It is white in the land, and cold. The forest is dark and all the gentle animals who have not left for the warmer, seductive lands in the South, are either hiding in caves, or deep under the ground, where all God-fearing creatures should be. In the villages, the people stay hidden, too, warm and safe beside their fires, only ever scurrying out when there is no choice, to find more wood, or perhaps to creep into the edge of the dark, treacherous forest to hunt for a morsel of meat to fill their hollow bellies.
It was the boy's turn to do his duty by his Grandfather who lived alone in the deepest part of the forest, only ventured to in the Spring and Summer, unless the bitter months drew out, as they were this long, long Winter. The wind howled around the chimneys as the boy wound his bear-skin cloak around his lithe and innocent form. He carefully wrapped the still-warm, freshly baked loaves of bread in the blood red cloth his mother had given him, and placed the parcel in his satchel, together with the small cask of wine, essential foodstuffs to ward off the bitter winter's chill.
Before he began his journey, the boy's mother handed him the long bladed knife once used for skinning the great Black Bear whose hide he wore. The boy slipped the knife into its sheath and, embracing his mother, turned and left the cottage to begin his journey through the pure white landscape to his Grandfather's house.
The forest became quieter and quieter as he trudged. No sound, not even his footsteps broke the virginal membrane of silence in his ears. He had walked for perhaps an hour when he saw the girl. She came from nowhere. One moment he looked up from the snow in front of his feet, and she was there. He had noticed no footprints, just the eternally smooth, white blanket covering the land.
The girl was naked, her jet black hair falling in seductive ripples the length of her mottled blue and white-skinned back, her body swaying with the rhythm of her stride as she walked just ahead of him. As she turned to look at him, he caught a glimpse of her nipples, erect with the cold. A flood of emotions rushed through the boy's body. He had never seen a woman naked before. It never occurred to him how cold she must be as he felt the heat of desire pumping through his veins. He just knew that he had to have her, to touch her skin, to caress the hair, to feel her nakedness against his own young body. He called out to her and she turned again and smiled. How red were her lips, full of the promise he had never experienced. She was moving too fast, away from him, as he broke into a run, realising fleetingly, but not caring, that the familiar part of the forest was long ago left behind.
At last in a clearing, she stopped and turned to me, opening her arms, with a welcoming look in her eye. I was entranced with the beauty of her nakedness, her black hair flowing over the curves of her breasts, her nipples inviting me to her, the same blood red of her lips, in contrast to the whiteness of her skin. I drank greedily of the sight. Before I had taken more than a step towards her, I see that there other other women here, almost blinding me with their voluptuous bodies. I long to touch them, to feel and taste them, but they are always tantalizingly just beyond my reach. At times I am close enough to smell the muskiness of their bodies, and know that they desire me just as much as I want them.
In my frantic dance, I notice the bread tumble out from my satchel, still half wrapped in the blood red cloth. As it lands in the snow, some of the women break away from the dance, and ripping the cloth, devour the bread in a frenzy of hunger sated at last. The wine cask falls too, crashing to the ground, the soft snow breaking its fall, the stopper bursts forth and the wine bleeds into the pure white snow, the stain spreading ever outwards.
The first girl is taking my hand, guiding me to the centre of the clearing. I see nothing now but her perfect body, knowing that I will soon be fulfilled. I feel hands gently undressing me, caressing me into a state of full arousal as my Beauty lies on the altar, her hair flowing down like black water to the snow-covered ground, her legs long and inviting, her thighs white and firm as she lies willing me on to lie with her. I am helped on to the altar and can wait no longer. I cannot even see the women surrounding us, my eyes are blind to anything but desire.
A knife flashed and a roar filled my ears. The pure skin of the girl became mottled. Hair - no! Rough fur was growing across her perfect breasts. Her face was changing, blurring. Her seductive lips drawn back to reveal drooling teeth and tongue, her tiny nose thrusting forth into a wet, black snout. The arms around me growing stronger now, her claws tearing into my back. As I arched my back in pain and ecstasy the bear-skin cloak which was so carefully taken from me earlier is once again wrapped around my form. As I reach the inevitable climax, my seed bursts forth into the willing belly of the Beauty, I realise I am fusing with a Great Black Bear. Part of my mind is fighting against this, recoiling in horror, but I know deep inside myself that I am fulfilling a terrible destiny.
Still, I try to break away. Wildly looking around the clearing, I see the women have all gone. There is just myself and my terrible bride.
I raise myself up on my rear legs and roar from the depths of my soul.