Before there was blood on the snow there were fall leaves of gold and yellow. Boy and girl had chased each other through the pastoral gardens of her father’s estate, catching each other with the gentleness of butterfly kisses.
But the slaughter her father’s power had caused and protected them from had arrived at the gates in the form of tattered men too cold and too hungry for too long to care that they were children, that the remaining adults were servants and that her father had long escaped. Bayonets, bricks, broken glass, anything the tattered men could lay hands on was used in the destruction.
The same garden walls that had sequestered them then trapped the boy and girl, even as they fled with each other, hands held in the franticness of first love. Then there was blood on the snow.