The wolf looked at me impassively. We stood in a quiet meadow, tall grasses waving among the flowers, bees buzzing in lazy air currents. The wood lay leafy and ordinary behind us, not even a hint of snow in sight. Ahead rose a lone hill, sharp and brown against the sky. It was midmorning, or a little past.
"Where are we?" I whispered, my voice hoarse and my lungs aching. The enormity of what I had done threatened to overwhelm me. All I could see was my father, hurtling away on Tinker's cart.
"The house under the mountain," returned the wolf. "My house."