The horse strains against the reins, his master barely able to hold him back. The man
astride the frenzied creature is alert; terrified he searches the plain, but the snow is too thick.
He cannot see.
“Mary,” he calls frantically. “Mary, where are you!?”
He drops down off of the dark bay, clutching the reins to his chest.
“Mary!” He yells, hoping she will hear him, but nothing except the howling winds reach
his frozen ears.
Desperate, he climbs back into the saddle and looks into the distance, but there is
nothing and the blizzard is quickly worsening. With a heart heavy with despair, both man and
beast make for the shelter of the trees and the safety of home.
Once inside the thick forest, the young man, no older than nineteen, instantly notices
the pawprints in the snow. Wolves. Fresh tracks litter the area and their scent fills his nose.
His breath catches in his throat when he notices the imprints of a woman’s boots heading into
the trees, and how the wolves’ tracks seem to follow them; cautiously at first, then sprinting, it
seems, after the bootprints.
Fear strikes his heart as he pushes his horse through the trees as fast as he dares. He
is aware that his traps are near, but that is not what worries him so thoroughly. He knows
without question these are Mary’s tracks, and they are headed right for the staked wolf pits.
He drives the young gelding beneath him straight ahead through the trees along the path of
tracks, his heart hammering as adrenaline sings through his veins. What if he was too late?
What if she fell into one of his eleven pits he had dug just before the snows had come? The
terrified man and his horse race onwards.
Soon, up ahead, he hears the growing snarls of wolves gathering around their prey.
They are not near to the pits, but that is of little assurance to him.
“No,” screams a feminine voice. Her voice. “Stay back! Stay Back!”
The boy lurches into the clearing on his beautiful gelding, and the wolves instantly turn
on him. “Mary, Run!” he shouts to the girl as his horse rears, knocking him from the saddle.
He lands hard shaking his head to rid it of the cloudiness forming at the edges of his vision.
“Adan,” Mary screams as the boy’s horse rises again in fear of the gathering wolves.
It is too late. The young, terrified creature’s powerful hooves come crashing down
upon the boy, shattering his leg beneath their thundering force. A bright, flashing pain radiates
from him as the gelding races away with the wolves hot on its tail and as the young woman
races toward the man she loves. Adan cries out as the agony sweeps through his body,
and then lays still. Mary reaches him, throwing herself down into the snow next to him, tears
streaming from her brilliant blue eyes as she takes his hand in hers.
Suddenly, a low, guttural snarl sounds behind the boy passed out in the snow and the
girl who is trying to wake him. The girl freezes. ‘Oh, no,’ she thinks. ‘This is it. This is the end