The axe hit the wood.

Heavy blankets of snow engulfed the mansion on the island of Varr; the colourless branches were on the verge of snapping, and the thick cloud-like fog minimised the view of anyone in sight.

Ivan liked it that way. Whether he had grown to like the cold atmosphere of Varr or he just enjoyed his new facial features: dark sullen eyebrows and thick fur-like hair, it had changed now that his father had gone.

The old, never ending hallways that were doused in fancy carpets brung a sharp look of distaste at the thought of it. Ivan hated his father’s adoration for royalty; it was the one thing that he despised to be, in a warm palace with the free will to do what they liked, knowing that deep down he had done nothing for what he had.

Now — he could view the gloomy corridors without having to grimace at the sight of red.

He could stomp through the hallways as much as he wanted and they would stomp back— but to no reply.

He could cause mayhem — and nobody would know.

The dry hollow trees after winter had ended were perfect to set alight. The quick change from dull grey to electrifying orange sent chills down Ivan’s spine, watching them crisp over and burn black was something the animals had better have gotten used to.

The mansion itself was nothing special, until one day Ivan found himself in a precarious situation.

The sitting room rumbled as Ivan entered the room. He gave a low grumble which appeared to be some sort of pleased laugh viewing the mighty ranges of black and white at its finest.

A black leather chair in the corner of the room, a white lamp with a warm glow beside it, unusually, a black animal rug which head looked a mix of a panther and a bear.

His windows were large and narrow like fish eyes peering towards the freezing over of autumn. Ivan left the room.

Clunk clunk.

Was it the sound of his heavy boots or something more? Ivan took nothing of it and entered the gloomy kitchen.

Clunk clunk.

Ivan peered around his shoulder. Nothing but the sound of the sharp autumn wind.

On the kitchen wall hung a mighty painting of Ivan’s father himself. Covered from head to toe in a red suit and brown fur, Ivan darted his eyes away and scoffed.

His black eyes stared Ivan down, reflecting in to the similar black, causing Ivan to shudder frustratedly.

“Do not look at me.”

He placed his hands on the golden rimmed painting, ready to rip it off in one clean movement.

Clunk clunk.

The sound inched closer. Ivan’s fingers gripped harder to the painting.

Clunk clunk.

Closer, closer. His fingers reached further; readying himself.

Clunk clunk.

With a harsh tug, Ivan pulled the painting and the nail out of the wall. It ripped a harsh hole on the white exterior, but he dropped the painting onto the ground, face down, with another sharp look of distaste on his face.

Clunk clunk. A black shadow grew large, breathing down Ivan’s neck.


It went dark.

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