[Eleanor]: 668.Contest entries.Drabbl
My snowshoes tramp silently in the snow, the only sound my ragged panting as I follow the twisting path through the dormant trees. An occasional chickadee scolds me from above; a jay screams as I invade its territory. Once I startle a pheasant who flaps away from my approach, loosing an avalanche of snow from the spruce boughs where it lay hidden. My rising breath condenses into clouds of mist, fogging up my glasses, riming my beard. Even in the bright sunshine, my nose and cheeks sting with cold. I retrace my steps, towards hot chocolate and a warm fire.