This is a story about a girl, much like one you have heard before. Her skin pale as the ice she bares name with, hair as dark as the shadows she fears and lips red as the rushing blood, pounding through her veins. She lies down in the cold snow, her black dress splayed out below her, the sounds of music twirling in her head, as she closes her eyes from the stars gaze. This place, this type of moment is freedom and the closest thing she's ever felt of safety. A low growl pierces through the shadows, Winter's eyes dart open and look wildly around. She catches the glow of the moonlit beast, shimmering red fur, coming closer into view. She hears its low growl again, lips pursed yet she can't move, can't turn away. Mesmerized in the abyss of its eyes. She watches intently as the beast shuffles, the growling continues and nears a purr. Heart slamming in her ears, she is sure it can sense her fear. Winter slides back as the beast takes a step closer, her back brushes against the cold frozen bark of the giant oak she was resting beneath. The majestic beast takes another step towards, she can feel its hot breath on her face. One single tear rolls down her cheek as the wolf's features seem to soften, ever so slightly. Winter catches her breath and holds it, just in time to hear the faint snap of wood from behind her. The wolf lunges past her into some unknowing sound. She takes this time to jump and run into the woods, deeper, in no particular direction, the sounds of gnarling and pain arising from where she once sat. She ran until her chest ached and she could no longer breathe without halting. As much as her mind didn't dare stop, her legs gave out beneath her and she sat weeping in the snow until she drifted off to sleep.
Winter awoke to a hooded over coat thrown over her, black.... much like the eyes of that beast. Just her thoughts and memories of it made a shiver reverberate through her spine. Who had this coat come from and where were they to be found? She glances around finding nothing but a little piece of paper protruding out of her laced up boot with her name written in the most elegant handwriting she had ever seen, sealed with a wax seal of a rose. Slowly she pried it out and just as she had seen on the front, the handwriting danced gracefully along the inside. The coat was a gift, a wish of warmth and safety. Staring down at this coat confused her, barely thick enough to warm one from the autumn breeze yet claimed to shield her from the snow's fierce bite. The note continued with the promise of everlasting protection. At this moment Winter felt eyes on her and as she went to cast the coat aside, her feelings changed. The eerily, haunting notion this note promised turned into comfort and she found herself wearing the hooded coat. Being enveloped in a blanket of pleasure, the heat warming every inch of her body; it was like something she never experienced before. She hurriedly made her way back to the village, how her aunt must be worried sick of her not returning.
The moment she walked through the door, she could hear her aunt scurrying towards her like a mouse, tears stained her face in washed away mascara. Winter explained her story, best avoiding the stare down with the majestic wolf that had come before her, but had recited from the growls behind her and the running away from gnarls of anger and pain. Her aunt's face drained of all colour as she saw the coat that Winter had hung away from sight before her Aunt had reached her. Gold embroidered mark on the collar, showing the sign of the rose; like the one from the seal. She turned to watch her aunt's face and followed the stare to the coat, the mysterious coat that bares more protection than the roof above her head yet seems so translucent. Barely above a whisper her Aunt's voice shattered the silence with a shrill, "What possessed you to keep that thing... where did it come from?" Her voice slowly filling with anger and fear as it got louder.
"Whom did you see..." and before she knew what had happened she felt the sting across her cheek and the echo of the slap bounced within these thin walls. Before her mouth opened her aunt took the coat from her and tossed it into the fireplace. The smoke burned red and the smell faded just as fast as the coat itself. Engulfed in flames it was gone as quickly as it was there, she watched in horror as a woman she didn't know anymore more, one time her aunt, cackled at the burnt up coat as the flames continued to lick the brick ever so gently. The flames lulled her into a state that she felt the eyes on my back and all the warmth within her body had left. As she continued to feel watched all she could think of was it taking her away.
The chills run through her as she curled deeper in her blanket, worn and tattered as the clouds sweep her away and she dreams of those eyes, darkness so pure, the abyss soothing to her aching inside. The shimmering beast steps out further into the light. Her body tingles as she watches the wolf cloaked in red and its shadow dance among the moonlight, intertwining as lovers do; beautiful. Just then a violent shift overtakes her mind, she hear the howls, the growling and the anger build up all around her, the wolf is gone and shadows close in, strangling. She awakens, drenched in sweat, vile spewing out of her, the toxicity controlling and battering at her soul. She knew her night was going to stay restless for sleep never returned, by the dawn she dressed to walk back to her place in the woods, to where it all happened.