A raspy wind howled through the air, whistling through the pines that scaled the snowy hills of Ernta. Snowflakes spiraled through the air, packing down onto the already snow-covered ground. Gerath wrapped himself tighter in his warm fur cloak, continuing up the hill. He glanced up at the night sky, dotted with shimmering stars. But that was a night of exquisite beauty, the night of the full moon. The stars seemed little specs of nothingness compared to the glowing majesty of the moon, which cast its eerie glow onto the ground. He quickly jerked his head down, scolding himself in his head for straying from the task at hand: hunting.

          The village of Hoptotek would not have enough food if Gerath failed, and that was just unthinkable. He already filled half of one of his woven jars, out of the four he needed to fill completely. His stomach lurched, as Gerath nearly fell to the ground in pain. He hadn't eaten for twelve hours, and he was already feeling light-headed. But food would have to wait, for his people needed him. He slowly arose and gasped in surprise as he saw what he wanted: animal tracks.

        He knelt closer to the footprints, examining the specific features of each mark.

     "Timberwolves," he spat, his voice thick with disgust. His heart was filled with nothing but hatred for these creatures, the foul beasts that terrorized hunters, and killed the livestock of farmers. His brown skin turned red with rage, as he whirled around, sending his long black hair flailing around. He grabbed his loose hair, tying it back with a loop of string that lay in his small satchel. He pulled his fur cowl over his head, beginning to examine the land around him. The snow was disturbed, overturned.

It was at that moment that a sharp howl rang through the air sending a chill down Gerath’s spine, by the rattling of leaves and snapping of twigs. The rumbling of footsteps drew closer to him, as he grabbed the bow slung over his shoulders, nocking an arrow in the bowstring. His vision darted across a plain of pine trees, looking for the creeping shadows of the lurking beasts. Suddenly, a sibilant shade slunk towards him, walking into the light. With a swift movement of the arm, Gerath released the bowstring, giving way for a hissing arrow to barrel out. Gerath observed as the shaft plunged into the wolf's head, and suddenly the bell rings.  A sharp shriek cut through the air interrupted his fantasies and brought him back to reality.  

He picked up the pile of books that lay on his desk, his thoughtful smile drooping into a frown as he returned to the cold, hard real world.  A lanky kid approached him, his brown hair cleanly cut and his eyes a dark brown. Griffin recognized the boy like Michael, his closest friend.

   “Daydreaming again I see.” He guessed, throwing me a sly look. I nodded slowly, as I pushed in my chair and began to walk out the classroom. “What this time?” He asked, darting after me.

   “An Indian named Gerath. He was out hunting wild game so that his village Hoptotek wouldn’t starve.” Griffin told him. Michael let out a light chuckle, and a dimpled smile began to show.

“Yeah, but I bet Gerath couldn’t help you prepare for the math quiz,” Michael smirked. Griffin slammed his palm into his face, groaning loudly. Right then Griffin almost knocked into one of the girls that ambled down the hallway, recognizable to him as Eileen from his math class. He got his head back into the conversation, turning to face Micheal again.

“That’s tomorrow?!” Griffin asked irritably. Michael bobbed his head up and down, answering his question. He sighed yet again. “Guess I’ll have to study extra tonight.” Michael raised an eyebrow at him, offensively showing his disbelief.

“You know you won’t. You will spend more time on that computer of yours, probably hacking away at a short story.” Griffin didn’t admit it, but deep down inside he could already see that brilliant document, and the little black words looming onto the page as his ideas blossomed through the fragments of his imagination. As the bell rang to return to classes; he groaned as it was going to be a long, hard, day before he got to write.

Griffin’s house seemed rather pitiful in comparison to the massive homes of their neighbors.  Two floors, four small rooms on each floor, painted a dull white, no beautiful gardens, and with a garage where two cars barely fit.

Upon his arrival, the clean sound of the door opening gave Griffin a sense of satisfaction like he had just entered a lively inn, after a day of exciting journeying. He could see it now; the rain was pounding drearily out of the door and in his imagination, a weary traveler had arrived. He was in a tight tunic over his torso paired with tight black pants, and a small dagger was sheathed at his hips with a long cape trails behind him. On the first floor, the inn was a tavern, roaring with drunkards and a lute player softly strummed away at the strings of his instrument. Through all the chaos, the weary traveler saunters up to the desk. Right then he realized the ‘desk’ was the kitchen table, and that this ‘inn’ was the kitchen. Oh, another thing too; his home was anything but a safe place, it might be worse than school.  He knew deep down his daydreaming provided little more than writing material, everyone had always told him. With a sigh of slight depression, he began to hopelessly galavant upstairs. Every day he was faced with two choices: schoolwork or writing. Naturally, he usually picked the second option, and sloppily rushed to finish his homework minutes before bed. But he just had too much on his hands today, and he had to make the unusual choice of schoolwork.

He roughly dropped his heavy red book bag on the floor, as it rang out in a low bellowing tone. Thank goodness his mom wasn’t home, or he would be repaid with nothing but an aggressive growl from downstairs. He sprawled himself out on his bed, as glistening rays of sunlight cut through the window, dancing on his back.

A small bed next to the window and a small bookshelf by the side, filled with inspirational works from his favorite authors, seemed a safe environment for a writer. Of course, his most prized possession was on the small desk in the corner. He had worked over three years at his grandpa’s farm to be able to afford his primary tool for writing. It seemed insignificant as you walked into the room, that small Macintosh computer was loaded with every precious work of art he had ever written.

His stories were the one right thing in his life. Even his teachers thought that that kid indeed had a gift, a gift that could be used to help him go to college. Griffin hardly ever thought of going to college, he’d always assumed he’d merely publish a few novels in his teens to a good start; he’d hope that his skills and passion for writing would be enough for some publishing company to have interest. Of course, his parents would never dream of paying for college. One of the few things in the room that Griffin didn’t buy himself was the bed and mattress he lay on. That’s all his parents fell obligated to provide him. But he couldn’t ruin his day thinking of those two; he wouldn’t. He knew he had the power to create worlds and plots for him and others to escape the cold reality of this world. He prayed for others in despair to be able to use his stories and lessen their pain. Granted, he knew it never would happen, but that kid sure bonded with his characters. They were not tools, stepping stones to deliver glory to him, they were his friends, with their personalities, backgrounds, and beliefs. That was the reason he loved writing, the ability to forge characters full of heroism, generosity, and altruism, which he wished to encounter in real life.

His glance looked at that mac, a well-kept glistening white color. He darted his eyes around: a reflex he had developed to stay out of trouble. Then he excitedly leaped out of bed and hopped eagerly onto the yellow plastic chair that accompanied the desk. After the power-on sequence, Griffin smiled as he saw the already prepared doc load onto the screen. He took a deep breath, and with a grin, he began tapping away tenderly at the keys, as reality loomed into fantasy, and his soul was finally offered satisfaction.