Snow was the great purification. All of the dark places of the land dotted with coated trees were blanketed by mother snows cold hand. The earth was softer in winter, in white. It was sleeping soundly beneath the coverlets where only wolves, rabbits and deer went tuttering by leaving their trails and magic.
The girl’s cheeks had long turned chill-burnt red, polished and bright as two crisp autumn apples. They burned in the pale of her skin in the moonlight. In some other time, her lips as red as hearts and her hair as dark as raven’s wings might have stirred a poem. But the eerie mingling of fear and desire glass coating her brown eyes made her seem a mad, mad straw creature than a beauty.
The snow was deep and it bit to the knee, sometimes keeping her stuck in place. Frostbite tingled, a small sting at first and now a sharp bite in her feet; fingers. Her mittens had been swiped by a lashing pine, a boot kept by unforgiving drift. Her dress cold and wet.