The thick shadow slivered away and was replaced by dimmed sunlight. She stared at the dagger and felt a mixture of relief, for the protection it promised, curiosity for its origins and above all a swift, oppressive assurance. She had felt so hopeless for so long, it was difficult to say when she had ceased to be herself and became a walking spiritless corpse. In spite of her soul’s wiliness to perish, her body thrived, no matter what exertion she submitted it to.
“I’ve lost everything I ever loved,” she whispered, to the dagger, the roses, to the wyld wood watching her from afar. Her fingers clenched the hard metal until her the gems imprinted her skin through the glove. Her eyes roved over the dying rose bush with its brittle black thorns and fevered passion filled her as she ran her other hand over it.
Ripping her gloves off her hands, she tossed them aside and, gripping the dagger once more, began to knick the edges off the dead stems. She whispered to the roses, just as Wynyth had all those years ago.
“I won’t let you die too. I won’t lie down in my grave and let us rot any longer. We’re going to live,” she breathed as she crawled to the next bush and began her work. “There’s only one way out of this now, mother and that is to fight, until we are free again. I will see us whole again. I will find him.” Her fingers were bloody by the time she finished her row, and the winds had chapped her cheeks and lips until they were bright red.
Distantly, the wolves howled and when she lifted her tired eyes, she saw several pairs of glowing greed eyes watching her with patient hunger. As she washed her hands in the snow, she looked back and saw the stems were budding and before her eyes, growing until they bloomed lush crimson petals the same shade as her blood.