Sixteen

Behind the door is a garden under snow. You take one step, two, sink; you come from somewhere warm, your footwear is not meant for this terrain. You turn back but the door is gone.

The lawn is long, with trees shaped like chess pieces. It belongs to a big house, you are sure, but the night and weather are closing in and you cannot see any building but a shed. You make for it, past a pawn or two.

Inside, two horses, shadow-dark. The other knight tosses over your burgonet. “We’ve been waiting,” he says. You make your move.

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