Excerpt: When Belthar stepped out of his door on that first morning, the ground was cold beneath his naked feet. Yesterday he’d stepped out of his job in much the same way and found, in much the same way, that the ground had been cold beneath him then, too. But this was a different kind of cold.
This cold he relished. This cold he enjoyed without the comfort of his old and favourite slippers. This cold came up at him from the clay and the mud of his garden and smelled faintly of citrus. This cold sat on the leaves of his tree like a silk scarf on a delicate neck. This cold shivered and shook in the clean, clear air. This cold was alive, unlike yesterday’s cold, which was dead and smelled of must and dried up documents and long-closed files.
He looked around, squinting into the rising sun. His little three-roomed house stood above its land...