The winter morning snapped in her nose like a burst of peppermint. She sat on the porch, bundled against the cold, a hot cup of tea in her hands. She pressed her face into the steam, letting its warmth brush against her cheeks.
Taking a sip, she glanced at the driveway, listening for the crunch of hooves on snow. It might be a bit too early yet, the winter too young, but it was her vigil to keep.
He had promised to return in winter, but he was a flighty creature, given to whims and distractions. Despite that, he was loyal; she knew he would return.
She heard the sound and stood up, peering through the trees. Was it him? Her shoulders slumped. It was just a doe. Strange, though, to see one out like this.
The doe stared at her, meeting her gaze like no natural creature. She took a nervous sup of her tea. There was something going on here, something she couldn’t quite explain.
She hoped he would show up soon. He could probably explain what this doe was up to. He was a buck, albeit a magical shape shifting one. Certainly he would be able to explain the natural world as well as the unnatural world?
Walking closer, the doe didn’t break her gaze. Instead, her unfriendliness intensified. She backed up, putting her tea on the table and reaching for the door behind her. Before she could attain the safety of the cabin, the doe spoke, her lips moving strangely around the words. “So you’re the other woman.”