I'm going to die.
It hit him like a blade in the stomach, punching air from his lungs and hope from his heart. Desolation hung on every branch, weighing his legs and slowing his mind. Exhaustion crusted his eyes, freezing the lashes together.
He stumbled, life crumbling beyond his reach, forest spinning out of control.
Boots in the snow.
'I'm going to kill you, Sigfried.' The voice caressed with blazing knives.
She echoed through the trees and watched from the sky. He felt for her strength, and found it among the folds of his heart.
'Yes. I know.'
The man smiled. His teeth were iron, his eyes moltern. Like an inquisitive child, he pulled a knife from the folds of his cloak. Heaven reflected from its blade.
And then Sigfried was falling, clutching his wife's hand with tight fingers. He saw her face, heard her voice; as red and white turned to black.
Then the man with the iron teeth laughed over the corpse of his friend. He had the cunning of the fox, the strength of the bear, and the hunger of the wolf.
But if you cut him open, you'd find no heart at all.