My Norse jars through the blizzard. Last century, my words were softer, not so alien to my own ears and tongue. The night howls around me, insulating me from any suicidal hikers or locals on the trail.

The clump of ancient firs is the only peaceful place now.

As if the squalls know not to disturb the place. The red markings on the trees and the snow steam.

I call out the sentinel, curious what form it’ll assume.

With thunderclap, the candle blows in a gust. Nearly gives me a heart attack.

That was my last storm match. I hope that the Gods of Yol have had enough light to accept my request. I don’t want to miss my convergence, again. I’m done, and not up to spending another century with humans.

Snowflakes sting my face, and the fir trees squeals. Finally!

Out of the darkness, a huge wolf dashes up to me, growling. He skids to a halt. His yellow eyes burn holes into my soul. I stare back and breathe on the ice cubes I call fingers.

It’s a dog, not a wolf. It stretches its chaps into an awkward smile. “Password,” it says, curled tail barely wagging.

“Good boy.” I coo. The urge to pet is overwhelming. No ear scratching, no stroking. Don’t pet the sentinel, I command myself.

The passageway warps open behind it. “Welcome back, Beowulf.” The dog greets me happily.

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