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“When we reach the top,” Farisa said, “it’ll be worth it.”

Raqel was out of breath. Both girls had been trudging through snow since noon and it was only getting deeper as they climbed.

“You’ve never been up there?”

“Not in winter, Farisa. I’m a city girl.”

The peak was barely a hundred feet above, but each way up looked as treacherous as any other: snow and rock, mostly snow.

“Follow me,” Farisa said. “I know the path.”

“My hands are freezing.”

Reaching the summit exposed them to a fierce northerly wind. In its brief spells of rest, Raqel could hear farm dogs, baying in the shaded valley.

“It’s so cold! The lakes are frozen, the roads covered, the trees all bare–”

“Ay,” Farisa said, “and winter means you see farther. Farther than anyone. Farther than you would have ever known.”