Toys and spatterings in the snow.

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Out of the cold they come; a terror sweeping through the ashes and snow before the children of the next town can wake to see the ruin coming for them in the distance. He knows that the winter may have killed them anyway. She; that cold bitch with her frosted eyelashes and the way they flutter to leave flakes upon the eye sockets of the ones who manage to run from the village. The home burning that would be their only chance, were it not for us. I am not a proud man. But each of these razings puts a log on my fire, and a morsel of bread on the tongue of my little Aelith. My grin, as I call him, the child came out of his mother smiling. There she was, bleeding and malnourished and dying and my Aelith smiling. I knew then that it would be alright, that he would brighten the days once the dark of her passing crept back into the trees. But I am now the creeping shade, I am the watchful eye that catches the few who see us coming. I am the arrow that pierced the little girl in her gown yesterday, and I was the bow too.

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