Summer is brief so high in the mountains, and already the snows come. What’s more, this is the last summer we have before Sorcha goes to her apprenticeship, and I go with her, leaving these mountains to fond memories and quick holidays.

They’ll always be here, of course, mountains move so slowly that our racing eyes do not even see it. But there is a feeling of loss to leave these rugged walls of stone and return to the world of houses and fields and order, as we do each autumn, but there was always that promise of return.

But not for a while, now. When we return, as we have sworn to do, Sorcha will be a fully trained witch and I a great leopard, but the mountains will be as they always were.

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