The clotted grey snowflakes struck to a mesh in the sky. Occasionally, if one watched ever so carefully, there was the chance to see the occasional paper-thin crisps settling on the grass and over the twigs as if shaping a face. Yet it was every time, the wind hacked at the forehead which had been carefully constructed across the stones and spat out the liquid shards, which split Red’s face through tiny spiracles of reflected mirrors.
‘’Go little red hood, with your red skin, dear boy – get something to grandmother.’’
The wolves could not deny that they were used to this assemblage of bodies. Yet it had been an unusually cold winter, as if the sky had solidified above them. The cold stone of the moon stared like a desperate eye wedged open from within this glacier, suspended in full, as if the set sky was disallowing for it to strip off its platinum rings like the skins of an onion. The light was bitter on their damp bodies.
And that was when I saw him, the isolated dart of heat spinning from the bow of his brothers. His body close to the Earth like a partial communion, threading between the foliage. I breathed out over my tongue which was stoppering the red slip of my throat like the holy wafer and I imagined him, imagined him pulled round my body, mulching against the dark wine of the heart.
I knew he was unsure. He clutched something in his mouth and his body clattered over the bones as if mechanically, jaw flapping like a hinge as he stumbled over the stones. I clutched my white hand close to myself, away from the darkness, mimicking the flow of his white collar and waistcoat, how it unfurled beneath him like a flag of surrender. How I would touch. I noticed, breathing in the hot incense which clung to my furs, how his digits caressed the wet belly of the Earth. I wondered how they would come close to myself, thread round my neck like a cold shimmer of pearls. I played with the skin close to my throat, a nervous habit, a bad habit, the type of habit Daddy would fester and fuss over, shaping his mouth like an old wound.
He was slowing now, not noticing, his face thick with that edible ignorance, so close I could smell him. For that red skin of fur, for the red hood, I would have surely died.
‘’What are you doing all alone?’’ I asked, letting my syllables steam across his tracks, each its own individual candle. He ceased to a halt, his coat blood red under the blur of breath. He was not grey like all the others, I envied him. I ached in the realisation of my body’s hibernation, and yearned for touch, like how the injured heart greases itself desperately against the chamber of ribs. I stirred for him, the trail around the organs perseverance dissolving slowly into me.