Pall, the man from the wild. Tall. Dark. Mysterious. He went to see Vissla, and he probably saw our Kala too. If you’d watched him, you’d have see him climb the stairs to the veranda and enter the house.
Man like that. Doesn’t come down to the village very often. Likes his peace and quiet. Close to nature. Stuff like that.
It’s not that he doesn’t like people. He just doesn’t like being around them, or talking to them. Actually, he doesn’t really like people. That’s the stupid point of living in a cabin on the side of a cliff at the far edge of nowhere. You’re all alone and no one ever comes to bother you about whatever it is everyone gets upset about all the time.
It must have been important, whatever it was, the reason he sought out Vissla.
He left a while later. Him and the old woman together. He walked her back to hers, like a gentleman’s supposed to do. Someone had told him that at some point. Not like she couldn’t find the way on her own. It’s just one of those weird things people do.
And then he just stood there for the longest time.
It’s as bright as the days get now. The mountains in the south a black contour against the dark grey sky. Clouds hide the stars away, and the wind whispers of snow to fall.
Time to go Pall. Time to head home. You don’t want to get caught halfway when the snow comes. You’re a tough one, but you’re not that tough. Move it. Hurry.
Her tea had smelled a lot better than his.
And Pall, the man from the wild, who was tall and dark and handsome, who didn’t like people and who probably wrestled bears for sport, turned and headed back towards the train station.
– – –
Hulda stayed up late that evening. The fire in the arrivals hall burned bright long after the last of the villagers had left. It had been a long day. Busy. Her legs were tired, and her cheeks ached from smiling.
With all the people coming in during the day she hadn’t had a chance to stop and breathe. Hadn’t looked out the window. Hadn’t seen the man outside looking in.