As far as she could see the dark pine trunks contrasted against the thick blanket of snow that stretched before her broken only by a dark smear of a track that wound its way through the wood just a stone’s throw from where she was now crouched.
Through the caves the frog king led Kostromo, following the light of the river as it lead ever downwards. They passed through a small narrowing in the cave wall and she could feel the rock against her skin
…”Open” she cried, jaw clenched as she tumbled unsure of which was up and which down. Her heart raced, surely she hadn’t escapade the cold earth and the wolves only for it to end like this.
Where once she would have expected to see the verdant greens of springtime, punctuated with the vibrant explosions of tulips, daffodils and bluebells, now only a blanket of white stretched as far as she could see and the trees she so cherished stood grey, silent and bare.
Kostromo stirred beneath the cold earth, it’s weight heavy on her chest and her bones gripped by the icy fingers of winter.