at when they won’t look him in his strangely-colored eyes.
He shakes his head, dislodging a flurry of snowflakes from his tricorn cap with the motion. They are replaced quickly, though, in this snowstorm, the weight slowly building up within the folds of his headwear.
Visibility is low, and it’s a pain to trudge through the mounds of snow, reaching to his knees, spilling into boots which only come halfway up his calves. He keeps trekking, though. He should be close. Maybe. Assuming he hasn’t been going the wrong way, like an idiot-
There’s light ahead, small dots of orange piercing through the curtain of white. They promise warmth (not that he’d be able to feel that, either), and perhaps food. Hunger twists in his gut, and fatigue has settled deep within his bones. It’s an effort to keep placing one foot in front of the other, but he can’t stop now, not when he’s so close.
A violent gale whips by, stinging his eyes, forcing him to pause and shut them, unwilling to move while effectively blind. He is only able to start again when it calms, and the chilled air is no longer whistling in his nostrils, eliciting a ticklish sensation that makes him scrunch up his face.
A few steps later, the winds begin blowing harshly once more before falling still. Then again, and again, until he realizes he has no choice but to power through the endless tempest. He pulls the brim of his cap lower and the collar of his leather long coat higher, for all the good it does, and squints until his eyes are merely slits, thin as a sheet of paper.
Just his luck, that a blizzard would kick up when he’s so close. Although, it could’ve been worse- could’ve started the moment he got off the boat, when that old sailor had called him a lunatic for setting foot on this forsaken island instead of doing the wise thing and sailing right back to Lamielle.
He’d first heard of Coghan when he had arrived in Helios from the West. A kind soul in the tavern had taken the time to go over a map of the Realms of Candarion with him (in return for a few coins, of course). Of the many regions, only Leaundeval and Coghan had caught his attention. They were the only settlements built on snowy terrain, and he’d always been rather partial to the chill- nevermind that he’d stick out like a sore thumb when people saw how unbothered he was by the frigid temperatures.
The stranger had eyed him oddly at that. “To each his own, I s’pose,” they murmured, then launched into an explanation about the benefits of living in Leaundeval. It was very informative; like they’d been there before, and they were speaking from first-hand experience. Then again, it wasn’t like Micolash could tell if someone was a traveler at just a glance.
“So, what about Coghan?” he asked, eager to hear more. This person was a born storyteller, their eloquent narrative drawing him in quickly. He was disappointed, however, when the corners of their mouth simply twisted into a slight frown.
“Only a damned fool would go near that forsaken island.”
He treaded on towards the pinpricks of light that illuminated Ighodia, mouth curving into a tight, spiteful smile.
Well, the matron always did say I was touched in the head.