Then there is a knocking in his heightened ear, of tiny bones in a tiny wrist.
At this he grasps.
Suddenly, a whirlpool of light.
A brown velvet rabbit with green buttons for eyes and a smart purple bowtie adorning its neck stares out like a pall from a window floating in a sunny blue sky. With long paws, it shoves the window open, stuffing a white and wiggling bundle into Rassilon’s arms while its pasted on pink candy heart nose snuffs wriggly circles over its shoulder, out of nerves. Or fear. Still, the air from its breath warms the frost on the glass, and Rassilon feels heat radiate through him like warm stones thrown into a pile of snow. The thing in his arms sniffs, wiggling once.
Then the rabbit, window and all, is gone.
He opens his eyes, clutching something small in his coat, and falls back, away from the bed and the ice, and the white mud tree, full of cracks.
It isn’t writhing anymore.
His arms are full now, and he’s missing a boot.
Careful not to draw the attention of the ice, he follows his path in retrograde, stepping into his footsteps on the now snow-covered floor, beating a retreat back into the hallway.