12 Days, 12 Stories, each 200-300 words. The contest theme is gifts and each day has a prompt. Today's is:
“Let me tell you a story,” her grandmother said. Frost whispered down her spine, gnawing at her red raw knuckles but Griselda didn’t care. Not so long as Nonna had a story to tell. Her rasping voice drove away the winter’s bite, quietened the ache of hunger in their bellies.
“What is it about?” Petyr asked, jumping ahead as he always did.
Nonna laid one gnarled hand on his white blonde hair. “Patience, little one.”
They knew all about patience, about waiting. It had been three nights since their father had gone into dark forest in search of food. Three nights of howling amongst the trees. Of hunger.
She spoke of humans who became wolves, savage and wild. Of a huge white moon and a fine lady lost in the woods in fear of her life. Of the wolf prince who fell in love with her. Of the son she bore.
“It was a long time ago,” Nonna murmured. “A long, long time ago.”
The last of the firewood crumbled in the grate and the night drew in. The children lent against her patched skirts, yawning. In the end they slept, as the light from the full moon glistened like etched silver on the dirt floor.
A howl woke Griselda. She climbed to her feet, pressing her nose to the window. “Wolves,” she whispered. Amber eyes glinted in the night and she saw him, the alpha, staring at the cottage. Their eyes met. Turning, he limped away.
Sleep eluded her that night.
Dawn had streaked the sky like blood before the door rattled. The door flung open and he filled the doorway, arms filled with firewood, a deer slung across his broad shoulders.
Wild haired and huge, his golden eyes were warm with love. Smiling, he limped towards them.