Pieces of ice which had formed into icicles off the tips of the village roofs now flew with intense precision at walls, windows and doors, denting the ground as they were whirled past snow-covered bushes and white garden beds, and shattering some of the older, crooked windows in the trembling homes.


The storm beat at Artiget mercilessly for a day and a night, obliterating everything in its wake as it roared through the valley and up the slopes, sometimes disappearing over the rise of the next ridge and then return within moments back to the village as if its angry revenge had not had its fill.


Revenge for what?


That had been Mako’s last recollected thought before he was swooped away by a gust and up into the air. What happened after that…he could not remember, only mere glimpses of night changing to day, though the sun shone weaker than ever through the grey storm, then once more to night, and again to day. In the early hours of the second morning, Mako woke up to a dismantled village, a village almost completely eradicated by the strongest storm in months. Debris clung to every surviving tree. The streets were no longer distinguishable from the masses of snow blown all over the village. The houses that had withstood the challenge of the angry mountain weather now leaned crookedly to the side, as if it would take only a little gust to topple them over.


Mako looked around himself, trying to decipher where he was. His leg rested uncomfortably in between two branches of a tree – or were they roots? His back was tilted straight against the bark. The tree had fallen with him in it, or had he landed on top of it somehow as the storm raged on? It did not matter now.


Scrambling out of branches, snapping dry twigs as he hurried – Eliza would have scolded him for it if it had been a living tree, but this tree was as dead as the village he saw before him – he jumped off the trunk and onto softer ground, his feet landing painlessly in the deep snow beneath the fallen tree.


Eliza. Suddenly Mako’s thoughts began racing, racing and growing more and more disturbed. Where was his mother? And Ari.


“Mum! Ari!” Mako yelled to the dead stillness of the village of Artiget, hoping somewhere, someone at least might hear him and direct him to his mother and his friend.


Somewhere in the distance, a lone call of a wolf resounded against the white stillness of the rest of the mountain.


Mako couldn’t have cried if he had wanted to. As a tear rolled down his cheek it immediately froze into a little blob of ice and tore off, the hot wet line that had formed from the corner of his eye already dry and crystallised, stinging his cheek a little as Mako made his slow progress out of the snow mounds and onto the barely discernible path leading in the approximate direction of his home.

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Now the tension is building. This is good. We want to know where Ari is and where his mother is. You portray the eerie stillness well and we need Mako to make a decision about what he is going to do to survive. We hope he finds Ari and his mother but his primary concern is to start doing something to change his circumstances. We need someone/thing, apart from the weather to pit itself against him. Perhaps now is the time to start the quest to find his father? If he does this with Ari this will give you an opportunity to bring out both of their personlities. But you also need someone trying to stop them....someone with a motive to stand in their way of achieving their object.


Thank you, Suraya! Your feedback and guidance is so so useful!!!!