For far too long, Elsa was a wanderer without a guide. Her father had made it clear through curses and gnashing teeth that he reviled this child that was not his. She would be foolish to seek him out, and she could not afford to be a child any longer. Her supplies were quickly spent and her luck at foraging and trapping could not keep pace with the pains from her stomach.
Yet Elsa continued to put one foot after the other. She had surpassed even the most talented of her peers with ease – more powerful and fairer than them all. She was destined to be a White Witch. No, not simply another White Witch. She was destined to rule this frozen land, whether under Baba Yaga’s name or under her own.
Those thoughts circled again and again in her head on a snowy day, several weeks into her journey, as she approached a snare she had set earlier that morning. Hoping to find a small rodent, her heart skipped a beat as she pushed through the brush to find a pack of wolves surrounding her dinner. The wolves were set against the arctic hare caught in her trap on all sides, yet the small creature stared back boldly. Unmoving, it did not flinch in the face of danger. Its gaze calmly shifted from the wolves to her.
Elsa pushed into the clearing. This was hers. She had earned it, and she would take it. Rage coursed through her. She raised her hand to loose a blast of ice at the nearest wolf, blind to the overwhelming odds and her own exhaustion.
The white rabbit blinked.
Fire erupted from Elsa, flaming gouts that melted ice and singed fur and flesh. A primal cackle echoed through the hills, somehow coming from her throat. The wolves squealed and tumbled over each other to escape with their lives.
Elsa looked down at her hands, blackened by the flames. Her knees gave out and she collapsed to the ground, snow melting under her residual heat. Her heart raced. Her hands trembled and ached. The hare continued to look at her, unmoving, unafraid. Elsa drew her dagger, wincing as the pommel dug into her charred flesh. She slowly crawled forward on hands and knees. She stared down her prey, licking her lips. The hare stared back.
How curious, she thought. Its eyes were different colors. One was blue, one was orange. She brought the dagger down.
The makeshift snare tore under Elsa’s blade and the hare hopped forward once, free of its binding. It sat on its hind legs and let out a chirp of approval. It then began slowly hopping southward through the deep snow. Elsa climbed to her feet. She followed.